BALANCE SHEET – Find the Tops and Flops of the sports weekend awarded by the sports editorial staff of Le Figaro.
Djokovic, a sacred champion
Like him or not, everyone agrees that Djokovic is an extraordinary champion. He showed Bercy a sacred resilience, barely two months after the biggest disillusionment of his career. Totally consumed with pressure, he had made it through his US Open final against Daniil Medvedev. Swept in three sets, he had seen his dreams of a calendar Grand Slam soar. Many would have taken a long time to recover from such a disappointment. Not him. After 50 days without competition, he returned to battle.
If he hasn’t always played his best tennis at the Rolex Paris Masters, he reminded us of what a hell of a competitor he could be. Four matches (Monfils had withdrawn in the 8th) and three wins in three sets. With each time the loss of the first. Then, the winning machine starts up. His New York executioner Medvedev paid the price in the final (4-6 6-3 6-3). Djokovic having forced his nature by rushing successfully to the net. Perfect week. The Serb has thus extended his list of records and healed his popularity. Sunday we heard more “Nole, Nole” that of “Daniil, Daniil“. Something to warm the heart of someone who wants to be loved as much as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The XV of France comes out of the clutches of the Pumas
A shock to launch the fall tour. Faced with vengeful Pumas after their defeat against the Blues at the last World Cup. A real crash test for Fabien Galthié’s troop which was certainly jostled, strongly shaken at times, but who did not tremble (29-20). Everything was not perfect, the Jalibert-Ntamack agreement did not work, but the essentials are there.
The Habs won their first reception from a southern nation since the arrival of the new staff. A good omen before rubbing shoulders with the Georgians we know well in Top 14. A simple formality? Not necessarily, it will erase the small slag and gain efficiency to compete with the formidable All Blacks. It is in two weeks but it will come very quickly.
Verstappen in demonstration
Mister 50%. In Mexico, the Dutchman signed his ninth success of the season in eighteen races. Impressive. This victory, he acquired it at the start. Third on the grid, he took off ideally, took advantage of the suction and made a fantastic first braking to get out of the first corner. From that point on, the heavy lifting was done and he just had to cover Lewis Hamilton’s strategy to snatch his 19th career victory. Max Verstappen leaves with 19 points ahead of the Briton from Mexico (the standings here). An almost ideal weekend, also validated by the return of Red Bull to Mercedes to the manufacturers. The Austrians are only one point behind the Germans, also thanks to the third place of Sergio Perez, his third podium in a row.
PSG: Neymar finds color
Neymar Jr is fine, thank you for him. In any case, he’s getting better. Let’s face it, the 29-year-old Brazil international has been worrying in recent weeks. And concentrated a number of reviews. Leonardo found them “unjustified“. They weren’t. It is clear that the trend has been improving for some time. Last Wednesday, in Leipzig (2-2), “Ney” had already shown consistency.
He put it back on Saturday, on the occasion of the success in Bordeaux (2-3), with efficiency as a bonus. A brace for him, his first two goals in the game this season. Two bright paws worthy of a “world class player“, As the Bordeaux president Gérard Lopez underlined, admiringly. “The start was complicated, but we were able to react quickly thanks to Ney, who scored two very beautiful goals, not at all obvious to put», Greets Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe. And the 20-year-old titi added: “He relieved us“. Neymar and the Parisians are more leaders than ever in the Ligue 1 standings after the 13th day.
Rugby: the Blue are attacking hard
Before the Blues dominate the Pumas on Saturday night (29-20), the girls of the XV of France have perfectly launched their autumn tour by currying South Africa (46-3) in Vannes. A real recital of the XV de France feminine, yet revamped and rejuvenated, which scored seven tries against Women Boks, quickly overwhelmed and limited. At the end of the match, the two teams launched into a fiery dance on the lawn of the Rabine. But, for the Blue, the hardest part is yet to come with a double confrontation against New Zealand, world champion: on November 13 in Pau then on November 20 in Castres. An adversary of a whole different caliber.
Paris Basketball, party at home!
If they had won their first Betclic Elite success at Cholet, Paris Basketball players were still waiting to celebrate a victory at the Halle Carpentier. It’s done. And what a victory! The promoted Parisian, red lantern in the standings before the seventh day, won against Elie Okobo (24 points) and the reigning French champion, Asvel (83-79). “A crazy victory“, Ismaël Kamagaté ignited, at the microphone of Sport in France, he who split 16 points. Kyle Allman meanwhile scored 21 points. 15 for Juhann Begarin, drafted by the Boston Celtics last June. Jean-Christophe Prat’s men may have benefited from a little decompression from Villeurbanne, who are turning super in the Euroleague. Still, this victory is theirs. They take the opportunity to give up the position of red lantern in Orléans, while Asvel points to fourth place, a victory for the leader, Boulogne-Levallois, and with the same record as Strasbourg and AS Monaco (5 wins, 2 defeats), beaten Sunday in Bourg-en-Bresse (88-63).
