Rongier the ace ahead of PSG stars Verratti & Nkunku – the Ligue 1 Performance Index

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The Nantes player saw off the likes of Marco Verratti and Christopher Nkunku to achieve the best score in the whole of the league

It’s been a complicated time for Nantes, with the sad passing of Emiliano Sala, their top scorer this season, coinciding with a difficult run of form that has seen them drop down the Ligue 1 standings.

On Sunday, though, they pushed 10 points clear of immediate danger with a 1-0 win over Bordeaux in the Derby d’Atlantique.

Nicolas Pallois was the scorer of the winning goal in the game, smashing home a terrific back-post volley early in the second half, but it was Valentin Rongier who was the star of the show for the home side.

Indeed, the midfielder played with such quality that he finished top of the Ligue 1 Opta Performance Index this week – a measure of how well each player in the division played, scored out of 100.

Rongier, who was the metronome of their midfield, touching the ball 62 times and winning 16 tackles on top of his assist for the goal, finished up with a score of 94.9 – better than any other player in the league.

Nantes’ margin of victory would surely have been far greater had it not been for Benoit Costil, who saved numerous shots and performed so strongly he made it into this week’s list in 10th place.

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Coming in second, meanwhile, was Reims attacker Remi Oudin. Promoted from Ligue 2 last season, the Champagne club have enjoyed a remarkable campaign under the guidance of David Guion as they challenge for a European spot.

That unlikely push was aided on Sunday with a superb 4-2 victory against Montpellier away from home in which their attack took the spotlight.

Oudin proved to be their ace, blasting home the levelling goal after being set up by January signing Arber Zeneli, then grabbing the third after the teams had exchanged goals. It was his eighth of the season in the league.

Victory was capped by Pablo Chavarria’s return from a serious facial injury. His smart volley after coming off the bench helped him to eighth in the standings this week.

Montpellier did not go unrepresented, with Gaetan Laborde making the cut in fifth place thanks to his second-half goal.

Completing the podium, meanwhile, is Christopher Nkunku of Paris Saint-Germain, whose push to be given greater game time under Thomas Tuchel received a boost with a fine display from the outset against Nimes on Saturday.

He opened the scoring at Parc des Princes with a lovely opening goal. Timing his run beyond the forward perfectly, he broke the offside trap to latch onto a lobbed pass from Marco Verratti before taking the ball down on his first touch and sweeping it into the net on the half volley on his second.

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Nkunku then laid on Kylian Mbappe’s late contribution, winning possession in the midfield before unleashing the speedster on the break as the visitors overcommitted forward at a corner.

He finished on a score of 90.1 and was joined in the Top 10 by Verratti, whose use of the ball after coming back from injury has been exceptional.

Rounding out the Top 10 for the week are Serhou Guirassy, who scored a vital goal as Amiens claimed a 1-0 home win over Nice to give themselves breathing space in the relegation battle, Rony Lopes, who likewise contributed crucially for Monaco, and Strasbourg wing-back Anthony Goncalves, who notched as his team secured a fine 1-1 Friday draw with Lille.

Next weekend, PSG hope to have Edinson Cavani back in tow for a trip to Caen, while the race for the top three will heat up further as Lyon host Toulouse and Marseille tackle Saint-Etienne on Sunday night.

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