• Monday, 8 February 2010

    Rennes blow title race wide open: Ligue 1 reviews

    Boulogne 0-2 Montpellier
    PSG 0-3 Lorient
    Lens 2-1 Le Mans
    Sochaux 1-1 Nancy
    Grenoble 5-0 Auxerre
    Nice 1-1 Lille
    Rennes 4-2 Bordeaux
    Toulouse 0-0 Lyon
    St Etienne 3-0 Monaco
    Marseille 5-1 Valenciennes

    From nine points just a month ago, Bordeaux's lead at the top of Ligue 1 is down to three after Rennes stunned the champions at Stade de la Route de Lorient. Sylvain Marveaux started the fun just four minutes in and Jimmy Briand, in his first game in nine months following a serious knee injury, stroked home penalty after quarter of an hour. Ismael Bangoura made it three just after the break before Bordeaux threatened a fightback. Yoan Gouffran and Wendel struck within three minutes of one another, but Asamoah Gyan, back fresh from the Africa Cup of Nations, came off the bench to kill the game off with Rennes's fourth. With games stacking up, Laurent Blanc has said he'll field a B-team in their league cup semi-final as the FFF refuse to shuffle fixtures around as Bordeaux continue to fight on four fronts.

    Result of the week was Grenoble thrashing Auxerre. Where the bloody hell did that come from? This 5-0 walloping was just their second win of the season and comes over a side that, previously to this at least, was in the frame for the championship. Four first-half goals simply blew AJA off the field. Danijel Ljuboja lobbed the keeper for the first and Nassim Akrour hit two either side of Daisuke Matsui's first. Matsui blasted his second and GF38's fifth just after the break. They're still massively adrift at the bottom though, especially as Nice and St Etienne both picked up points this week. Nice drew with Lille, a great result for them, Chaouki Ben Saada putting them in front early on, but holding on for a point after Tulio de Melo's equaliser with fifteen minutes to go. St Etienne were massively impressive in beating Monaco 3-0. They've let a lot of players go in the recently closed transfer window as they look to streamline and remove some disruptive elements. They've held onto Blaise Matuidi though and he opened the scoring quarter of an hour in. Quarter of an hour from the end, Gonzalo Bergessio made it two and Emmanuel Riviere wrapped it up, denting any hopes Monaco have of making the title.

    Back up at the top, Montpellier continued to impress, seeing off lowly Boulogne with comparative ease. Souleymane Camara put them ahead halfway through the first half and Victor Montano sealed it in the last minute. Marseille still have a game in hand and move ominously up the rankings with a 5-1 thrashing of troubled Valenciennes. Lucho Gonzalez opened the scoring just after the half hour with a superb finish following Hatem Ben Arfa's backheel set him up. Brandao bundled in the second and Benoit Cheyrou lashed one in from range. Carlos Sanchez pulled one back, but Mathieu Valbuena got OM back in the groove with a measured effort from the edge of the box. Mamadou Niang finished it in the last minute, tapping in from a yard out from Ben Arfa's cross.

    PSG hit a new low with a comprehensive defeat at home to Lorient. The supporters are revolting after this 3-0 defeat. After a bright start, the Parisians just crumbled. Marama Vahirua hit a penalty quarter of the way through the game and he was instrumental in setting up Kevin Gameiro for the second two minutes later. Morgan Amalfitano lobbed the third over Edel seven minutes from the break as boos rang round the ground. And they continued during and after the second half. Lorient didn't need a fourth as PSG blew every chance that came their way and the current situation can't last much longer. Toulouse had the better of their home game with Lyon, but couldn't find the breakthrough as it finished 0-0, Sochaux drew 1-1 with Nancy and Le Mans went down again, 2-1 at Lens, leaving them deep in trouble.

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