• Friday, 7 May 2010

    Marseille clinch title as Boulogne and Le Mans go down: Ligue 1 reviews

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

    TV scheduling dictated that Marseille knew what was required of them before they kicked off in midweek. Auxerre's result held their fate, and Ireneusz Jelen had AJA in front inside quarter of an hour against Lyon. Lisandro Lopez turned the game with a penalty on the stroke of half time and Miralem Pjanic won it late in the second period. That meant a win for Marseille was enough. Gabriel Heinze set them on their way with a 4th minute goal, but Rennes were level before half time, Jimmy Briand ensuring the champagne remained on ice. Two in two minutes won it, Mamadou Niang and Lucho Gonzalez in the 76th and 77th minute handed Didier Deschamps the title. They're eight clear with two games to go. Having been nowhere all season, they've finished with a great run to suddenly emerge as front runners once the games in hand unwound.

    AJA slip down to third as Lille won in Toulouse who are in meltdown. Goals either side of half-time from Yohan Cabaye and Ludovic Obraniak saw them move above Auxerre on goal difference. Lyon are two points further back and the Champions League places are between those three. Lyon could be overhauled for the Europa League place by Montpellier who beat Sochaux by a solitary Alberto Costa goal midway through the second half. Bordeaux will be doing well to even make that now, which is an alarming drop-off late in the season. They were held by Nice for whom Emerse Fae put them in front only for Wendel to square it up. Bordeaux now face the prospect of this side breaking up. Marouane Chamakh's whining has finally got him that move to Arsenal while Laurent Blanc will be the French national manager once Raymond Domenech's involvement at the World Cup ends. More will follow.

    St Etienne beat Boulogne in the big game at the bottom, Emmanuel Riviere ensuring Les Verts play Ligue 1 football next season with the only goal of the game three minutes from time. That relegates Boulogne and Le Mans who lost anyway, 3-2 at Nancy after coming from behind and then blowing it. Julien Feret put Nancy ahead early, but Modibo Maiga and Matthieu Dossevi struck in quick time to turn it round. Feret's second sent the sides into half time at 2-2 and Chris Malonga won it on the hour.

    Late drama in Paris where PSG and Valenciennes were locked at 1-1 going into stoppage time. Mateja Kezman looked to have won it, but there was still time for Fahid Ben Khalfallah to deny Antoine Kombouaré a win against his former club. Laurent Courtois scored and then missed a penalty for Grenoble and they were made to pay for his miss as Toifilou Maoulida levelled for Lens in the second half. Lorient twice came from behind to Monaco to secure a point, Kevin Gameiro equalising ten minutes from time.

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

    It's all about the Champions League places this week. Lille have the toughest task, at home to Marseille. Montpellier are finishing well after drifting for a number of weeks and might just sneak it. Lyon will fancy beating VA. Bordeaux need wins and convincing ones at that.

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