The Ligue 1 season may only be four weeks old, but there is already a lot to be made of the start to the 2013/14 season.
This was billed as the most exciting Ligue 1 campaign of recent years with four teams in with a decent chance of winning the title. And it certainly has been an exciting start.
Monaco exceeding expectations
Despite splashing cash throughout the transfer window, Monaco were not most people's favourites to actually win the Ligue 1 title in their first year back in the top flight. Instead, they were expected to challenge for and claim a Champions League place in this year of transition.
They have collected ten points from four games, though, and sit top of the table after beating Marseille in an impressive 2-1 away win at the Marseille Vélodrome. Despite the home side leading at the break, Monaco went away with all three points thanks to goals from Radamel Falcao and Emmanuel Riviere to end Marseille's 100% start to the season.
Claudio Ranieri will have been thoroughly impressed with his side's performances, especially going forward, and must be delighted to go into the first international break with his team on top.
Falcao being overshadowed
While Falcao was brought in for a price estimated to be around €60m, Emmanuel Riviere was brought in for just €4m in January and helped the side earn promotion to Ligue 1.
With his five goals from four matches, Riviere leads not only his expensive teammate on the scoring charts, but also the whole of the division. One of Falcao's three goals even came from the penalty spot in what has been a decent, but not spectacular start for the Colombian.
And having picked up an ankle injury at the Vélodrome, Falcao could be spending the next couple matches on the sidelines, leaving Riviere to add to his goal tally.
Don't be at all surprised if Falcao is not Monaco's top scorer come May.
PSG and Lyon moving in opposite directions
After opening with two draws, Laurent Blanc's PSG have gotten their act together to put together a couple of wins and move into fourth with eight points from four matches.
Lyon, meanwhile, started off promisingly with two wins and two fantastic performances. Four defeats in a row, though - two in Ligue 1 and two in Champions League play-offs - have burst the initial bubble of excitement at the Stade de Gerland.
If these two clubs continue to move in the same directions then Monaco should be wary about the progress of the defending champions, while Lyon could face a challenge to even win a Champions League spot, especially if Marseille keep up their own good form and bounce back after their narrow loss to Monaco.
Toulouse are in a relegation battle already
When Guingamp and Nantes moved up to Ligue 1 with budgets nowhere near that of fellow promoted side Monaco, many - including most bookies - tipped the pair to drop straight back down into Ligue 2.
Four weeks in, though, and Guingamp are in 18th, only in the relegation zone by goal difference. Nantes have fared even better with four points and sit in 13th. It may be very early days and the pair could sink to the very bottom of the table in the near future, but Toulouse remain bottom for now and fully deserve to be there.
Toulouse now face Marseille after the international break, possibly adding to their misery. A good result is needed soon or else they could well find themselves fighting the likes of Guingamp and Nantes to survive.
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