Lopez outshines Pepe and Draxler – the Ligue 1 Performance Index

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The diminutive midfielder was on the scoresheet for Marseille and was the top man in Le Championnat over the weekend

Marseille might have had an evening that ended in frustration as they were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against Monaco, but Rudi Garcia’s side ended the weekend with Ligue 1’s outstanding player.

Young central midfielder Maxime Lopez caught the eye when he opened the scoring with a sizzling low shot that picked out the bottom corner of the net, and his excellent all-round performance was reflected in the 97.8 score he registered on the Opta Performance Index.

The Index ranks the form of each player in Ligue 1 out of a score of 100 in every match, and it was the 21-year-old Frenchman who came out on top for Round 20.

He touched the ball an incredible 105 times over the course of the match and was the midfield fulcrum for his side as they faced a Monaco team that was much improved from their displays before Christmas.

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Coming in second is the familiar figure of Nicolas Pepe, who was once again outstanding as Lille got back to winning ways with a 3-1 away win against Caen. He mustered an impressive score of 95.0.

The 23-year-old’s excellent form shows no sign of relenting, displaying fine movement, pace and a keen eye for goal to open the scoring after just eight minutes at Stade Michel-d’Ornano on Friday night. His highlights were not finished there, though, as he set up Rafael Leao for Lille’s second then got another assist for Luiz Araujo in stoppage time, helping his team-mate climb to eighth on the Index for this week.

Pepe, meanwhile, has committed himself to Lille until at least the end of the season, which can only be good news as they fight for a Champions League spot.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Julian Draxler stormed into third place in the standings. The Germany international was deployed in a central midfield role this week and turned in a fine display in the centre of the park as PSG scored three second-half goals to shrug off Amiens 3-0 away from home.

Draxler chalked up an assist, setting up Marquinhos to score the third for Thomas Tuchel’s men as they further cemented themselves atop the table, despite being without Neymar, who was nursing a slight knee problem.

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And no top 10 would be complete without Kylian Mbappe, whose electric goalscoring form continued at Stade de la Licorne as he grabbed his side’s second – his 14th of the Ligue 1 campaign, surpassing last season’s total of 13 already. He was a livewire throughout and earned a score of 88.9 on the Index.

Two Strasbourg players also made it onto the ranking this week thanks to their 3-1 away win in Toulouse. Midfielder Ibrahima Sissoko helped anchor that fine performance, with the 21-year-old heading home from a corner to seal the points. He finished fourth in the ranking, while striker Ludovic Ajorque, whose low finish had opened the scoring, came ninth.

Rennes, meanwhile, have been one of the league’s form sides since the start of December, when Nicolas Stephan took charge, and they made it four wins in succession thanks to a derby success away to Nantes. Damien Da Silva got the only goal of that game in the first half then proceeded to turn in a solid defensive display that allowed him to finish fifth.

Pablo Chavarria returned from a lengthy period out due to injury to impress against Lyon in a 1-1 draw, with the Argentine centre-forward bagging his third goal of the season. He finished sixth in the ranking.

Rounding off the top 10 is Wahbi Khazri, who helped Saint-Etienne defeat Guingamp 1-0 on Saturday. His early free-kick was the difference between the sides and he is now up to 10 league goals for the season, which is more than he has managed at any level previously.

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