• Monday, 27 September 2010

    St Etienne take derby spoils: Ligue 1 reviews

    Auxerre 2-2 Nancy
    Caen 0-0 Bordeaux
    Lorient 2-1 Monaco
    Marseille 2-1 Sochaux
    Montpellier 3-1 Arles
    Nice 1-2 Rennes
    Lyon 0-1 St Etienne
    Brest 1-0 Valenciennes
    Toulouse 1-1 Lille
    Lens 0-2 PSG

    St Etienne move clear at the top of Ligue 1 after beating their derby rivals in round seven of the Ligue 1 season. By doing that, they also helped ensure Lyon drop into the bottom three. Really, life doesn't get much sweeter for fans of Les Verts. Dimitri Payet was the hero last week and he was on target again in the 1-0 win at the Gerland. It was a sumptuous free-kick quarter of an hour from time that did it, curled into the very top corner which ensured that, even though he saw enough of it, Hugo Lloris simply wasn't able to get to it and claw it away. Payet was the hero at the other end too, clearing off the line twice at corners to seal the win in the 100th clash between the two clubs and seal St Etienne's first win in this fixture for 17 years.

    Toulouse, still without strikers, dropped points in a draw with Lille for whom Gervinho got the opener, latching onto a heopful long ball, got between two defenders, took it round the keeper and slotted it in from a tight angle. It looked like Alain Casanova's ongoing problems with strikers would cost him more, but Antoine Devaux rescued a point quarter of an hour from time, profiting from some slack defending which allowed him far too much time and space at the back post. Rennes consolidate in second after beating Nice on the south coast. Stéphane Dalmat might be a little chunkier than in his heyday, but he certainly reads a game well enough and followed in to tidy up after the keeper spilled a long range shot to give Rennes the lead, but the sides went into the break level after Danijel Ljuboja curled in an equaliser following great work from Anthony Mounier in the build-up. The winner came with thirteen minutes to go, a really poor defensive header allowing Victor Montano to sneak in and steal the points. Caen stay fourth following a creditable draw with Bordeaux who move up a place, but are still labguishing at the wrong end of the table so far as they're concerned.

    Arles are still propping everyone else up and went down to ten men, Xavier Collin sent off for Montpellier nine minutes after half-time. Olivier Giroud had struck twice to give MHSC the lead before Collin's dismissal, scoring three minutes before and three minutes after half-time. The first was down to an excellent turn on the edge of the box and a low finish across the keeper and in off the far post while the second came from the penalty spot after one of the most obvious fouls in football history on Younes Belhanda. After the sending off, a towering header from Yann Kermorgant got Arles back into it, but the win was sealed eight minutes from time by Souleymane Camara's nutmegged finish. Montpellier are one of five clubs on eleven points, a group headed by PSG in fifth after their 2-0 win over Lens. A Ludovic Giuly cross was turned into his own net by Yohan Dermont early in the second half to hand PSG the lead and Nene sealed it in stoppage time, exchanging passes on the edge of the box and chipping the keeper. He's quite some player and may just be enough to help PSG into the European places. Marseille are tucked in behind them after beating Sochaux at the Vélodrome. Taye Taiwo put them in front in the nineteenth minute, an amazing shot from right out on the left touchline and fully forty yards from goal. Think Gheorghe Hagi in the 1994 World Cup finals, only moreso. An astonishing strike. The second, from Lucho Gonzalez on the hour mark, was rather more straightforward, the Argentine latching onto a headed flick-on and tucking it in under little pressure. Nicolas Maurice-Belay got one back as he started and finished the move with quarter of an hour to go, but it proved to be mere consolation. Lille and Brest are the others on eleven, Brest after the exciting Nolan Roux gave them a 1-0 over Valenciennes. The 22-year old is very much one to watch out for, but his side really should have been behind 18 minutes from time after a needless handball gave Gregory Pujol the chance from the penalty spot. The first one went in, but a retake was ordered for some fairly obvious encroachment. Wouldn't you just know that the second one was saved, a trailing leg from Steeve Elana diverting it over the bar. Five minutes later, a corner was met on the run by Roux and he kept it down for the only goal of the game.

    Auxerre still haven't won, drawing their fifth game of the season in their game against Nancy. Dennis Oliech got two to put AJA ahead, the first in the first minute as he raced onto a long through ball. His second came ten minutes later from slightly closer in this time, but another accomplished finish. Alexandre Cuvillier pulled one back five minutes later with a header on the run and it was level by half-time when Marama Vahirua slammed in from the edge of the box after being found with a great cut-back. And so it remained to full-time. Finally, Lorient drew level with Monaco on the back of beating them at the Moustoir. The exciting Kevin Gameiro had Lorient in front on five minutes, racing onto a through ball and lifting it over the advancing keeper. Dieudionné Mbokani pulled it back level, muscling his way through to tap-in as Lorient failed to deal with a free-kick, but their game plan was disrupted when Sébastien Puygrenier was sent off on the stroke of half-time. Lorient finally made the breakthrough in the last minute, a quick attack down the right ending with a cross for Lynel Kitambala finishing from close in.

    No comments: