With reshuffles aplenty in France’s top four, changes were always likely in Ligue 1. Paris Saint-Germain have regained their form seeing them flying high at the top of the table, whilst Monaco, Lyon and Marseille fight it out for a second place finish.
PSG seem to have bounced back from last year’s fruitless campaign, lying 11 points clear of second-placed Marseille. With Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani firing at will, the Paris giants are running away with the title this year. However the question remains as to whether the Parisians can convert this stellar domestic form into European dominance. Some question the relative ease of their domestic league will inhibit their progress in the Champions League.
Monaco on the other hand were left damaged last season a host of sales. Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Valere Germain, and the aforementioned Mbappe all departed. However they recruited well. Purchases of Keita Balde, Youri Tielemans and Stevan Jovetic have filled the necessary gaps. Despite crashing out of the Champions League, bottom of their group, the principality side have stayed afloat in Ligue 1 with 15 wins from 24 keeping them within touching distance of Marseille.
Lyon, much like Monaco, have seen the exodus of some of their star players last summer, selling the likes of Emanuel Mammana, Corentin Tolisso and most notably Alexandre Lacazaette to English club Arsenal. Nevertheless, they have signed the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Kenny Tete and Mariano Diaz. Despite some pallid performances in Ligue 1, particularly their 3-2 loss to Monaco this weekend, they still find themselves in a comfortable fourth place position – 11 points clear of fifth.
Marseille also find themselves in a healthy position with 51 points from a possible 72. The key to their good form has a lot to do with their transfer policy of signing older players who are easily marketed. For example the signing of 30-year-old Luis Gustavo has been crucial to Marseille’s midfield this season, adding an energy and stability that was missing for a lot of last season. Marseille finished the season 16 points behind the top three last year so the changes appear to be paying off.
The changes and rebuilding policies employed by Marseille, Lyon and Monaco have clearly been working to a large extent. Nevertheless it has not been enough to challenge the hegemonic power of the league leaders. PSG are running away with the French title, and with little evidence to suggest that the other three will catch them up, it seems as if the Ligue 1 title will once again end up at the Parc des Princes come the end of the season.