Ligue 1 Round 18 Results: Marseille steal comeback victory against nine-man Lorient as Montpellier stumble again

Lyon narrowly beat Evian 2-1 at Stade Gerland to move to third. On a day which saw six red cards in seven games in Ligue 1, OM's comeback victory over Lorient remains a highlight

Ligue 1: Round 18 Results


Saturday DECEMBER 17 KO Sunday DECEMBER 18
Brest - Auxerre 1-0
Ajaccio - Stade Rennes 16.00
Caen - Nancy
1-2 Bordeaux - Sochaux
Dijon - Saint Etienne 1-2 PSG - Lille
     Marseille - Lorient      

Montpellier - Toulouse 1-1

Nice - Valenciennes 2-0

Lyon - Evian 2-1

all times in GMT  


Brest 1-0
Brest preserved their unbeaten record at home as they narrowly edged 10-man Auxerre at Stade Francis la Ble.

The hosts enjoyed the better of the opening chances. A flowing attacking move involving Mario Licka and Romain Poyet into Nolan Roux saw visiting keeper Olivier Sorin stretched. Minutes later, it would be Brest who would take the lead.

A weighted ball from Bruno Grougi into Eden Ben Basat saw the latter fouled by Stephane Grichting in the area. Grougi netted from the resulting penalty - his third of the season - to give Alex Dupont's men the lead.

Neither side could fashion more chances in a disappointing second half as
Kamel Chafni saw red for the visitors and Brest held on to move to three games unbeaten.

Caen's run of defeats continued as they fell 2-1 to Nancy, who moved up to 15th at Stade Michel d'Ornano.

The visitors, who started the weekend in the relegation zone, took the lead with the first clear-cut chance inside three minutes. Daniel Niculae slipped in a simple ball into Lossemy Karaboue who powered past Alexis Thebaux and hand ASNL the early advantage.

Les Malherbes were move responsive after the setback. Chances for Frederic Bulot, and Romain Hamouma were unsuccessful in testing Guy N'Dy Assembe, with Niculae and Karaboue almost replicating the move that led to the first goal towards the end of the half.

Salif Sane made it 2-0 11 minutes after the break courtesy of Reynald Lemaitre's pin-point set piece delivery to put some daylight between the two sides. Benjamin Nivet reduced the deficit five minutes later, but Franck Dumas' men ultimately fell to their fourth straight defeat.
Saint Etienne
Saint Etienne's recent run of good form continued as they moved into a convincing fifth place with a 2-1 victory away to Dijon on Saturday.

It was les Verts who hit the ground first. Max Gradel and Florent Sinama-Pongolle forced the hosts' defence into an early shuffle, as Cedric Varrualt responded in testing Stephane Ruffier with a strike of his own.

Nevertheless, Christophe Galtier's side took the lead after a quarter of an hour. Banel Nicolita's mazy run at the defence found Pierre Aubameyang. The loanee in turn fed Sinama-Pongolle who fired in from close range.

The ever-improving Gradel almost initiated a second for the visitors with Baptiste Reynet producing a magnificent save on the line.

Dijon had their chances though. After the break, Eric Bautheac launched a long-range effort which dipped wildly under the crossbar with Ruffier tipping the teasing ball over.

A match which threatened to descend into obscurity in the second half sprang to life late on. In the 93rd minute Gradel rounded off his performance by rolling the ball past Reynet for 2-0. The match wasn't done there as Bautheac netted a consolation a minute later to rescue some pride.
Olympique de Marseille produced another late show to come from behind and beat nine-man Lorient 2-1 at Stade Velodrome.

The hosts were seeking out attacking opportunities from the off, with Morgan Amalfitano in particular proving to be a thorn in his former side's defence. He and Mathieu Valbuena linked up with Loic Remy, with Fabien Audard keeping alert.

Les Merlus were then dealt a blow on the half hour. Remy burst into top speed on the edge of the area before being hauled down by Lamine Kone. Being the last defender, referee Nicolas Rainville had no alternative but to show a red card.

With the numerical disadvantage, Lorient were on the ropes. Amalfitano beat Mareque before crossing at the far post, as Remy's header back to Cheyrou saw the midfielder flash his effort wide.

