Relegation Battles: More agony for PSG
Toulouse's Mohamed Fafana denied fellow relegation strugglers Paris Saint Germain a vital three points with a late equaliser in their 1-1 draw.
Matchday 36 Saturday 3 May 2008
Saturday 3 May 2008
Paris SG 1
Bernard Mendy put PSG ahead in the 63rd minute but Fofana struck with three minutes remaining to frustrate the Parisians.
The result leaves PSG in the bottom three, trailing Toulouse and Lens, who were held 0-0 at home by Monaco, on goal difference with all three teams on 39 points from 36 games.
Strasbourg's 3-0 defeat at high-flying Nancy all but condemns them to relegation with bottom club Metz, but who joins them may well be decided on the final day of the season.
Hosts Toulouse piled on the pressure in the closing moments of the first half with Fode Mansare going close and then being denied what appeared to be a penalty when he was brought down by Zoumana Camara.
Achille Emana also saw a spectacular bicycle kick saved by PSG keeper Mickael Landreau.
PSG improved in the second half and Mendy gave them a deserved lead just after the hour mark as he controlled neatly and sent home a low shot from 10 metres.
However, they could not hold on to their lead and Fofana levelled when his shot took a deflection off the otherwise excellent Camara and into the net.
>> Match Stats
Meanwhile Auxerre all but secured their Ligue 1 future with a 2-0 home victory over Valenciennes.
Goals in either half from Kevin Lejeune and Ireneusz Jelen earned Auxerre three points that put them five clear of the drop zone with two games left to play.
Valenciennes, who ensured their own safety in the previous round, offered little resistance and fell behind in the 17th minute as Lejenue played a one-two with Thomas Kahlenberg and scored with a low shot past Nicolas Penneteau.
The excellent Penneteau made a number of key saves as Auxerre pressed for the decisive second and Lejeune missed the easiest chance of the match before Jelen finally calmed home nerves in injury time.
Daniel Niculae released him to dribble past Penneteau and score the vital second.
>> Match Stats
With PSG playing earlier in the day, Lens went into the game with Monaco knowing they could find themselves in the bottom three if results went against them.
But a gritty draw in a fixture they haven't lost since 1996, coupled with the Paris side conceding a late equaliser, leaves Jean Pierre Papin's men clinging to Ligue 1 status.
A decade after their finest hour, champions of France in 1998, Lens have slipped perilously close to exiting the top flight for the first since their return in 1991, having won just once in 11 game.
The first of their three 'cup finals' couldn't have got off to a worse start as top scorer Aruna Dindane was carried off injured after just a matter of seconds.
Later in the half, defender and captain Vitorino Hilton also had to be substituted.
The substitutions didn't appear to affect Lens too greatly, though, as the home side set about creating chances, with Olivier Monterrubio and Nadir Belhadj both going close. In the second half, however, it was a different story as Monaco came back into the game, passing with greater assurance and attacking more freely.
Even without top scorer Frederic Piquionne, the visitors looked likely to score, but in Vedran Runje, they found a goalkeeper in top form. Late in the game, the Croatian did brilliantly to deny Brazilian forward Adriano and keep his side out of the drop zone for another week.