Ligue 1 closes for business on Sunday, for two weeks at least, providing an opportunity to make a brief assessment of the individuals who have impressed so far.
Goal.com International brings you our XI who have made the most lasting impression in a positive sense. It is a squad dominated by the teams occupying the top spots in the table, in the shape of Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique Lyonnais.
In goal, Salvatore Sirigu has been the last line of protection to the sternest defence in the league, with PSG shipping just 12 goals to date.
Team-mate Thiago Silva has also been excellent. Having arrived from AC Milan during the summer, the Brazil international has not taken long to adapt to life in France. He has been totally dominant and has taken the captain’s armband. Alongside him is Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Though defending champions Montpellier have failed to produce the same level they managed last season, the France international has maintained his form. At right-back, Toulouse’s Serge Aurier is selected. He is not only regular, but has a variety of offensive abilities valuable to a team not known for their attacking strength. On the opposite side is Bordeaux’s Benoit Tremoulinas, who has bounced back well after a lacklustre previous campaign to shine with his forward forays.
In midfield, it is Lyon players who dominate. The Rhone Valley side have enjoyed a very satisfying start to the campaign, and much of this owes to the performance of their defensive midfielders, Maxime Gonalons and Steed Malbranque. The former, who is still at the beginning of his career, has confirmed all of the hype surrounding his potential, while the latter has caught everyone by surprise following a year out of the game. A former Premier League star, he has rekindled his dream of playing for the national side. Completing the midfield three is Blaise Matuidi, the only Frenchman regularly playing for a cosmopolitan PSG side. The former Saint-Etienne man continues to earn plaudits from far and wide, and has even been compared to Claude Makelele.
Further forward, the selection of Zlatan Ibrahimovic is an obvious one. With his 17 goals, the Sweden international has simply taken Ligue 1 by storm. The same thing can be said of Bafetimbi Gomis at Lyon. Close to quitting the club in the summer, the striker has rediscovered his best form, with a stunning performance in a 4-1 win over Olympique de Marseille his standout display. Finally, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completes the XI. The Gabon attacker has been one of les Verts' outstanding performers, even if his goals have dried up in recent weeks.