• Monday, 8 March 2010

    Referee blunders and magic goalkeeping deny Montpellier: Ligue 1 reviews

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

    Not many goals flying about in France this weekend and it was two misses from 12 yards out that made the headlines. Montpellier should have won it, but Cédric Carrasso pulled off two penalty saves to rescue Bordeaux in the crunch clash at the sharp end of the table. The first came just after the half hour after Michael Ciani was sent off for bringing down Victor Montano. Alberto Costa stepped up and Carrasso guessed right and pulled off a save. Montpellier got another chance nine minutes later, Mathieu Chalmé handling in the box to give away another penalty. Bizarrely, the referee decided not to bring out what would have been Chalmé's second yellow for reasons best known only to him. The same could be said of the decision to order a retake of Montano's successful spot-kick for encroachment.... by Bordeaux players. The injustice was further increased when Carrasso saved the retake. And then what do you know? Marouane Chamakh, bleating in the papers about moving to Premier League again in the week, putting Les Girondins ahead on the hour. Some justice was restored in the final minute when Costa atoned for his penalty miss by thundering in a stunning free-kick to rescue a point, but there's no doubt they deserved and should have had all three.

    Lyon could have drawn level on points with the leading duo, but were held to a goalless draw by lowly Boulogne who ended with ten men, Yoann Lachor sent off in stoppage time. Marseille, too, could only draw, pegged back by Lorient after Mamadou Niang's opener a couple of minutes from the break. Laurent Koscielny equalised just after the hour, tapping in from close range. Lille also drew, Stephane Dumont equalising after Emmanuel Riviere had put St Etienne in front and all that means the biggest winners of the weekend were Auxerre, the only one of the leading contenders to win. Predictably, it was Ireneusz Jelen who got the only goal, taking the ball round the keeper and slotting it into the empty net. What a player.

    Plenty of draws down at the bottom too, Grenoble blowing their first-minute lead which was handed to them by Nassim Akrour. Modbo Maiga drew Le Mans level five minutes after the break. Nice lost though, in the only game that mustered more than two goals. Twice they were behind and twice they levelled, only for Issiar Dia to break them with a late winner for Nancy. They'd been behind for just 12 minutes in the match. Renato Civelli got their first equaliser two minutes after Djamel Bakar had put Nancy ahead and ten minutes after Jonathan Brison had restored the lead, Chaouki Ben Saada brought it back to 2-2 before Dia's late winner.

    PSG needed a stoppage time equaliser from Stephane Sessegnon to rescue a point from their clash with Lens for whom Sébastien Roudet scored midway through the second half. There were home wins for Sochaux and Rennes over Toulouse and Monaco respectively and both by a single goal. Carlos Bocanegra struck halfway through the first half for Rennes while Sochaux left it late, Ryad Boudebouz striking six minutes from time to seal his side's first win in six.

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