Angers striker Wilfried Kanga bounced back from disappointment in the most impressive way possible at the weekend, scoring twice as he led his side to a stunning 2-1 success away to in-form Strasbourg.
He silenced the notoriously noisy Stade de la Meinau with an accurate first-half header to give his side the lead and after the break added a second with a shot into the corner.
His contribution was such that he finished the weekend with the highest score on the Opta Performance Index, which measures the performance of each player in Ligue 1 and offers them a mark out of 100.
The 20-year-old forward earned a mark of 98.2 for scoring his first goals of the season – and the first he has ever mustered in the top flight.
“I was really annoyed but everyone kept my spirits up in the dressing room,” he said, reflecting on the previous week’s disappointment.
“This week at training, I was always really on edge, I was obsessed with scoring goals!”
And his hard work paid off as he proved the league’s outstanding player, running out ahead of Sanjin Prcic, who was a direct opponent at the weekend.
The Bosnia international midfielder belatedly got a goal back for Strasbourg in that loss, firing through a forest of legs to give Racing late hope, but it was also his shrewd use of the ball in the midfield that gave him a score of 96.8.
Completing the podium is Sada Thioub, who leads a flood of Nimes players in the Top 10 after they staged an incredible comeback to beat Nantes 4-2 on an afternoon upon which their hosts were mourning the passing of Emiliano Sala.
It was a game that had started so positively for Vahid Halilhodzic’s side as Kalifa Coulibaly, who finished 10th on the Ranking this week, gave them the lead with a powerful header. Although they added another, Nimes showed how formidable they can be offensively after the break.
Thioub was the man who was their most dangerous performer after coming on in the 61st minute.
After Nimes had drawn level, he played a critical role as Jordan Ferri put the guests ahead at the second attempt before going on a super solo raid late on to wrap the game up.
Ferri and Antonin Bobichon, who got the equaliser with an outrageous looping effort from the edge of the box, also finished in the Top 5, while Baptiste Guillaume snuck into ninth after scoring Nimes’ opener.
Elsewhere, Lille wunderkind Rafael Leao continued his stunning form against Guingamp. The 18-year-old scored his fifth goal in six Ligue 1 games by opening the scoring early in the second half, firing home from the penalty spot against being set up by Nicolas Pepe. Earlier, he had hit the post.
Another man in red-hot form is Gelson Martins and it was little surprise to see the Monaco star in the Top 10. He got his first goal for the club in a 2-2 draw against Montpellier and also played a major hand in setting up Radamel Falcao’s late strike, which seemed to have won his side the game.
Saint-Etienne will try to bounce back next weekend when they face PSG in the weekend’s showcase match, while other highlights including Lyon’s hosting of Guingamp, Nantes’ trip to Monaco and Lille against Montpellier at Stade Pierre Mauroy.