It may have been a mild winter up in northern France, but the temperature was raised to the max on Sunday night as Lyon travelled to play Lille in Sunday night's big Ligue 1 clash. There was also the clash between Nantes and Rennes in one of France's biggest football derbies, plus a Zlatan inspired PSG destruction of Toulouse.
At the Stade de Beaujoire, Nantes were way below par as they lost 3-0 to rivals Rennes in front of a sold out home crowd. The sea of yellow and green were not amused as Nantes went another 90 minutes without a shot on target; their run continues to 180 minutes without testing a Ligue 1 goalkeeper.
Rennes on the other hand were clinical, starting with the audacious goal from Paul-Georges Ntep. The former Arsenal target, and France U21 international advanced down the left-wing, cut inside and then beat Remy Riou from a ridiculously tight angle, it had no right to go in. Ntep made the winter move from Auxerre to Rennes and is starting to find his feet, showing the Rennes fans what they can expect from the youngster in the future.
Rennes would score twice more, Norwegian Anders Konradsen scoring his first goal in France before fellow Scandinavian Ola Toivonen made it 3-0. That was the Swedish striker's fourth goal since joining in January. Rennes leap-frog Nantes in the table, Philippe Montanier's side now sit in 13th.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick in PSG's exciting 4-2 win away at Toulouse. The home side put up a valiant fight, but the Swedish strike was in no mood to play around, scoring his 20th, 21st and 22nd goals of the season, putting him on course to break Jean-Pierre Papin's record of 30 goals in a season. The win kept PSG five points clear of Monaco at the top of the table.
At the Stade Pierre Mauroy, both Lyon and Lille tried to further their chances of finishing third in Ligue 1. A win for the home side would have put an eight point gap between them and their opponents. Both sides would have to share the points in a goal-less 90 minutes. Not without its chances though.
Newcastle United target Clement Grenier had a lob cleared off the line by Pape Souare and Lille then thought they had won it at the death when Salomon Kalou played in Ronny Rodelin. The big forward tucked his chance past Anthony Lopes, the crowd screamed briefly, only to see the linesman's flag up. The joy was cut short and the referee then signalled the end of the game.
Lille move back to third with the point, Lyon stay sixth and lose a little ground to Marseille and Saint-Etienne. Five points separates third to sixth, and with some huge games coming up, it's going to be an exciting race to end the season.
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