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Ligue 1: Mbappé, Lens, rainbow jersey... Favorites and claws of the 2022-23 season


Highlights: The curtain fell on the 2022-23 Ligue 1 season on Saturday. Lens delighted French football as much as Angers exasperated it. Kylian Mbappe's standards are at a dizzying height for Paris Saint-Germain. Lyon and Marseille have in common their 11th birthday without a trophy. OM is very critical for its failure in the Coupe de France de France semi-final. Nantes are no less yet, beaten by Nantes in the semi-finals (2-1)

Find out what caught the attention of Le Figaro's sports department at the end of this Ligue 1 season.

The curtain fell this Saturday on the 2022-23 Ligue 1 season. An exercise that has, once again, aroused emotion, wonder and annoyance. Lens delighted French football as much as Angers exasperated it. In the end, it is always Kylian Mbappe's PSG who wins. But the championship can not be reduced to the club of the capital. Here are our favorites and our claws the day after the last day.

To discover

  • Ligue 1 schedule and results
  • Ligue 1 standings


Kylian Mbappé, obviously

It's not his best season in Ligue 1, because 2023 has been complicated with the World Cup to digest. Also because Kylian Mbappe's standards are at a dizzying height. The striker is one of the few satisfactions of Paris Saint-Germain, champions of France without shining. He finished top scorer in Ligue 1 (29 goals) for the 5th time in his career, a record he shares with Carlos Bianchi, Delio Onnis and Jean-Pierre Papin. With 10 goals in the last 8 matches and the decisive assist of the title for Lionel Messi, Mbappé has saved the furniture of PSG.

SEE ALSO – Messi's goal in Strasbourg that gave PSG the L1 title on May 27 (1-1)

Lens, a good champion head

We knew they were capable of prowess, since their rise in 2020. But still. Lens became the fourth club to reach the 84-point mark in L1 after Paris (7 times), Monaco (2017) and Lyon (2006). The Blood and Gold were worthy of their public with 17 wins in 19 home matches, present in the big meetings with a licked game, rewarded by the trophy of best coach for Franck Haise. All with the 10th budget of the championship. From beginning to end, the Lensois soap opera will have fascinated football lovers. We look forward to the Champions League.

In Lyon, the return of the General

On the night of 8 to 9 June, several employees of Olympique Lyonnais were requisitioned to put up the walls of the city. Five years after his departure for Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette returns to his training club. "It was a delicate bet to come back, I left leaving a beautiful image and I did not want to remove this beautiful image, confided the new captain of OL a few days ago. But I wanted to take on this challenge." Successful bet. 27 goals this season in Ligue 1, second top scorer in the league behind Kylian Mbappé. The General is involved in half of his team's goals and has fulfilled his leadership role to the younger generation perfectly. A second season in confirmation?

Still and Le Bris, like a breath of fresh air

At the beginning of February, we were already talking about these coaches who have spent a polish on Ligue 1. We must pay tribute to the discreet work of Régis Le Bris, inexperienced before this first season as N.1 in Lorient. The Merlus played and played well. Candidate for Europe mid-season before sticking his tongue out.

In Reims too, there was new blood. Will Still, 30, did not have the diplomas, but his club was right to pay fines (25,000 euros) for each match. The Belgian coach, who does not do in the language of wood, guided Reims in a series of 19 matches without defeat and a comfortable maintenance.

Clermont, no money but ideas

If we praise the profitability of RC Lens, what about that of Clermont Foot? The 19th budget of L1 finished 8th in the ranking. For the second season in its history in the elite, the Auvergne club was again able to count on the miracles of its coach Pascal Gastien. Clermont "does not burn the steps", he stressed to us three months earlier, and has (almost) not renounced its principles of offensive play. The damaging departures last summer (Bayo, Abdul Samed, Zedadka...) were never felt. There are even 8 wins in the last 10 games. The success of work and patience.


Uneven Olympics

What do Lyon and Marseille have in common? They celebrate their 11th birthday without a trophy. A heresy for two monuments of French football. OM is very critical for its failure in the Coupe de France, at home by Annecy (2-2, 6-7 on penalties) after having taken out the Parisian favorite (2-1). OL are no less so, beaten by Nantes yet in bad shape in the semi-final (1-0).

SEE ALSO – The summary of Nantes-Lyon and the splendid goal of Blas in the semi-final of the Coupe de France (1-0)

And it's not like the Olympics have caught up elsewhere. Marseille finished last in their group in the Champions League and, in the league, saw Lens put him in the rear-view mirror with the manner. In Lyon, Laurent Blanc discovered a construction site. The beautiful farewell to Jean-Michel Aulas does not erase a new season failed and without Europe at the end.

Nice and Ineos: a project? What project?

In four years at the head of OGC Nice, the petrochemical group Ineos, played by Jim Ratcliffe, has skimmed five coaches... and surely a sixth in a handful of days, because Didier Digard is on an ejection seat. Last summer, Ratcliffe hailed Lucien Favre's return to the club because "we like the way he develops his teams and fits perfectly with the vision we have at Ineos". We didn't see anything until he was sacked in early January. We liked the second wind driven by Digard, who withered at the end of the season. Released ingloriously by Basel in the quarter-finals of the Conference Europa League, Nice will not be European next year. Flashback.

Angers lost control

We would have liked for the SCO, which came close to the lowest total of points in the history of the elite, that the season ended earlier. For some of his characters, we wish we had never seen them. No one has talked as much about Angers as with his coach Abdel Bouhazama and his hallucinating remarks about women. He then minimized the accusation of sexual assault against his player Ilyes Chetti, who admitted the facts.

See alsoCatastrophic results, resignation of the president, accusations of sexual assault... Story of a Ligue 1 season in hell at Angers

At the end of March, Saïd Chabane, president and owner of the club for a decade, resigned. He had been accused by 3 women of sexual assault in 2020 and will appear in court in June. In early April, he was taken into custody on suspicion of money laundering. With him, the SCO, symbol of stability since its return to L1 in 2015, will have collapsed even faster than it has been erected.

The rainbow jersey is still debated

Praising love and tolerance for the duration of a match is understood by 99% of French football. A handful of players refused, in May, to wear a rainbow flocking jersey, symbol of the fight against LGBTphobia. Beyond these refusals, which are sometimes explained by pressure in the country on the player and the family, as for the Algerian Mostafa Mohamed, the debates aroused have hit the mark.

From the back, Lille Alexsandro, José Fonte and Benjamin André with the rainbow flocking against Monaco. Norbert Scanella / PANORAMIC

Éric Roy, coach of Brest, castigated... the timing of this campaign, which would have distorted the fight for maintenance. "It's just to say that we must fight homophobia because there are injustices, people who are beaten, killed because they are homosexual," summed up perfectly the midfielder of OM, Valentin Rongier. Because like the Vinicius case in Spain, football can, and must, see beyond the tip of its nose.

Coaches' Waltz and Kleenex Football


Football is a reflection of our Kleenex company," Stéphane Moulin, then coach of Angers, told us in 2019. With the move to 18 clubs in L1 that involved four relegations this season, clubs have never treated their coaches so much like disposable handkerchiefs. 12 have been removed from office. Angers and Montpellier even did it twice. It's less about building, but more about pressing all the buttons on the machine and hoping it works. In the lot, there is Troyes, who sacked Bruno Irles when the team was 13th. His successor, Australian Patrick Kisnorbo, was chosen by the City Group, owner of ESTAC. The Trojans have not won any of their last 19 matches and will return to L2. Well done...

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-06-04

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