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Ligue 1 Performance Index: Verratti masterclass not enough to best Konate

10:55 EAT 09/04/2019
Moussa Konate Amiens 2018-19
The Italian was a maestro for Paris Saint-Germain once more, but it was the Senegal international striker who stole the show this week

Moussa Konate was the outstanding player in Ligue 1 last weekend as his terrific double helped to earn Amiens an unlikely point that gives them a comfortable cushion ahead of the relegation zone.

According to the Opta Index, which measures the performance of every player in the division and gives them a mark out of 100, the Senegal international stood above his peers in France this week with a score of 96.7.

His display was an utterly clinical one as he helped 10-man Amiens recover from a goal down to lead 2-1 and come within a whisker of securing a memorable victory. Only a goal deep in stoppage time denied them as Saint-Etienne snatched a draw.

After 24 minutes, he produced the coolest finish of the weekend when, racing onto a pass from Eddy Gnahore, he sold a dummy to visiting goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier and planted the ball easily into the empty net.

Around the hour he doubled his tally with a predatory finish from close range and Amiens must reflect that if he had not been absent for a long period of the season they would be significantly better off than their current position seven points clear of the bottom three.

Indeed, he has returned seven goals in 17 starts and is only set to fall short of the 13 he managed last term due to those physical problems.

It proved to be a good day for the teams fighting relegation, with Wesley Said the runner up to Konate, having scored 96.5.

His Dijon side had lost eight of their previous nine games and were totally unfancied as they went to Lyon on Friday night. When they conceded in the first minute, their worst fears seemed to be coming true, yet Said rapidly drew them level and after seven minutes had a shot deflect of Marcelo and into the goal, setting up one of the most astonishing results of the season.

A familiar face, meanwhile, came in third, with Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti completing the podium, despite his side’s failure to seal the title against Strasbourg. He played an impressive role alongside fellow central midfielder Leandro Paredes, who has made his Top 10 debut by coming in seventh.

Indeed, the Argentine was the more eye-catching of the duo, with a superb reverse through pass unlocking the visiting defence in the build-up to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s opening goal.

Undoubtedly the match of the weekend was Angers’ 3-3 draw with Rennes, which proved to be a festival of attacking football, packed with unexpected twists. As such, it is fitting that four offensive players from that match have made the grade this week.

Former Arsenal youngster Jeff Reine-Adelaide netted twice for the hosts in that match – his first Ligue 1 goals – to grab a score of 93.7, while coming in behind him was team-mate Stephane Bahoken, who shrugged off an injury problem before the game to score 90.9.

With an identical result, Rennes’ Hatem Ben Arfa was the visitors’ outstanding player, showing all his individual dribbling brilliance in the build-up to his opening goal, before later converting from the penalty spot.

The ex-Newcastle man combined well with Mbaye Niang throughout and it is fitting that the on-loan AC Milan attacker also made the Top 10, sneaking in with a score of 88.7.

Toulouse defender Issiaga Sylla, who headed the only goal of their otherwise forgettable 1-0 win over Nantes, and Monaco forward Stevan Jovetic, who came off the bench to scramble an important draw against Guingamp, round out the elite in this week’s ranking.

There is little doubt that the highlight game next week is Lille’s hosting of Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday, while the stakes are raised further for Lyon, Marseille and Saint-Etienne, who are all still chasing Champions League football next season in what promises to be a devilishly exciting conclusion to the campaign.