Saturday night in Ligue 1 began with Colombian James Rodriguez scoring a double as Monaco kept ground with Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the table, and the night ended with reported Arsenal target Serge Aurier scoring the decisive second goal as unpredictable Toulouse came from behind to beat 10-man Lorient at home 3-1. The side from the Rose city continue to surprise with their inconsistent form, and Aurier continues to enhance his reputation as one of the best young players in Europe.
After PSG dispatched of Valenciennes 3-0 on Valentine’s Day, James Rodriguez showed Bastia no love as he single-handedly dispatched of the islanders, stopping the Corsican side from earning nine points in the same week.
James opened the scoring right at the end of the first-half, curling in a beautiful free-kick with his left-foot, giving Bastia’s number two goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca no chance. The second came after the restart, collecting the ball on the half-way line, Rodriguez cut inside before smashing a left-foot shot into the far corner. That is the 22-year-old’s fifth goal of the season; he also has nine assists for Monaco, and has easily been one of the stand out players this season.
There were also important wins for Reims and Sochaux on Saturday night, the later picked up their fourth win of the season as Zambian defender Stoppila Sunzu scored the only goal of the game on the 84th minutes, and the win over Guingamp takes Les Lionceaux only three points from Valenciennes in 18th position. Reims move up to provisional sixth place with the 1-0 win over Bordeaux. Nice and Nantes played out an uneventful goalless draw in the Allianz Rivera.
Montpellier had to come from behind twice to earn a point away at Rennes. The home side had new Swedish signing Ola Toivonen to thank for their two goals. Daniel Congre scored Montpellier’s first and it was Newcastle United target, Remy Cabella that provided the cross for Souleymane Camara, the substitute heading home in the dying moments to pull his side level.
The other big win of the night came at the Stade du Moustoir as Toulouse FC came from 1-0 down to pick up a surprise three points in Brittany. Lorient had been unbeaten in their last three, whereas TFC hadn’t picked up a win in their last four, so when Wesley Lautoa gave the home side a 41st minute lead despite being down to 10-men, it looked like it would be a tough trip for Alain Casanova’s men.
Wissam Ben Yedder levelled the scores just before the hour mark when he managed to turn a mis-guided shot past ‘keeper Audard. 14 minutes later he turned provider as he set-up defender Serge Aurier to strike home the second. The wing-back has enjoyed an excellent season for Le Téfécé, which was his third goal this season, adding in four assists in this campaign. The 21-year-old has been tracked by Arsene Wenger for a number of years and has been heavily linked with replacing Arsenal’s Bacary Sagna in the summer. Another impressive defensive display plus the game-changing goal will help fuel the transfer rumours a little further.
Norwegian striker Martin Braithwaite sealed the game with 10 minutes to go as he scored his side’s third of the evening. The win takes them up to 10th in the table, leap-frogging Lorient who drop down to 11th.