Maxwel Cornet scored a precious double for Lyon in their 3-0 away win over Marseille, which has Bruno Genesio’s side just one win away from Champions League qualification.
Lyon had been held 2-2 by Lille the previous week but took advantage of a slip from Saint-Etienne on Friday to power four points clear of their near neighbours with just two matches of the season remaining.
Cornet, who had gone public this week with his frustration on being a substitute, was handed a start and made his point clear to head coach Bruno Genesio, turning in a decisive display that was so good it has been ranked as the best in Ligue 1 this weekend on the Performance Index, a measure created by Opta that scores every player’s performance out of 100.
The former Metz youth showed a cool head to open the scoring with an angled effort then capped a memorable evening by grabbing a third after Moussa Dembele had appeared from the bench to get a second.
He was given a score of 96.9 on the Index while team-mate Anthony Lopes sneaked into the Top 10 in ninth thanks to his score of 88.3 after a string of extravagant stops.
Meanwhile, the display of Caen’s Faycal Fajr was vital at the other end of the table as he gave the in-form Normandy outfit a precious victory over Reims.
The Morocco midfielder gave a tidy performance in terms of setting the tempo for the game, but it was his terrific goal from a free-kick that really set him apart from the rest.
Moussa Doumbia’s efforts for Reims were not enough to help his team to even a point in a 3-2 defeat, though he was ranked the league’s 10th best player of the week.
Completing the top three this week is Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar. With Kylian Mbappe banned, the Brazilian, playing his final Ligue 1 match of the season before a suspension kicks in, was at his explosive best in a team that was otherwise disappointingly short of ideas.
Everything productive they did going forward flowed through the former Barcelona man, who even executed a superb rainbow flick late in the game, albeit he could not quite keep the ball in play. Of course, he opened the scoring with a diving header in a 2-1 victory.
In the early stages of that game, Angers winger Flavien Tait threatened to upstage the world’s most expensive player. He persistently offered a threat cutting in from the left, though by the time he finally beat Gianluigi Buffon, it was too late to salvage the situation for Stephane Moulin’s side, who are already safe in any case.
Tait, who is likely to move on this summer, ended sixth on the ranking.
He and Neymar have created a Rennes sandwich, with goalkeeper Tomas Koubek and attacker Ismaila Sarr finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
Both players were decisive in their own right, Koubek saving a stoppage-time penalty, which relegated Guingamp, while Sarr scored the opening goal after a long clearance from the Czech shot-stopper in a match that finished 1-1.
A combative performance from Guingamp midfielder Lebogang Phiri saw him end the weekend in eighth, though that is little consolation to the Breton side, who will play Ligue 2 football next term.
The ultra-versatile Renaud Ripart completes the Top 10. He was used as a forward for the second week in succession, having been deployed as a makeshift right-back in recent times, and grabbed the winner against Monaco with a fine effort, leaving the principality side’s Ligue 1’s life again looking fragile.
Monaco’s fixture with Amiens next week promises to be one of the big clashes of the weekend, with Lyon’s hosting of Caen another vital clash.
PSG, meanwhile, face another side facing relegation in the form of Dijon, but the home side will be without a host of stars, including Mbappe, Neymar, Marquinhos and Marco Verratti due to suspension. Could another shock be on the cards?