Serge Aurier displays all-round game that Arsenal may not be able to resist

Lille

Ivory Coast full-back Serge Aurier scored his fifth goal of the season on Saturday. Enjoying a superb season he is ready for a move to the Premier League.

After Marseille’s score draw against Reims on Friday night, there was a chance for Lille to extend their lead in third early on Saturday. The relegation battle hit new highs in the pressure stakes and Arsenal target Serge Aurier scored his third goal in five games to once again lead Toulouse to all three points in what was an exciting Saturday in Ligue 1.

All recent reports suggest that Arsenal’s Bacary Sagna is set to leave at the end of the season. There is little doubt that Wenger will already have a list of potential replacements in mind, one of them is Toulouse man-mountain, Serge Aurier. The 21-year-old is enjoying a fantastic season, his goal on Saturday was his fifth of the campaign, add in six assists and some rousing defensive displays and you have a defender that can do it all.

According to WhoScored.com he finished last week as Man of the Match in the 3-2 come-back win over Reims, he scored 8.67, this week he scored 8.31, not enough for top honours, but an impressive performance none the same.

Toulouse went into half-time against Rennes 2-0 up, Ola Toivonen’s own goal and a strike from Clement Chantome giving the visitors an impressive lead. Nelson Oliveira would hit back after the hour, but Aurier would secure the two goal cushion on 73 minutes. He popped up on the right side of the box and side-footed the ball past Benoit Costil. He has been much more active on the offensive front this season, and it will help attract suitors, five goals beats his previous season’s best of one. The goal made it three one and Abdoulaye Doucouré’s late strike could only make the score-line look respectable for Rennes.

Lille failed to take advantage of Marseille’s draw against Reims, held 0-0 at home to 15th place Nantes, the away side much happier to share the spoils.

Down at the bottom of the table things are really heating up. Sochaux picked up their sixth win of the season as they beat 12th place Lorient 2-0. Goals from Roy Contout and Stoppila Sunzu moved Les Lionceaux to within five points off safety.

Guingamp came back from 1-0 down to beat bottom side Ajaccio 2-1, Mustapha Yatabare and Claudio Beauvue cancelling out Paul Lasne’s eight minute goal. It moves the newly promoted side onto 35 points, seven clear of danger; they “should” be safe.

Down in the Cote d’Azur, Nice made it two wins from two as Alexy Bosetti’s fifth minute goal and young Neal Maupay’s 72nd minute goal condemned Bastia to their eight away defeat of the season. One win in 15 games on their travels for the Corsican side. Nice up to 10th.

All eyes were on the Parc des Sports in Annecy as 18th place Valenciennes travelled to face Evian in the biggest relegation focused fixture this season. A win for the home side would open up a eighth point lead between them and their opponents. Valenciennes knew that nothing but a win was required in their fight for survival.

Valenciennes only managed three shots on target, but one of them became crucial. After a scramble in the Evian defence, the ball fell to Majeed Waris, the Ghanaian international hit the ball low past ‘keeper Hansen and found the back of the net. That was his sixth goal since joining in January, and he is quickly becoming the savoir of Ariel Jacobs side.

Valenciennes are now two points from safety, and they will hope to build on the confidence from that win, the great escape is still a reality up north.

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