Stade Jean Bouin - Photo Credit: M. Mouchoir

Stade Jean Bouin – Photo Credit: M. Mouchoir

The first half of the 2015/2016 Ligue 1 has been very tumultuous with the major teams struggling to get their feet on the podium. The Olympique of Marseille, Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Monaco are all facing difficulties to assert their domination, only Paris Saint Germain does it and well. One team is surprising everyone: Angers SCO. The recently promoted team from Ligue 2 is challenging the best teams.

Since the first day of the championship Angers SCO has shown its strength especially in the back. It has the second best defense of the Ligue 1 right after the PSG with only 9 goals conceded compared to 8 for the PSG. Their draw against PSG (0-0) confirmed their strength.

After being promoted to the Ligue 1, Stephane Moulin the active coach and the club’s manager Olivier Pickeu, who had been working for the club since a long time ago, have done a great job on transfers. During the summer they did really clever transfers: selling last-year top scorer Kodjia to Bristol for €3 Million and the acquisition of several players with great potential: Senegalese international midfielder Cheikh N’Doye, Striker Billy Ketkeophomphone, French youth international Gilles Sunu…

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Thomas scoring for Angers SCO against the Olympique of Marseille

Angers SCO continues its spectacular rise to the top. On the last match-day they beat Lyon (0-2), crashing its farewell party to its famous home, Stade Gerland. Angers rose to the second place 15 points behind the leader, Paris Saint-Germain. On Sunday 13th December 2015, Angers SCO will face Bordeaux and try to confirm its position in the table.

Ligue 1 Table (11/12/2015) - Screenshot: ESPN

Ligue 1 Table (11/12/2015) – Screenshot: ESPN

It’s hard not to compare Angers SCO to Leicester City, which are currently leading the Premier League. It’s nice to see new teams bringing something new to the European Championships. Where is the fun to follow the Bundesliga of the Liga when you already know how the podium will look like at the end of season. Angers SCO with a budget 20 times lower than the leader is changing the game and achieve to stand tall in front of the major clubs.