As the Ligue 1 season takes a brief hiatus for an international break, we at Opta have decided this was a good time to delve into our data and bring you the best stats and facts. From passes in Paris to goals in Monaco and a former Barcelona man seeing more of the ball than anyone in recorded history, here are 13 of the best facts from the season so far.
1. Paris Saint-Germain became the first team to attempt at least 1,000 passes in a Ligue 1 game since this data has been collected (since 2006-07).
On the opening day of the season, defending champions PSG – under the watch of new boss Luis Enrique – tried to pass their way through Lorient, attempting 1,001 passes in total, completing 939 of them. It didn’t work though, and PSG drew 0-0.
Becoming the inaugural members of the 1,000-passes-attempted club is the real quiz though, right?
2. PSG have an average possession of 70.3% in Ligue 1 this season and a 90.9% passing accuracy, both the highest share for a team in a single season since data collection began (2006-07).
Following on from that pass-terclass, PSG have continued to keep as much possession as possible under Enrique, which is particularly notable considering the metronomic Marco Verratti’s move away in September. It hasn’t yet paid off as they sit in third after winning just four of their eight league games so far. Having that much possession requires patience, though, which could end up being a metaphor for their season.
3. Seven-time Ligue 1 champions Lyon have just three points after eight Ligue 1 games this season (D3 L5). It is their lowest tally at this stage and the first time in their Ligue 1 history they have not won any of their first eight matches.
If it has been an underwhelming start for PSG, it has been a dreadful one for Lyon. They sit second from bottom in Ligue 1, only above Clermont Foot who have a game in hand. Laurent Blanc was replaced as manager by Fabio Grosso last month, but little has changed so far.
4. In Lorient’s 3-3 draw with Lyon on 8 October, Eli Junior Kroupi became the third-youngest player to score a brace in a Ligue 1 game in 75 years, aged just 17 years and 107 days.
Kroupi has three goals in his last three Ligue 1 appearances, having not scored in his first five. His father, Eli Kroupi, took 25 games to reach three goals in the French top flight.
5. More than half of the players who have appeared for Monaco in Ligue 1 this season have scored at least one goal.
It has been an excellent start to the 2023-24 campaign for Monaco, who lead the way in Ligue 1. A remarkable 10 different players have found the net so far out of the 19 used (53%), the highest percentage in the top five European leagues.
6. Monaco are the first team since Lens in 1976-77 to score more than 20 goals and concede more than 10 in the first eight matches of a Ligue 1 season.
Adi Hütter has hit the ground running as Monaco boss, and their games are as exciting to watch as anyone’s in Europe right now. There have been 32 goals in their eight league games so far, with Monaco scoring 21 and conceding 11.
7. Wissam Ben Yedder became the 21st player to score 150 Ligue 1 goals, and just the second this century after Kylian Mbappé (171).
The 33-year-old Monaco striker is arguably one of the most underrated in Europe, and joined an exclusive club when he scored against Reims on 7 October. His 150 goals are split between 63 with Toulouse and 87 so far with Monaco, having had a spell at Sevilla in between.
8. Marcin Bulka became only the third goalkeeper to save two penalties in the same Ligue 1 game since Opta began collecting this data (2006-07).
Against league leaders Monaco on 22 September, the Polish stopper saved two penalties, helping Nice to secure a 1-0 victory at the Stade Louis-II. The only two previous goalkeepers to do so were Cédric Carrasso for Bordeaux against Montpellier in March 2010 and Nicolas Puydebois for Strasbourg against Marseille in May 2008.
9. Iliman Ndiaye scored after 31 seconds against Monaco on 30 September, the fastest goal for Marseille in Ligue 1 since André-Pierre Gignac at Evian TG in September 2014 (20 seconds).
The former Sheffield United attacker has taken well to life at the Stade Vélodrome, with one goal and two assists in his first eight Ligue 1 appearances for Marseille (five starts). That goal came in double-quick time as he got on the end of a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cross to score after just 31 seconds. He somewhat mishit his shot, but the ball still found its way past Monaco goalkeeper Philipp Köhn.
Ndiaye assisted Samuel Gigot just 17 minutes later to put Marseille 2-1 up, but they ultimately went on to lose the game 3-2.
10. In their 3-3 draw with Monaco, Nantes scored three goals from only three shots, the first time a team has had a 100% conversion rate in a Ligue 1 game having had at least three shots since this data has been collected (2006-07).
Another stat involving Monaco, on a day when they could have done with their opponents being at least slightly profligate with their finishing. Nantes’ goals came from Mostafa Mohamed (two, including a penalty) and Jean-Charles Castelletto. Metz scored four goals from four shots against Lorient in 2021 but one of those was an own goal.
11. Jean-Clair Todibo set the new highest tallies in a Ligue 1 game for both touches and passes since Opta began collecting that data in 2006-07, having 190 touches and making 181 passes for Nice vs Metz on 7 October.
The former Barcelona defender beat a record for touches in a Ligue 1 game that had previously belonged to Jean Michaël Seri, also from Nice, against Angers on 14 May 2017 (184). Todibo also set the new highest pass tally in the French top flight since that data has been collected (overtaking Thiago Motta’s 164 for PSG vs Bastia on 8 January 2016).
12. Three goalkeepers have recorded at least 10 saves in a Ligue 1 game this season, a feat that was only achieved twice over the entire 2022-23 campaign.
What made this even more remarkable is that it happened over three consecutive weeks. First, Alexandre Oukidja made 10 saves for Metz against Lens on 16 September, then Anthony Lopes did the same for Lyon against Brest on 23 September, before Mory Diaw also did so for Clermont against PSG on 30 September.
13. Marquinhos has set a new record of wins in all competitions with PSG (297, Marco Verratti had 295) and has tied with Verratti for the second-most games for PSG in all competitions (416, behind only Jean-Marc Pilorget’s 435).
The PSG captain beat Verratti’s win record in the recent 4-0 win over Marseille, before equalling his appearance total in the 3-1 win at Nice last time out.