• Tuesday, 14 April 2009

    Lyon off the top: Ligue 1 reviews

    Auxerre 0-2 Bordeaux
    Nice 2-0 Lorient
    Le Mans 2-0 Sochaux
    Toulouse 1-0 Nantes
    Le Havre 1-2 Caen
    Nancy 2-0 Valenciennes
    Rennes 1-0 St Etienne
    Marseille 4-1 Grenoble
    Lille 0-0 PSG
    Lyon 2-2 Monaco

    Lyon were knocked off the summit of Ligue 1 after the weekends fixtures after Marseille won emphatically while Les Gones' home troubles resurfaced as they could only manage a draw with Monaco. It could have been worse but for the heroics of Hugo Lloris in the Lyon goal, but he was powerless to stop Jerko Leko putting the Monagasques in front. Cris levelled it up just after the hour, but Monaco were back in front a minute later through Juan Pablo Pino. When all looked lost, Frederic Piquionne squared it up with an overhead spectacular nine minutes from time, moments after he'd wasted a much easier chance from point-blank range. Marseille had gone top earlier on the Sunday putting their midweek defeat to Shakhtar behind them by burying Grenoble 4-1. OM are certainly peaking at the right time and, after a goalless first half, ran riot in the second. Taye Taiwo's penalty on 52 minutes set them on their way and it was quickly followed by the second from Vitorino Hilton. Taiwo grabbed a second a few minutes later before Brandao made it four with a minute left. Laurent Courtois pulled one back in stoppage time to give it some respectability. Lyon's next game is against Bordeaux who had briefly moved above the champions with a 2-0 win at Auxerre. It was a Brazilian double for Les Girondins as Fernando and Wendel got the goals, though keeper Ulrich Ramé was as much to thank for the win thanks to a string of fine saves.

    Toulouse go back to fourth following their over Nantes which leaves their opponents in the drop zone. André-Pierre Gignac's 19th of the season came after Daniel Braaten stormed past a couple of defenders and slipped the ball to Gignac who blasted it home off the inside of the post from the edge of the penalty area. Les Violets go level on points with Lille and PSG, but ahead on goal difference, after the northern rivals couldn't muster a goal between them. Lille dominated for long periods, but without really testing the PSG defence and a draw was almost inevitable, though it helps neither side in the race for honours.

    Le Havre are now eleven points from safety with seven games to go after they lost at home to neighbours Caen who pull out of the bottom three themselves. Reynald Lamaitre was the hero for Caen, putting the winner away three minutes from time after Amadou Alassane equalised Steve Savidan's early opener. St Etienne look doomed, dropping to second bottom after Romain Danze's 50th minute header from Moussa Sow's cross was enough to see off Les Verts. Sochaux got sucked back into the scrap at the bottom after losing 2-0 at Le Mans who help themselves out of it through Roland Lamah and Mobido Maiga while Nancy just ease away from trouble after ending Valenciennes good recent run. Two stoppage time goals did it for Nancy, Damian Macaluso turning in a free-kick and a Youssouf Hadji penalty following Mody Traore's handball in the box.

    Finally, Nice won the battle of the European hopefuls with a 2-0 win over Lorient thanks to two Loic Remy goals in the space of three second half minutes. The first came rather against the run of play, but Nice were dominant after that and ran out comfortable winners.

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