Lionel (Leo) MESSI of PSG and Kylian MBAPPE of PSG during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Olympique Lyonnais (OL) at Parc des Princes Stadium on April 02, 2023 in Paris, France.

The crazy Ligue 1 table since the World Cup: PSG in freefall…

When the Ligue 1 season took its mid-season break for the Qatar World Cup in November, it looked as though Paris Saint-Germain were cruising to yet another league title. Things have changed dramatically since then.

Christophe Galtier, having led Lille to Ligue 1 glory in 2020-21, is the only manager to have denied PSG the league title in the last five years.

Now in the PSG hot seat, in the early months of this season Galtier was being talked up as the man who was finally able to get their lavishly-assembled squad clicking. Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were in scintillating form prior to Christmas.

Messi and Mbappe, in particular, carried that stellar form into the World Cup with their respective countries. Messi lifted football’s most prestigious trophy in Qatar and was named the tournament’s best player, while Mbappe ended up runner-up and top scorer after notching a hat-trick in the final.

However, the pair – plus Neymar, who is out for the rest of the season – have struggled to maintain such lofty standards after returning to club action.

PSG put up limp resistance as they were beaten home and away by Bayern Munich in the Champions League Round of 16, while they were eliminated from the Coupe de France by old foes Marseille.

They’ve now lost six of their last 10 matches in all competitions and their grip on the Ligue 1 top spot is increasingly under threat. After back-to-back home defeats to Rennes and Lyon, their lead at the top has been cut to just six points.

The reigning champions should be able to see it through from here, but if they continue in this vein of form until the end of the season, they may well get overtaken.

Monaco, Marseille, Reims and Lille have all taken more points since the season resumed than Galtier’s ailing side.

It’s worth noting that form sides Marseille and Monaco are six and seven points behind PSG, respectively. Surprise package Lens are also only six points behind, but they’ve also struggled for consistency since the season got back underway.

At the other end of the post-World Cup table, Angers are yet to win, having suffered 11 defeats and three draws from their last 14 outings, and they look set to drop like a stone.

Here’s how the Ligue 1 table shapes up since the season resumed on December 27th. Note: All teams have played 14 games.

1. Monaco – 30pts, +13 GD
2. Marseille – 30pts, +12 GD
3. Reims – 29pts, + 16 GD
4. Lille – 26pts, +13 GD
5. Nice – 25pts, +14 GD
6. Paris Saint-Germain – 25pts, +5 GD
7. Lens – 24pts, +11 GD
8. Lyon – 23pts, +7 GD
9. Montpellier – 23pts, +2 GD
10. Toulouse – 19pts, 0 GD
11. Rennes – 19pts, 0 GD
12. Clermont Foot – 18pts, -8 GD
13. Nantes – 17pts, -3 GD
14. Lorient – 16pts, -3 GD
15. Strasbourg – 15pts, -4 GD
16. Brest – 14pts, -2 GD
17. Auxerre – 13pts, -10 GD
18. AC Ajaccio – 9pts, -21 GD
19. Troyes – 7pts, -19 GD
20. Angers – 3pts, -23 GD

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