A wild and wacky beginning of the Ligue 1 season


What a wild and wacky beginning of the French Ligue 1 season which no one could predict since Nice has the commanding lead after eight matchdays,with Monaco right behind them and the current champion Paris Saint-Germain led by Unai Emery in third place,since it is surprising because the Parisians have won the title in dominant fashion last season with a record of 95 points which included 30 victories,6 draws and only 2 defeats and 31 points ahead of last season second placed Lyon,has suffered a bizarre start with two defeats against Monaco (3-1) and Toulouse (2-0).With that the Parisians have during the summer lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Luiz which both went to England,while Laurent Blanc who led the club to three consecutive titles was fired due to the unsuccessful Champions League campaign which saw the Parisians exiting the competition in the quarterfinals against Manchester City.For this season former Sevilla coach and three time UEFA Europe League winner Unai Emery was hired and the Parisians aren’t doing good besides the ultra-wealthy Qatari owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi.Meanwhile in Monaco the story is different,after their last title in 2000 and the Champions League final in 2004,the red-whites went into decline into the rest of the decade which resulted into relegation from the Ligue 1 in 2011 which saw them staying in Ligue 2 for two seasons until under Claudio Ranieri the red-whites jumped back into Ligue 1.In recent season thanks to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev,the club became of the biggest PSG’s competitor for the Ligue 1 title by finishing once 2nd and three times in a row 3rd,currently the red-whites which are led by Leonardo Jardim who coached Portuguese and Greek clubs in the past and it is on the bench of the red-whites for a third season,sits 2nd on the table with just a point behind Nice and an impressive start 3-1 victory over PSG and a 0-7 trouncing of Metz before the international break but also a 4-0 defeat against the current table leaders which are Nice.Olympique Lyon,the club which has dominated French football in the 2000s with seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles has gone a little bit of a decline with the rise of PSG and Monaco in recent seasons nevertheless it has been on the top of French football and achieved some impressive results in Europe with a Champions League semifinal in 2010 and a Europe League quarterfinal in 2014 was last season the Parisians nearest competitor by collecting 65 points which they were 31 points behind the unstoppable Parisians,but in the beginning of this season,the red-blues of Lyon hope to clinch their eight Ligue 1 title and their first since 2008,the start of the Ligue 1 season wasn’t good for Lyon which is coached by Bruno Genesio by collecting only 13 points in the first seven matchdays besides they have Mathieu Valbuena and most notably Alexandre Lacazette in the squad with Lacazette flirting with a transfer to England.That leads us to the biggest surprises of the beginning of the beginning of the 2016-17 Ligue 1 season-Toulouse and Nice.First it is Toulouse which has always been a minor player in French football and one of their best finishes in the Ligue 1 came in 2007 when they came 3rd which was enough for a a third qualifying round of the Champions League which they lost against Liverpool with another top five finish in 2009 when they finished 4th,however Toulouse is known for being inconsistent with one season finishing in surprising places and another near the relegation places and no different was last season was when they finished 17th and by one point they avoided relegation into Ligue 2.But in the early stages of this season the club picked a huge 2-0 victory against PSG at home in matchday seven and collected 14 points.But the most biggest surprise of the beginning of the Ligue 1 which has a potential to develop another Cinderella story is the current club which leads the Ligue 1-Nice.The last time the club was the champion of France was in 1959 and from that they lived in the shadow of more successful clubs like Saint-Etienne,PSG,Nantes and its coastal neighbor Olympique Marseille.The red-blacks made a huge splash in the news by signing Mario Balotelli on a free transfer and hiring Swiss coach Lucien Favre during the summer coupled with new owners and a new stadium where they moved three years ago,the red-blacks from the French Riviera are ready for big things and this season they currently lead the table with 20 points out of possible 24 and yet they need to concede a defeat in this season’s edition of Ligue 1.Nice’s coastal neighbors-Olympique Marseille which awaits a new owner in American businessman Frank McCourt who owns the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team and which last time won the Ligue 1 title six years ago have started the new season in disastrous fashion and they currently are 14th,the same can be said for two former Ligue 1 champions-Nantes and Montpelier which current occupy the 16th and 17th places of the table.This season in Ligue 1 one is shaping up to be one of the most exiciting in recent years and compared to last season’s boredom where Paris Saint-Germain dominated the whole season and won its fourth title in a row without problems,this season they might not retain ir so easily and the Ligue 1 title might go elsewhere.Judging by the beginning of season it awaits us a very interesting Ligue 1 season where everything is possible among the top five clubs which currently occupy the first five places of the table.

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