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The typical French team of the weekend: Nkunku, Giroud and Mbappé end in style

The goalkeeper: Bernardoni keeps ASSE alive

Criticized lately, Paul Bernardoni delivered a performance of choice against Nantes on Saturday (1-1) to save ASSE from a direct descent into Ligue 2. Without three big parades, including two duels won against Randal Kolo Muani (48th and 66th) who prevented Nantes from making the break, the Greens would have sunk. The 25-year-old goalkeeper, who arrived from Angers in January, was only beaten from the penalty spot by Ludovic Blas in the 23rd. He will have to repeat this performance during the double confrontation against Auxerre in the play-off to definitively maintain Saint-Étienne.

The typical French team for the weekend of May 21 and 22, 2022.

The defenders: Rongier and Kamara in the oven and at the mill

Valentin Ronnier was crucial in qualifying OM for the Champions League next season. Aligned as a piston in the right lane against Strasbourg (4-0) in a final for Europe, his versatility was again essential for Jorge Sampaoli’s team. The former Nantes player made incredible efforts, in the offensive and defensive phases. Even if he did not score, he was involved in the first and fourth goals (32nd, 90 + 3). And behind, OM did not crack.

He was not playing in his usual position, but his presence in defense did Marseille a lot of good. Boubacar Kamara played as a libero in the defensive phase, then came to insert himself in the middle when OM had the ball. As often, his reading of the game allowed him to disrupt Strasbourg transmissions. He managed his tough duel with Ajorque very well and brought a lot of serenity. A good omen before honoring his first summons with the France team for the four matches of the League of Nations of the Blues in June.

Boubacar Kamara has announced that he is leaving OM at the end of the season.  (F. Porcu/The Team)

Boubacar Kamara has announced that he is leaving OM at the end of the season. (F. Porcu/The Team)

Back in shape after his serious injury last summer, Wesley Fofana plays a leading role in the defense of Leicester, wide winner of Southampton to conclude its season (4-1). The former Stéphanois was the player who recovered the most balls (10) and made the most clearances (7/7) of his entire team. He also had four tackles and had the best completion percentage (86.8%) among Foxes defensemen.

If he did not burst the screen during the draw between Rennes and Lille on Saturday evening (2-2), Adrian Truffert played a crucial role in the qualification of the Bretons in the Europa League after additional time. His perfect cross from the left side offered the equalizing goal to Serhou Guirassy (90 + 2). An essential caviar, while Stade Rennais was virtually relegated to fifth place in Ligue 1 and downgraded to the Europa League Conference. In addition to this decisive contribution, the international hope was bleeding defensively, with in particular four successful tackles and four interceptions, which made him the best Rennais in the two categories.

Midfielders: Nkunku ends on a title

The former FC Nantes midfielder, Valentin Eysseric, had a full match with his Turkish club Kasimpasa against Altay Izmir (4-2), during a 38th and last day of the Championship without challenge but spectacular. He scored twice (his 4th and 5th goals of the season in 25 starts) and delivered an assist, his seventh, to Umut Bozok, another former Ligue 1 resident.

Arrived at the beginning of March in La Liga, Clement Grenier had only played 38 minutes with Mallorca before the decisive trip to Osasuna on Sunday evening. But the former Lyonnais shone at the best of times. Entering after the hour mark, the midfielder played a leading role in the victory synonymous with maintaining his new club (2-0). On the lookout in the penalty area, Grenier scored the break goal that definitively ensured Mallorca to stay in La Liga.

He still carried RB Leipzig in the German Cup final against Freiburg (1-1, 4-2 on tab). Voted best player in the Bundesliga, Christopher Nkunku guided his team to a first major title in history thanks to his equalizer in the 76th minute. It was his 35th goal in all competitions this season. In extra time, Leipzig resisted Freiburg to win on penalties. And Nkunku succeeded in his attempt, of course. The young French international could not have completed his exceptional season better.

Christopher Nkunku won the German Cup with Leipzig.  (M. Weber/Sports Press)

Christopher Nkunku won the German Cup with Leipzig. (M. Weber/Sports Press)

The attackers: incandescent Mbappé, eternal Giroud

Kylian Mbappe celebrated his contract extension with PSG as it should. Two goals by taking the depth (25th and 28th) and a third by stealing the ball from Kouyaté (50th) largely contributed to building the large victory of his team against Metz (5-0), in a euphoric Parc des Princes. He missed the quadruple on the hour mark, his shot crashing into Caillard’s post. Mbappé secured his title as top scorer in Ligue 1 (28 goals), after that of best passer. An unprecedented double.

In line with his last successful performances, Sekou Mara showed fighting spirit to allow Bordeaux to win in Brest (4-2). His activity, both in pressing and in calls, made the difference. But it was above all with his first double in Ligue 1 (32nd, 72nd) that the 19-year-old Girondine nugget stood out. It is undoubtedly the only positive point of the nightmarish end of the season for the Girondins.

Olivier Giroud's double in the first period launched the Milanese towards the title of champion.  (A. Mariani/Sports Press)

Olivier Giroud’s double in the first period launched the Milanese towards the title of champion. (A. Mariani/Sports Press)

Olivier Giroud has struck again, and at the best time. The French striker was essential in AC Milan’s victory over Sassuolo (3-0) which offered the 19th Italian championship title to the Rossoneri. He scored twice in the first period to put the Lombards on the road to victory (17th, 32nd). Two goals from a pure surface attacker, including one from a left foot shot between the legs of Ferrari and then Consigli. The 2018 world champion has scored 11 goals, the best total of the Milan squad tied with Rafael Leao, in 29 Serie A appearances this season.

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