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Ligue 1 Round-Up: No Problems For Lille Or Paris Saint-Germain

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Auxerre 1-1 Monaco
Stade Brestois 1-3 Caen
Racing Club de Lens 2-1 Saint-Etienne
Olympique Lyonnais 3-0 Lorient (report)
Montpellier 2-1 Valenciennes
Nice 0-2 Lille
Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Sochaux
Stade Rennais 4-0 Arles-Avignon
Toulouse 1-0 Nancy

Auxerre 1-1 Monaco

Honours ended even between Auxerre and Monaco in Burgundy.

When Auxerre moved into the ascendancy, they received a dose of luck. Dennis Oliech’s cross bounced favourably for Julien Querica, who rattled his shot into the net.

Adriano drew Monaco level with less than 20 minutes on the clock. Lukman Haruna’s corner was met by Sebastien Puygrenier, whose header was ideal for Adriano to convert spectacularly.

In the early stages of the match, AJA had forced visiting goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier into several saves, but the visitors buckled down and improved as the match wore on and were ultimately value for their point.

Stade Brestois 1-3 Caen

Brest lost their unbeaten status at the Stade Francis Le Ble this season having been beaten by 10-man Caen.

Benjamin Nivet
became the first scorer in Ligue 1 of 2011 when he registered after 11 minutes, pouncing after Steeve Elana failed to deal sufficiently with a dangerous near post flick by Kandia Traore.

Immediately prior to the break, Caen suffered a damaging blow when Thomas Heurtaux was dismissed for a trip on Richard Soumah inside the box. Furthermore, the penalty was converted by Bruno Grougi.

Youssef El-Arabi
scored from the spot with nine minutes left on the clock, and Romain Hamouma soon converted a third for the guests as Brest’s defence, which had only lost three home goals all season prior to this encounter, crumbled.

Racing Club de Lens 2-1 Saint-Etienne

Lens looked to be heading for defeat but managed to snatch a remarkable win against Saint-Etienne, boosting their hopes of avoiding the top.

Bakary Sako scored the game’s opening goal with 10 minutes left on the clock, getting a stroke of luck as his shot deflected into the net off the unfortunate Eric Chelle.

Les Verts’ lead did not last long as Sebastien Roudet’s penalty kick drew matters level after a foul on Eduardo.

Rocked, the visiting team would ship a second goal mere moments later. A corner kick to the back post dropped to Issam Jemaa, who sent a superb shot into the net before plunging into the crowd to celebrate with the fans.

Dimitri Payet was a lively threat for Sainte throughout, offering his first effort at goal after just five minutes, though this was repelled by Vedran Runje, who would make several smart stops. The winger’s evening would ultimately be fruitless, despite several good second half efforts.

Montpellier 2-1 Valenciennes

A late rally from Montpellier ended their poor run of form, consigning Valenciennes to sink deeper into the relegation dogfight.

The visitors opened the scoring with 49 minutes on the clock. Matthieu Dossevi’s cross towards Mamadou Samassa may have been blocked, but the VA attacker was quickly onto the loose ball to fire a fine half-volley into the net.

With 10 minutes remaining, Philippe Montanier’s men looked safe, but Olivier Giroud converted a penalty kick to level the match after a Rudy Mater foul had earned him a second yellow card.

And three points were soon snatched by the hosts when Abdelhamid El Kaoutari converted Marco Estrada’s free kick, though Benjamin Stambouli’s late red card made matters a little interesting.

Nice 0-2 Lille

Ligue 1 leaders Lille started 2011 with a win, defeating Nice at the Stade du Ray.

Somewhat against the run of play, Lille grabbed the opening goal with a minute remaining before half-time. Eden Hazard did some of the damage down the right, but his cross was superbly swept home by an acrobatic effort from Gervinho.

Soon after the break, LOSC were two goals to the good. Again it was Hazard who was the chief protagonist, and on this occasion it was Moussa Sow who finished the move.

Les Aiglons were unfortunate in the first half as they had a Kafoumba Coulibaly strike incorrectly chopped off, though prior to that moment it had been les Dogues who had been the better side.

Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Sochaux

PSG affirmed their status as potential Ligue 1 champions, coming from behind to defeat Sochaux.

Dead-ball specialist Marvin Martin was the first player to show his best in this encounter, delivering a fine corner onto the penalty spot, which was converted impressively by Modibo Maiga.

Two minutes later, les Parisiens drew level from a similar situation. Nene, PSG’s star man, sending a dangerous flag-kick into the box that was ultimately knocked home by Mamadou Sakho.

With the momentum firmly behind them, Antoine Kombouare’s side struck again. Realising he was offside, Guillaume Hoarau stopped short when chasing Sylvain Armand’s through ball, but Ludovic Giuly continued to strike les Rouge et Bleu's second.

Though there would be no further scoring, the Parc des Princes club held out with a fair degree of comfort.

Stade Rennais 4-0 Arles-Avignon

Struggling Arles look increasingly consigned to relegation, having suffered another defeat, this time to ambitious Rennes.

During Rennes’ smashing 7-0 win over Cannes in the Coupe de France last weekend, Alexander Tettey was a great force in the middle of the park and he would make his presence felt midway through the first half when he opened the scoring. Latching onto Romain Danze’s pass, he lifted a superb lob over Cyril Merville to open the scoring.

Less than 10 minutes before the break, the Bretons scored a crucial second goal. Yacine Brahimi was the scorer, knocking a cross from Tettey into the net.

Rennes did further damage after the break. Jerome Leroy’s incursion into the box was halted, but the ball came to Brahimi, who secured his second of the evening with a neat finish into the net from 18 yards.

ACAA’s miserable experience was compounded when Bakary Soro was dismissed after seeing a second yellow card.

Yann M’Vila struck in stoppage time to complete Rennes’ rout.

Toulouse 1-0 Nancy

After a quick start to the season, Toulouse also started back after the mid-season interval strongly, claiming a 1-0 win over Nancy.

Linked with Inter this week, Franck Tabanou would have impressed visiting scouts by delivering the only blow of this encounter. Moving onto a Paulo Machado pass, he finished magnificently with the outside of his boot, sending Alain Casanova’s men into the lead.

Federico Santander might have made the game safe late on, but Damien Gregorini produced a fine save to prevent ASNL falling to a greater loss.

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