Barça is scuttled … while waiting for Xavi
End of the famine for Barça? Memphis and his teammates believed in it until the end of the stoppage of play and the equalizer of Iago Aspas for Celta Vigo, Saturday, in Vigo (3-3), during the 13th day of La Liga. The former Lyonnais found the net in this meeting, as did Sergi Busquets and Ansu Fati, the latter being out with injury. The bad note of the evening. Not the only one. By leading 3-0 at half-time, the Catalan club thought they had done the hard part. Missed. For their last match under the orders of interim coach Sergi Barjuan, pending the effective taking of office of a certain Xavi Hernandez, the Barcelona were sent back to their doubts with this double from Iago Aspas and this goal from Nolito. FC Barcelona, which remained in three unsuccessful matches in La Liga, remains in ninth place in the standings. Note that Atlético, outgoing champion, also let some points slip away at the end of the match: Antoine Griezmann and company led 3-1 at the end of regulation time before being joined by their hosts from Valencia (3-3 score final).
OL swept away, overwhelmed, humiliated in Rennes
There was no photo Sunday at Roazhon Park. Stade Rennes made short work of Lyon (4-1) at the end of the 13th day of Ligue 1. And again, Anthony Lopes delivered a top flight. Otherwise, the bill could / should have been even higher … “If we were only led 1-0 at half-time, we were lucky, it could have been 4-0 at the break“, Railed Peter Bosz, summing it up as follows:” We were bad “. Demonstration of the men of Bruno Génésio, the former OL coach, with goals signed by Gaëtan Laborde and Hamari Traoré and a double from Adrien Truffert. Lyon saved the honor at the end of the game on the penalty spot, by Lucas Paqueta, but left Brittany with huge doubts after this indigent performance.
In the standings, Rennes (22 pts) now occupies fifth place and comes back on the heels of Lens (2nd, 24 pts), Nice (3rd) and Marseille (4th, 23 pts). The Lyonnais fell to seventh position, with the same number of points as Montpellier (6th, 19 pts), winner in Nice (0-1).
A “nightmare” for Quartararo in Portugal
Fabio Quartararo premiered his world champion title this Sunday on the Algarve Grand Prix circuit. And it did not go as planned … Starting in seventh position, the young (22 years) French never managed to recover and ended up falling on the 20th lap. Abandonment. “We weren’t going fast enough, and on a track like that it’s hard to come back when you don’t qualify. You don’t have to make any mistakes to come back and I’ve made several, including the crash. I don’t know why I fell but that’s how it is, it’s a shame. It’s a race where I could have had fun and in the end it was more of a nightmare than anything elseHe stormed. It was the Italian Francesco Bagnaia, second in the championship, who won this Algarve Grand Prix, the penultimate race of the year.
Stade Français who wins loses
How to lose a match after registering four tries? The Parisians delivered the instructions for use on Saturday in Jean-Bouin. A domination in the game but a chronic indiscipline to offer 21 points to the Montpellier scorers. Who scored at the end of the match their only attempt, that of victory, 27-31. For a two-point defeat (offensive and defensive bonus, a rarity, the previous example dating back to 2019 and a Castres-Toulouse) bitter for the Pink Soldiers. “They fed on our mistakes. We make too many mistakes of children, lamented the Parisian scrum half, Arthur Coville. Today, we do not lose the match against Montpellier, we lose it against us. In attack, we rarely had such good streaks, but in defense, after three playing times, they had a penalty each time. It’s horrible to lose like that.“
Dark Japan in Dublin
In the wake of its World Cup, has Japan taken a step forward? We are entitled to wonder given the drop that the Japanese received on Saturday in Dublin against the XV of Clover (60-5). The Irish were over-motivated and revengeful after their defeat at the last World Cup against the “Cherry Blossoms” (19-12). And Jonathan Sexton’s teammates completely stifled their opponents and scored nine tries! A one-sided match… The Japanese will have to come to terms with the modest Portuguese before facing Scotland, a team they also beat two years ago in their World Cup. A XV du Chardon who will also be over-motivated and vengeful. For a new rout of the Japanese?