• Monday, 23 August 2010

    Nil-nil the new black: Ligue 1 reviews

    Monaco 0-0 Montpellier

    Lens 2-2 Monaco
    Lyon 1-0 Brest
    Marseille 2-0 Lorient
    Nice 1-1 Nancy
    Rennes 0-0 St Etienne
    Toulouse 2-1 Arles
    Auxerre 1-1 Valenciennes
    Montpellier 0-0 Caen
    Sochaux 0-0 Lille
    PSG 1-2 Bordeaux

    The Premier League seems to be in love with 6-0. 3-0 is popular in Holland while 3-1 is very much de rigeur in Germany. France, however, has learned to love the goalless draw. The delayed round two clash between Monaco and Montpellier finished 0-0 and Montpellier were at it again at the weekend, the Sunday clash with Caen finishing with the same result though that leaves Caen in second place as their unbeaten start to the season continues. The other early Sunday game produced nothing by way of goals as Sochaux held off Lille who have lost their touch in front of goal that seemed to come so easily last season. Rennes and St Etienne also bumbled their way to the same result.

    So far, so yawnworthy. Toulouse are striking out on their own, despite their lack of strikers. They're the only ones with a three from three record and Daniel Braaten has scored in each one. He opened the scoring again, just after the half hour, a neat finish from the edge of the box. Braaten turned provider for the second just after the hour, slipping a lovely ball through for Etienne Didot who composed himself before slamming it home from 12 yards. Franck Djadjede pulled one back moments later, but Arles remain without a point at the bottom of the pile.

    The three big clubs previously without a win all finally got off the mark. Gabriel Heinze got Marseille up and running, pouncing on a loose ball in the Lorient box, and Taye Taiwo sealed it midway through the second half with a thunderbolt from downtown which found it's way through a forest of bodies. Lyon just needed the one goal, Jean Il Makoun from close range in the 19th minute, while Bordeaux left it very late to beat PSG in the late Sunday game. A straightforward header from a corner saw Alou Diarra put Les Girondins ahead midway through the second half, but PSG were level through Guillaume Hoarau soon after when Ludovic Giuly set him up from six yards. As time ticked down, a draw looked the most likely outcome, but another corner saw Michael Ciani get his head on it to win it in the fourth minute of stoppages. The big news after the games is that Bordeaux have agreed to sell Yoan Gourcuff to Lyon.

    Auxerre drew their third straight game, though the point is enough to lift Valenciennes up to fourth and it was VA who were in front in a low key game just after the hour. The crowd were oddly subdued, but even the home fans had to concede that the opener was a bit special. There was nothing on when Gael Danic picked the ball up half way inside the AJA half, at least not until he flung his left peg at it and it found it's way into the far side of the goal despite Olivier Sorin getting fingers to it. Three minutes later, Ireneusz Jelen had AJA level as VA couldn't deal with a corner. Nice and Nancy also finished one apiece thanks to a late equaliser from Paul Efoulou. Emerse Fae had Nice in front with a 25-yarder after 25 minutes and it seemed as though that'd be enough until Efoulou beat David Ospina at his near post, which the Nice stopper won't be happy about. Landry N'Guemo was sent off late in the piece for an off-the-ball challenge. Monaco also drew their third game, but only after blowing a two-goal lead. Daniel Niculae got the first twenty minutes in from long range and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made it two with twenty minutes to go. A long throw was flicked on and Aubameyang volleyed in from close range. Lens got a foothold in the game four minutes later when Adriano stuck a leg out and diverted a harmless shot past his own keeper and the comeback was complete when S├ębastien Roudet was given too much time and space in the box and picked his spot past St├ęphane Ruffier.

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