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Cavani fires his way to the top – the Ligue 1 Performance Index

13:00 EAT 29/01/2019
Edinson Cavani PSG Strasbourg Coupe de France 23012019
The Paris Saint-Germain striker was on target twice against Rennes at the weekend, sealing his spot as the league's outstanding performer
Paris Saint-Germain’s dominance in Ligue 1 continued on Sunday as they produced a clinical performance to defeat Rennes 4-1 at Parc des Princes.

Edinson Cavani was the star of the show, scoring twice and turning in an exemplary display of centre-forward play over the course of the game. The opening goal was particularly pleasing, with the Uruguay international’s dummy setting free Angel Di Maria down the left. His cross was pinpoint, picking out the run of the striker, who was left with a free header at close range.

His second was a rather more straightforward effort, tapping home after being set up by Kylian Mbappe.

Cavani’s contribution was so strong that he tops this week's Ligue 1 Performance Index, which measures how well each player in the league plays out of 100. With a score of 95.5, Cavani has topped the charts having finished second behind Mbappe last weekend.

Mbappe is another to make consecutive top-10 appearances, coming in seventh this week thanks to a goal and an assist.

Meanwhile, a PSG hat-trick in this elite bunch is completed by Di Maria, who had a fine game out wide. The Argentine found the net with a trademark dinked finished, which was the highlight of his evening.

Coming in second this week was Lille forward Nicolas Pepe, who provided yet another virtuoso display for Christophe Galtier’s side as they claimed a 2-1 victory over Marseille away from home. Pepe opened the scoring from the penalty spot then added a second late on as LOSC picked up three important points to cement themselves in second.

The match was also notable for the return of Mario Balotelli to Ligue 1 action. Signed from Nice earlier this week, the Italian came off the bench and made a tremendous difference to Marseille’s attack, grabbing his first goal of the season with one of the final touches of the ball. There were very positive signs for Super Mario, whose cameo has placed him at sixth in the standings this week.

His former team-mate at Nice, Allan Saint-Maximin, is the man who completes the podium, having run Nimes ragged on Saturday as Patrick Vieira’s men kept up their push for European football with a 2-0 victory. Saint-Maximin was, of course, on the scoresheet.

Nice’s chief strength this season has been their defensive work, with goalkeeper Walter Benitez in particularly impressive form for much of the campaign, and that was emphasised as his score of 88.9 carried him to fifth in the rankings this week.

He was not, however, the league’s outstanding goalkeeper, with Regis Gurtner taking that prize. The Amiens shot-stopper became the first keeper to make 10 saves in a game this season as his team went down 1-0 at home against Lyon on Sunday.

Amiens remain close to the relegation spots, despite Monaco and bottom club Guingamp both losing. The principality men suffered a terribly damaging loss at Dijon, where Naim Sliti built on his Coupe de France hat-trick against Saint-Etienne by putting the 2017 champions to the sword. His display was worthy of ninth in the ranking.

Gaetan Laborde is the player to round things out this week, with the Montpellier striker on target as they beat Caen 2-0 at home to keep their European aspirations alive.

Next weekend kicks off with an interesting duel between Lille and Nice in the north and concludes with Lyon hosting Paris Saint-Germain in the headline match of the weekend.