Bordeaux go second, PSG close behind
Bordeaux are up to second place in Ligue 1 after scoring three times after the interval to beat Le Mans 3-1 on Saturday. Paris Saint-German are level on points with les Girondins after beating Auxerre, while Rennes dropped back as they drew with Nantes.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
AJ Auxerre / Paris Saint-Germain : 1 - 2
Stéphane Sessegnon struck twice to lift PSG into third as Paul Le Guen's men registered a fifth league win in six outings.
Though the home side enjoyed the lion's share of possession, it was the club from the capital that showed their teeth with just five minutes on the clock at the Stade Abbé Deschamps.
Jean Fernandez's side were caught dozing at a Jérôme Rothen corner, and an unmarked Sessegnon was able to sidefoot home from close range.
The Benin international doubled that advantage on 22 minutes with a quality strike as he fended off both Stéphane Grichting and Adama Coulibaly before beating Rémy Riou with the coolest of finishes with the outside of his right boot.
The hosts passed up several opportunities to get back into the match, but only found the net four minutes from time. Cédric Hengbart confidently scored from the spot after Sammy Traoré had brought down Kenyan striker Dennis Oliech.
Le Mans UC 72 / FC Girondins de Bordeaux : 1 - 3
Bordeaux moved to within two points of leaders Lyon - who face Marseille on Sunday - as they condemned Le Mans to a second straight league defeat.
Both sides had chances to open the scoring in a bright first half, but it was not until the prolific Fernando Cavenaghi got to work that the deadlock was broken after 59 minutes.
The Argentine's goalscoring exploits have attracted interest from English Premier League clubs, and he will have done nothing to diminish his market value as he linked up with Benoît Tremoulinas before firing home his tenth league strike of the season to move top of the goalscoring charts with PSG's Guillaume Hoarau.
Le Mans have their own goal-machine in Thorstein Helstad, and within two minutes of stepping off the bench, the Norwegian had poached a leveller - his first goal since Week 7 taking him to five for the season.
Bordeaux, though, have more than one weapon in their armoury, even if Mathieu Chalmé is not usually among them. The full-back ended a marauding run with a shot-cum-cross that sailed over Yohann Pelé and into the corner of the net to put the visitors ahead with 14 minutes left, before sub Jussiê capped a fine win in added time.
Stade Rennais FC / FC Nantes : 0 - 0
Rennes missed out on the chance to close to within a point of Lyon as Nantes claimed a point in the Brittany derby.
Elie Baup's side arrived at the at the Stade de la Route de Lorient on a high after their surprise win over Lyon last week, but Ivan Klasnić - restored to the starting line-up - failed to provide the spark which had done for the champions.
Guirane N'Daw went close to giving Nantes an early lead when a third-minute free-kick struck the woodwork, but Rod Fanni could have won it for Rennes ten minutes from time, only to see Tony Heurtebis superbly parry his powerful drive.
AS Nancy Lorraine / Grenoble Foot 38 : 2 - 0
Nancy picked up three valuable points to ease themselves away from the relegation zone, and leave Grenoble without a league win in their last eight matches.
Mecha Bazdarevic's men made a fine start to their first season in the top flight in 45 years, but their last victory dates back to Week 10 after they were out-fought and out-thought at the Stade Marcel Picot.
Julien Feret's first goal of the season gave Pablo Correa's men a 17th-minute lead before Issiar Dia struck on 66 minutes to earn Nancy a first win in three matches.
FC Sochaux-Montbéliard / SM Caen : 2 - 2
Sloan Privat grabbed a late brace to earn Sochaux a precious point and deny Caen a first win in three matches.
Franck Dumas' side must have thought it was Christmas come early as they went ahead in comical fashion on 21 minutes. Sochaux keeper Teddy Richert completely miscued his clearance, and Rémi Gomis was able to slip the ball into an empty net.
Jérémy Sorbon then doubled the visitors' advantage with 21 minutes left before Privat - who signed a first professional contract with the Montbéliard club this week - sparked a remarkable revival.
The Slovenian stabbed home the loose ball after Caen keeper Vincent Planté had parried Mickaël Isabey's free-kick 13 minutes from time before finding the net again with a spectacular overhead kick with a minute left to secure his side's fourth successive draw.
Toulouse FC / AS Saint-Etienne : 3 - 1
Saint-Etienne's mini-revival came to a halt as Toulouse picked up three points to boost their ambitions of a top-five finish.
Alain Perrin had brought Les Verts out of the relegation zone with back-to-back wins, but hopes of making that three victories on the bounce looked slim as André-Pierre Gignac broke the deadlock just five minutes in.
Paulo Machado levelled for the visitors, but Etienne Didot crashed home a long-range effort in first-half stoppage time to put the hosts ahead once again, before Gignac took his season's tally to ten after the interval to clinch all three points.
Valenciennes FC / AS Monaco FC : 3 - 1
Valenciennes capped a recent upturn in fortunes by registering their first win since Week 3 as Monaco were beaten at a chilly Stade Nungesser.
Antoine Kombouaré's side had drawn two and lost one of their last three matches prior to kick-off - including a goalless draw at Lyon in Week 16 - but they appeared set for an eleventh defeat of the season when Juan Pablo Pino gave the visitors a 23rd-minute lead.
Carlos Sanchez Moreno levelled, however, before Djamel Belmadi gave the hosts a 2-1 lead at the break. Grégory Pujol then struck in the second half as Monaco - who had Jerko Leko sent off four minutes from time - headed home empty-handed