Strasbourg, potentially vitally, moved three points clear of the relegation zone and heaped more misery on lowly Nimes with a 4-1 win on Saturday, with Ajorque setting the tone for the win with a goal with just 14 minutes on the clock with a smart finish from close range. Then, two minutes into injury time in the first half, he picked out a beauty of a cross from the left-hand side for Lebo Mothiba to score. He would display further unselfishness for his second assist of the game, again for Mothiba, by squaring for his team-mate to tap home when he could easily have went for goal himself. He also won the majority of his duels (8/10) and aerial duels (6/8).
While Ajorque was the star of the show for Strasbourg, Lienard scored the best goal of the match with a quite brilliant whipped free-kick into the top corner from a tight angle on the right wing. It remains to be seen whether it was a cross or a shot, but his connection with the ball suggests the latter. In deeper areas he was good, too, misplacing just six out of 46 attempted passes, while he constantly halted Nimes' potential momentum with 3/3 tackles won and eight ball recoveries.
Montpellier moved up to sixth in Ligue 1 after defeating Toulouse 3-0, and it was Congre who emerged as their best player. He assisted the second goal of the match with a high lofted cross to the near post for Damien Le Tallec to glance a header into the corner. From his position at full-back, he constantly provided width, sending 13 passes into the final third as well as eight successful long balls. Defensively, he won half his duels, the majority of his tackles, and made six ball recoveries, six interceptions, and three clearances.
Monaco bounced back from their 1-0 loss against Saint Etienne by beating Dijon 1-0 at home, with Aleksandr Golovin scoring the only goal of the game three minutes before half time - and what a goal it was. After expertly chesting down a pass from Islam Slimani, the Russian caught out the Dijon goalkeeper by taking his half-volley early, with the strike bouncing into the bottom left corner. If not for the profligacy of his team-mates he probably would have had an assist too, as he sent 11 successful crosses into the box to no avail.
While Mothiba has Ajorque to thank for two fantastic assists, the two chances still needed to be converted, and the South African did so on both occasions with gusto. He was always a nuisance to the Nimes defence, sending eight passes into the final third and having 10 touches inside their box. He also won the majority of his duels and aerial duels.
Metz earned a point away at Lille after a 0-0 stalemate, and Stoppila Sunzu (8.3) was vital to the clean sheet gained as he won 8/11 duels, 6/7 aerial duels, and made a whopping 17 clearances.
ROUND TO FORGET
Anthony Briancon (4.8), Florian Miguel (4.9), and Pablo Martinez (4.9) made zero tackles, and attempted zero tackles during the Nimes loss against Strasbourg, which is almost impressively ineffective for three members of the one defence.