• Monday, 4 October 2010

    Another new leader: Ligue 1 reviews

    Arles 0-4 Auxerre
    Monaco 0-1 Brest
    Nancy 2-3 Lyon
    Bordeaux 1-0 Lorient
    Sochaux 3-0 Lens
    Valenciennes 2-1 Caen
    St Etienne 1-1 Marseille
    Lille 3-1 Montpellier
    PSG 0-0 Nice
    Rennes 3-1 Toulouse

    New leaders in France where Rennes, unfashionable and unfancied Rennes, walloped fellow high-fliers Toulouse to assume the league leadership. Playing with pace and exuding confidence, Romain Danzé put them ahead in the last minute of the first half with a thunderous drive from just outside the box which served warning as to their intentions. Kader Mangane headed a second midway through the second half, some statuesque defending allowing the big Senegalese through, and Sylvain Marveaux converted a late penalty for 3-0. Toulouse have completely lost their way and slip to fourth after their fourth straight game without a win, but they did have the last word here, Moussa Sissoko starting and finishing the move which ended with him sliding the ball past the keeper for a consolation. Ex-Toulouse man André-Pierre Gignac got his first for his new club as champions Marseille held leaders St Etienne to a draw. A loose clearance was diverted back into the danger area off the ref and Gignac, as ever, was alive to it and stuck it in despite the keeper getting a strong hand to it. Les Verts levelled on the hour as Laurent Batlles converted a low cross, but it wasn't enough to maintain the lead after Rennes' exploits.

    Finally, the big boys got moving. Just one goal was enough for Bordeaux, but what a goal. A loose clearance from the Lorient keeper was swooped on by Michael Ciani who had the presence of mind to deliver a delightful lob from 40 yards which the keeper couldn't get back to. Lyon blew a two-goal lead before Jimmy Briand rescued them in Nancy. In their delightful smoking jacket style away kit, Lisandro Lopez had Les Gones in front late in the first half, a simple tap-in after great work down the right hand side. Briand doubled the advantage with a header, but André Luiz headed one back two minutes later. With twenty minutes to go, an uncharacteristic error from Hugo Lloris allowed Julien Feret to level it. Another goalkeeping error at the other end saw Gennaro Bracigliano punch weakly. Briand was on the spot to stick the loose ball away. Something had to give as the only two winless sides faced off and Auxerre came through in convincing style to leave Arles miles adrift. Alain Traore got the opener in the 18th minute after an initial fine save. A bullet header was going in the bottom corner, but Vincent Plante pushed it wide. Traore reacted quickest and slotted it in from a tight angle. The game was held up midway through the first half after Alvaro Mejia collided heavily with the post and had to be stretchered off. Hopefully there's no fracture to the skull, but he left the field strapped to a spinal board with his head taped still. Unpleasant. AJA went into half time two up as Benoit Pedretti doubled the lead thanks to a heavy deflection. Pedretti continued to run the show after the break and it was 3-0 just shy of the hour, Roy Contout with a long-range, looping header. Valter Birsa made it four just before time, a curling effort just evading Plante and finding the bottom corner. Arles... No points and a -17 goal difference already. That tells it's own story. Lille go up to third and are, along with Rennes, still unbeaten. Moussa Sow had them in front in the twentieth minute with a brave, diving header, sticking his melon where the boots were flying, but Olivier Giroud equalised with a penalty after a clumsy foul in the box. Lille were dominating though and went in ahead through Sow's second, tucked past the advancing keeper from a narrow angle. Montpellier got back into it, but couldn't find that crucial goal and were picked off ten minutes from time, Eden Hazard setting up Gervinho for the clincher. PSG couldn't find a win though, held 0-0 by Nice.

    Brest, newly promoted, have snuck under everyone's radar to find themselves in fifth, Bruno Gougi with a low shot that Stephane Ruffier allowed to sneak under his body. Sochaux are up to sixth after thumping Lens, Modibo Maiga setting the tone with a rocket-powered left-footed shot from way downtown that just about ripped the net as it thundered past the flailing keeper. Ideye Brown made it two a minute before half-time from a suspiciously offside position as the keeper parried another long-range shot into his path. Damien Perquis wrapped it up late on with another piledriver, this time from a free-kick. Lens are struggling. Caen are slipping down the table following defeat to Valenciennes who were ahead in the 25th minute through Gregory Pujol's looping header. Mamadou Samassa walked in the second moments later and though Caen pulled one back midway through the second half through Youssef El Arabi, they couldn't get back on terms.

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