• Tuesday, 19 January 2010

    Bordeaux held, but still in control: Ligue 1 reviews

    Le Mans 0-3 Lorient
    Monaco 2-0 Sochaux
    Grenoble 1-2 St Etienne
    Rennes 1-1 Lens
    Lille 3-1 PSG
    Nancy 0-2 Lyon
    Valenciennes 1-3 Toulouse
    Montpellier 1-0 Nice
    Auxerre 0-0 Boulogne
    Bordeaux 1-1 Marseille

    Runaway leaders Bordeaux were held at home by Marseille in round 20's big clash. Marc Planus was sent off for Les Girondins just after the hour by which point they were a goal in front thanks to OM keeper Steve Mandanda punched into his own net. It looked like the champions were going to hold on, but Benoit Cheyrou volleyed the visitors level ten minutes from time to grab a point. That allowed form side Lille to close, although the gap remains a mighty looking seven points. Mind, if Lille keep going the way they are, that will soon erode. Another three went their way this week against big rivals PSG. Ludovic Obraniak put them on their way inside five minutes and they added a second and third just after the break through Florent Balmont and Franck Beira. Consolation, such as it was, came from Mevlut Erding seven minutes from the end.

    Montpellier bounced back from the thumping they got at Monaco with a win over Nice, even if it was an unconvincing one. Souleymane Camara got the only goal of the game early in the second half as the season's surprise package consolidates third place. Behind Montpellier, there are four clubs locked on 33 points. OM are one of them, Lyon, Auxerre and Monaco the others. Nene struck twice in the last five minutes for the Monagasques to sneak past Sochaux and Lyon were also 2-0 winners, away at Nancy. Again, they left it late, Cris with their opener ten minutes from time and Maxime Gonalons sealing it six minutes later. Auxerre were held to a goalless draw by struggling Boulogne, though the point doesn't help Boulogne out of the bottom three.

    Grenoble lost again in what may prove a big proverbial six-pointer come season's end. St Etienne went two up in the first half through Loic Perrin and Emmenuel Riviere, though Cedric Varrault hit a penalty a minute after Riviere had made it 2-0. A nervy second half saw few chances and Les Verts held on for a vital three points. Le Mans are also in the bottom three after another defeat as they went down 3-0 at home to Lorient. Olivier Monterubbio got two of them after Laurent Koscielny had but the Bretons in front early on. Lens came from behind to grab a draw at Rennes and held on despite Alaeddine Yahia's late red card. Moussa Sow gave Rennes the lead, but Kevin Monnet-Paquet equalised within ten minutes. Toulouse and Valenciennes looked to be heading for a point apiece at Stade Nungesser until two late goals stole a win for Les Violets. Franck Tabanou had put them in front, but VA were level just before the break through Johan Audel. Tabanou's second came six minutes from time and Moussa Sissoko made the game safe three minutes later.

    Round 21 follows immediately on Tuesday and Wednesday:

    St Etienne v Rennes
    PSG v Monaco
    Toulouse v Nancy
    Marseille v Le Mans
    Lens v Montpellier
    Grenoble v Bordeaux
    Sochaux v Lille
    Nice v Auxerre
    Lorient v Lyon
    Boulogne v Valenciennes

    and we'll round those up later in the week.

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