September 2014 – The Run Continues.
After a spectacular start to our season, we had another important month ahead of ourselves, with the league action heating up and the Europa League Group Stage games getting underway. In fact, we had one big game coming up, one which would mean so much to the fans, a derby encounter with AS Saint-Etienne.
Our first game this month was against OGC Nice in Ligue 1. We turned in yet another fantastic attacking display, with the outcome a 5-2 result in our favour. The hosts did take a shock lead early into the game but we soon hit back with goals on our end coming from Jimmy Briand, Alexandre Lacazette, two from Yoann Gourcuff with won via the penalty spot and Tom Ince.
The next match was another league fixture, this time against Stade Malherbe Caen. Yet again though we were dominant throughout, cruising to a 4-1 win. It could have been all so different with Maxime Gonalons red card reducing us to 10 men inside 20 minutes, but despite our disadvantage we still managed to rise above our opponents. Samuel Umtiti found the net first, with Tom Ince, Milan Bisevac and Alexandre Lacaztte adding to the lead later on with the visitors getting a consolation towards the end of the 90 minutes.
We were in European action, afterwards, with our first game of the Europa League Group Stage coming with a trip to Slovan Liberec. Although we were comfortable within the game, it would have been expected that we win by a bigger margin, with a 2-0 victory all we could muster. Goals came courtesy of Alexandre Lacazette and Yassine Benzia, and it was still a good three points to get regardless of the score line. There was still bad news to come out of the game though with Lacazette sustaining an injury and thus ruling him out for the next two games.
The loss of Lacazette proved to be a massive blow in our return to the league, against Montpellier. We were able to create plenty of opportunities, but without our star man we lacked the cutting edge to tuck away these chances. The game eventually finished scoreless, however considering our opponents are still a good side and we were playing away this was still a fairly good results. Our winning streak does end, but our unbeaten run continues.
Undoubtedly the biggest game of the month was thereafter, the derby game, against AS Saint-Etienne. Once again, Lacazette was unavailable through injury, but thankfully we still had enough about ourselves here to come away with a 2-1 win. A Clement Grenier goal and an own goal from Moustapha Bayal own goal gave our fans the bragging rights, while shaming Les Verts.
Finally, to conclude September, we were up against SC Bastia. With the return of Alexandre Lacazette, the side was definitely given a boost for the Ligue 1 fixture, and once again he proved his class as well as how much we really did miss him. Yes, Alexandre Lacazette found the net, as did Yoann Gourcuff to help us to a 2-1 victory.
Just as after the end of August, we are top dogs in the league at the moment, leading the pack at 1st place. As expected, Paris Saint Germain have climbed towards the top of the table, currently trailing us in by just two points in 2nd place.
Player of the Month.
Even with him missing two games in the month through injury, Alexandre Lacazette still claims the Player of the Month award for September. 4 goals in 4 games once again once again highlights his clinical ability in front of goal, if anyone else needed convincing yet. The first game without him was a 0-0 draw, and as soon as he returned he was back to score a goal, just showing what a key player to our side he is. He is key to the future at the club and especially any glory we are to have this season, will all rely on this man.
So, the run continues, we remain unbeaten in all competitions. We could have still been on a winning streak, but the loss of Alexandre Lacazette against Montpellier was what cost us, with the side clearly lacking his goal scoring talent in that 0-0 draw. Nonetheless, he was still on fire once again and the team is also in a strong position as we close the month. PSG are hot on our tails in the league, but I am confident we can stay strong at the top of the league, as well as compete at a high level in the Europa League.