Paris edge out Sochaux
PSG made it six wins from their last nine matches when they beat a tough Sochaux outfit 2-1 at the Parc des Princes on Sunday night, while Caen drew 2-2 at home to Monaco.
Sunday January 18, 2009
Paris Saint-Germain / FC Sochaux-Montbéliard : 2 - 1
Sochaux travelled to Paris knowing that a win would see them edge out of the relegation, ahead of Saint-Etienne on goal difference, and Francis Gillot's men put in a committed performance against PSG.
Paris also had extra motivation, having suffered a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Bordeaux in Week 20, and clearly had the upper hand throughout the match.
While Sochaux fought hard, they created only a few chances, whereas Paul Le Guen's men were wasteful with theirs.
Nonetheless, Paris went into the break 1-0 up thanks to club top scorer Guillaume Hoarau, who went into equal second place with Bordeaux's Fernando Cavenaghi on the scorers charts, stroking home from the spot three minutes into injury time at the end of the first half.
Sochaux started the second half smartly and pulled one back in the 51st minute, with new signing Czech striker Vaclav Sverkos capping a counter-attack with a fine skidding volley from the edge of the area that beat Mickaël Landreau in the Paris goal to draw the scores level.
Paris reacted well though, lifting to re-take the lead twelve minutes later through Peguy Luyindula, preferred to France international Ludovic Giuly in attack, latched onto Sylvain Armand's flick-on header from a Jérôme Rothen corner, tapping home the simple finish.
Paris pushed on after going back in front and held out Sochaux to take all three points, hanging on to sixth place, just six points behind leaders Lyon. Sochaux remain in 17th place, still in the relegation zone three points behind Saint-Etienne.
SM Caen / AS Monaco FC : 2 - 2
Caen snatched a dramatic late equaliser to end their match against Monaco 2-2 at the Stade Michel-d'Ornano.
Monaco had by far the better first half, scoring as early as the fifth minute through Colombian striker Juan Pablo Pino, who put on a show in eliminating three defenders before beating Vincent Planté with an angled shot.
Caen had great difficulty dealing with Monaco's passing and movement, unable to get onto the front foot, and paying for it in the 22nd minute when Argentine midfielder Alejandro Alonso made the most of Caen captain Nicolas Seube's poor clearance to fire into the empty net and give his side an unexpected 2-goal lead.
Monaco seemed to come back from the break content to sit back, defend their lead and attack on the counter, but the space they left open gave Caen room to breathe and get back into the match.
Despite some more fireworks from Pino, whose angled shot scraped the outside of the post, Caen began to take the upper hand and in the resulting move, pulled one back through France international Steve Savidan, who notched his eighth goal of the season when he rose highest to meet Tunisian Fahid Ben Khalfallah's cross and blast a header past Yohann Thuram-Ulien.
The goal put the wind back in Caen's sails and the hosts pushed up in attack, creating several dangerous chances with some fine work from Ben Khalfallah and Benjamin Nivet.
Monaco did their best to hold out but two minutes into extra time, Anthony Deroin set Nivet clean through into the area with a first-time pass. Nivet made no mistake, stroking an angled shot past Thuram-Ulien to snatch a valuable point for his side.
The draw sees Caen and Monaco remain in 13th and 14th places respectively, equal on 24 points.