By Shai Mamou

Always expected at the top of the rankings, Marseille and Paris are finally on top form together in the same time. It is not a no-brainer for the club of the capital, far from its past prestige. But this year, Antoine Kombouaré’s guys seem to be ready. The win versus Toulouse on Saturday (0-2) was very solid and honestly one of the best games of Paris in the past few years. They play as a group and with collective principles rarely seen at the Parc des Princes last year. Sakho, the promising defender, not only scored but also showed he could be the boss of the defense. Erding, heavy-footed since September, proved he could be the efficient striker needed by his team. Paris is 3rd of the rankings and is now expected not to crack under pressure.

Marseille is the title holder but does not play in consequence. Still, the team of Didier Deschamps manages to win, an essential quality for a title pretender. The game versus Nancy (1-0) cannot possibly reassure the fans but proved Marseille had a lot to improve. By the way the only goal in this game should not have been agreed by the referee, hence Rémy committed a foul on the goalkeeper before pushing the ball in the nets. Even if the team is not in its best form yet, I don’t see who can prevent them to keep the trophy. When Lucho, Gignac, Rémy and the rest of the team will start to raise their level, I suppose the difference with the others will be obvious…

The leaders could have done better…

Dimitri Payet of St Etienne rests after their French Ligue 1 soccer match against Marseille in Saint-Etienne October 2, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Pratta (FRANCE – Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

Dimitri Payet of St Etienne . REUTERS/Robert Pratta

Rennes, without a single real striker, took the point of the draw on the pitch of Lens (0-0). If the team is amazingly solid in defense, the fall seems inevitable. Saint-Etienne, defeated in Nice (2-1), showed many signs of weakness, contrary to the past few weeks. “Les Verts” are the good surprise of this season but are now expected everywhere. A place in the top 5 would be great for them. In the same time, Lyon regained some confidence beating Lille, one of their best enemies (3-1) and Bordeaux drowned Auxerre (0-1), proving that the Champion’s League was not such a good thing for the players of Jean Fernandez…

Week 9 results

Nice 2-1 St-Etienne
Montpellier 2-0 Sochaux
Marseille 1-0 Nancy
Caen 0-0 Monaco
Brest 0-0 Arles-Avignon
Auxerre 0-1 Bordeaux
Toulouse 0-2 PSG
Lorient 2-1 Valenciennes
Lens 0-0 Rennes
Lyon 3-1 Lille

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