Lorient's stubborness paid off and it was they who took a shock lead. Innocent Emeghara skipped past the challenge of Souleymane Diawara and slotted past Steve Mandanda with 13 minutes to go.

Marseille's reprieve came in the shape of Mathieu Valbuena. Fed in by Jordan Ayew, the diminutive winger picked up the ball and unleashed a superb effort which crept under the bar, past Audard - a goal similar to the one he scored against Dortmund in the Champions League two weeks ago.

At this point, L'OM were dominating, and Remy's header off the bar with minutes to go signalled what might have been.

And what might've been turned into reality in the fifth minute of injury time. Valbuena won a free-kick from Romao's foul as the Lorient man was shown a red card. The free-kick met the head of Cheyrou who headed in at the death to steal the win with Lorient showing their frustration vociferously at the full-time whistle.
Montpellier were held again as they failed to pull away at the top after ten-man Toulouse forced them to a 1-1 draw.

Less than seven minutes in, the league leaders were ahead. Geoffrey Dernis powered in an effort past Ali Ahamada after good work from John Utaka. Etienne Didot was then allowed to strike a long-range effort, which flew over.

Despite the hosts' sustained pressure, the visitors rallied back to restore parity. Left-back Cheik M'Bengue took possession of the ball before evading the challenge of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and strike an effort past Geoffrey Jourden.

Both sides had efforts to steal the win, with Olivier Giroud particularly muted. Alain Casanova's men were reduced to ten men late on with Franck Tabanou shown red for a challenge on Yanga-Mbiwa as the full-time whistle prompted protests from Rene Girard.

Montpellier stay top, but after failing to secure three points, either Lille or PSG could overtake them tomorrow as the sides meet at 20.00GMT.
OGC Nice leapfrogged Valenciennes after securing a comfortable 2-0 win over the visitors at Stade du Ray.

It wasn't until the 67th minute that the deadlock was broken when Fabrice Abriel maneuvered past his marker and set up Anthony Mounier who nestled the ball into Nicolas Penneteau's goal.

Despite Valenciennes' advances, they failed to rally back. And the killer goal came three minutes into injury time as Mounier latched onto Francois Clerc's perfect ball to secure a much-needed three points for Rene Marsiglia's side.

Both sides are locked on 17 points, with les Aiglons in 18th position and Daniel Sanchez's men a place adrift.

Olympique Lyonnais
Evian TG

Olympique Lyonnais moved to within two points of leaders Montpellier as they edged out Evian 2-1 in a game that saw both sides finish with 10 men.

In a bright start at Stade Gerland, the hosts created the best openings during the early proceedings. Anthony Reveilliere found Lisandro Lopez with the header towards goal well saved by Stephan Andersen.

After sustained pressure, les Gones found the breakthrough. Alexandre Lacazette wove in between two defenders, and set up Jimmy Briand to score the opener after 35 minutes.

Controversy ensued minutes later as Reveilliere stopped a goal-bound effort on the line as Remi Garde's side escaped a penalty and a red card.

Nevertheless, Bernard Casoni's men did equalise two minutes before the break when Yannick Sagbo latched onto a weighted ball to slot in past Lloris.

A lull in attacking play in the second half was ended as Lisandro stepped up to head Lyon back into the lead.

Further controversy erupted as two players were sent off in the final five minutes. Clement Grenier was given his marching orders for a dangerous tackle on Angoula as Fabrice Ehret's dismissal meant that Evian also finished with ten, bringing the matchday's total to six dismissals in seven games on Saturday.

Ajaccio Sunday
Stade Rennes
Stade Rennes will be hoping to overcome their Europa League disappointment and focus on the league when they visit bottom-placed Ajaccio on Sunday. Kick-off on the Corsican island is at 16.00GMT
Girondins de Bordeaux host Sochaux on Sunday, with les Girondins aiming to build on their 0-0 draw away to Marseille last weekend. Kick-off at Stade Cheban-Delmas is at 16.00 GMT.

The stand-out clash of the weekend sees champions Lille visit PSG in a game of much importance to the hosts, who are second on goal difference from Montpellier. A defeat here for Antoine Koumbouare, coupled with the heartbreak of Europa League elimination could prove to be the final nail in the coffin for the embattled les Parisiens trainer.

Kick-off at the Parc des Princes is at 20.00GMT