• Monday, 10 May 2010

    Lille take a grip on second: Ligue 1 reviews

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

    With Marseille having wrapped up the title last week, the race is really on for the European places. Prime candidate for second place and Champions League football are Lille who beat the new champions, though not until OM keeper Steve Mandanda was sent off after 25 minutes. Mamadou Niang put Marseille in front early on and that's usually a sign that OM go on to win, but Mandanda pulled Gervinho down in the box, earning him a red card and Lille a penalty which Yohan Cabaye buried past Mandanda's deputy Andrade Elinton. Vitorino Hilton put OM back in front just before the break, but Lille dominated the second half and late goals from Tulio de Melo and Mathieu Debuchy sent Lille second, past Auxerre who were held at home to a 0-0 draw by Lens. Lyon are a couple of points behind AJA, but do have a game in hand which they'll need to win after only managing a draw at Valenciennes. Kim Kallstrom put Lyon in front, but Johan Audel and a Renaud Cohade penalty turned the game around with ten minutes to go. A stoppage time own goal from Bobo Balde snared a point for Les Gones and kept them in the hunt for a return to the Champions League. Montpellier also remain in contention as they finish strongly. Two first-half penalties from Victor Montano and Souleymane Camara put them in charge against Lorient and it would have been fine were it not for Emir Spahic's late red card. Gregory Bourillon pulled one back, but time ran out.

    Bordeaux can't make the Champions League despite winning against Sochaux. A Wendel penalty and a late one from Benoit Tremoulinas won it for them, but the Europa League is now the height of their possible achievement. Grenoble will finish bottom, as we've known for a while now, but ended their home campaign with a 2-0 win over Boulogne, Danijel Ljuboja with both. The other relegated side, Le Mans, also end at home with a win, PSG's Sylvain Armand putting through his own net early on and Le Mans held on despite the late dismissal of Moussa Narry. Monaco held on against Nancy despite losing Vincent Muratori to a red card midway through the second half. Jordan Loties' own goal and one from Moussa Maazou had Monaco in something of a comfort zone by then and they held out, even though Joel Sami slammed in the free-kick after Muratori's dismissal. Nice came from behind to draw with Rennes. Anthony Mounier had Nice in front early on, but they were behind just after the hour, goals in quick succession from Jerome Leroy and Sylvain Marveaux, but Emerse Fae rescued a point.

    Eleven games left to go, one of those a midweek clash ahead of the final round:
    Lyon v Monaco

    Lyon will go third with a win and seize the initiative for the Champions League ahead of the final round the following weekend.

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