Matchday 37: Saturday round-up

Ligue 1 Conforama


Jean-Marc Furlan (pictured) is not smiling anymore - his Strasbourg side were relegated after a 4-1 thrashing at home to Caen. It's as you were at the top after wins for Lyon and Bordeaux over Nancy and Sochaux respectively.

Saturday 10 May 2008

Ligue 1, Matchday 37


Lyon 1
Andre Luiz (own goal) 63

Nancy 0

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Lyon maintained their two-point lead at the top with a 1-0 win over third-placed Nancy - but it took an own goal to earn the points.

Despite needing a helping hand from the visitors Alain Perrin's Ligue 1 leaders were good value for the victory. They had the majority of the possession and created the better chances throughout the game.

Kader Keita came close in the first half but saw Jonathan Brison clear the shot off the line and Sidney Govou had a goal disallowed for a narrow offside decision shortly before the break. Just after the hour mark the six-times champions made the crucial breakthrough when Nancy goalkeeper Gennaro Bracigliano could only parry Juninho's free-kick and Andre Luiz put through his own net under pressure from Lyon defender Sebastien Squillaci.

Lyon were able to hold out for the final half-hour even though Nancy needed points in their chase for a Champions League place. The result means Lyon need only a point at Auxerre next weekend to be sure of retaining their title, while Nancy are in third place, a point ahead of Marseille.


Bordeaux 2
Fernando 45, Chamakh 59

Sochaux 0

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Goals either side of half-time from Fernando and Marouane Chamakh kept Bordeaux within touching distance of leaders Lyon at the top of the table.

Needing a win to keep up the pressure on Lyon, Bordeaux attacked from the outset with former Manchester United striker David Bellion having a couple of early sighters. For the visitors, Stephane Dalmat and Stephane Pichot kept goalkeeper Mathieu Valverde on his toes with decent efforts.

But the decisive moment of the first half came virtually at its conclusion. Having won a corner through Gabriel Obertan, Bordeaux packed the penalty area for Wendel's delivery. The Brazilian's cross caused chaos in the Sochaux defence, and after a couple of half-clearances, the ball fell kindly to Fernando who gleefully smashed the ball past the helpless Teddy Richert.

If the first goal was fortunate, the second, 15 minutes after the restart was anything but. A brilliant nutmeg on the left wing by Benoit Tremoulinas left Pichot for dead, and the substitute then followed up by finding the head of Marouane Chamakh. Richert, again, had no chance and the game was effectively over.


Le Mans 0

Marseille 0

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Marseille could only draw 0-0 at Le Mans and therefore missed a chance to reclaim third place.

Eric Gerets' visitors will curse home goalkeeper Yohann Pele, who produced a string of outstanding saves to thwart the away side. And even a numerical advantage failed to help Marseille's cause - defender Samuel Bouhours was sent off for a foul on Mathieu Valbuena on 51 minutes but Le Mans held out with an excellent defensive performance

Kanga Akale was guilty of a glaring mistake for the visitors in the first-half when he shot wide of an empty net after outstanding play from Mamadou Niang. After the interval it was Valbuena and Benoit Cheyrou who found Pele impossible to beat, as he produced two stunning stops to keep the scores level.

The goalless result means Marseille lie fourth, trailing Nancy by one point. That means they must do better than their rivals next weekend. Gerets' side hosts Strasbourg while Nancy entertain Rennes.


Clement 60

St Etienne 1
Perrin 44

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PSG claimed a vital point in their battle against relegation to climb out of the bottom three with just one game to go.

Jeremy Clement notched his first Ligue 1 goal of the season as Paul Le Guen's side mounted a second-half fightback against in-form St Etienne.

The visitors took the lead just before the break when midfielder Loic Perrin reacted quickest after PSG goalkeeper Mickael Landreau made a superb save from a Dimitri Payet effort but could only push the ball into Perrin's path.

Shortly after the interval Bafetimbi Gomis missed a glorious chance to double St Etienne's lead and was made to pay when Clement equalised. Sylvain Armand puts in a cross, Clement Chantome inadvertently flicked on towards Clement and he lashed the ball home.

The match opened up and both goalkeepers were forced into action in the closing stages, while Yannick Boli - who scored PSG's winner in their French Cup semi-final victory over Amiens this week - blazed a wonderful opportunity over the bar. But a draw was a fair result, and lifts PSG one point clear of Toulouse and Lens at the foot.


Lille 2
Cabaye 43, Frau 66

Lens 1
Monterrubio 69 pen

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Lille came out on top of a fiercely contested derby at the Stade Metropole, handing Lens a defeat that drops them into the relegation zone ahead of next week's crunch game with title contenders Bordeaux.

Having taken charge after the shock departure of Guy Roux, management rookie Jean-Pierre Papin has been unable to change the fortunes of the Sang et Or. With two games to go, and the club's 17-year spell in the top flight under threat, Lens really could have done without a local derby away to a rejuvenated Lille side, and after a nervy start the formbook didn't lie, with the home side taking a deserved lead just before the break.

A neat move started by Michel Bastos saw Yohan Cabaye released by a clever ball from Jean Makoun, and the midfielder wasted no time in wrong footing Vedran Runje to open the scoring. It was his seventh goal of the season, all of which have come at Stade Metropole.

When Pierre-Alain Frau's diving header made it 2-0 midway through the second half, it looked all over for Papin's side. But just seconds later they were handed a lifeline when substitute Toifilou Maoulida was felled in the box by Lille goalkeeper Gregory Malicki and Olivier Monterrubio made no mistake from the spot. Try as they might, however, Lens just couldn't find an equaliser and now face an uphill task to stay in Ligue 1.


Rennes 2
Pagis 54, Mensah 73

Toulouse 1
Sirieix 11

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Two second-half goals from Rennes condemned Toulouse to a potentially catastrophic defeat at the Stade de la Route de Lorient. The visitors had taken an early lead but now find themselves perilously close to the drop zone.

After a poor season in which they've been hampered by European participation and the loss of several key players through injury, Elie Baup's side needed a strong performance against Rennes. And when they took the lead as early as the 11th minute, it appeared they may be getting out of trouble.

The goal was created by the trickery of Fode Mansare. The Guinea international outfoxed two Rennes players before pulling the ball back for Francois Sirieix to ram the ball home and give the visitors a priceless lead. It was the midfielder's first goal in almost three seasons, and the 27-year-old will surely never score a more important one.

At least, that was the way it appeared until Rennes found a way back into the game just after the interval. And what a goal it was: yet another pinpoint ball from Jerome Leroy found Mickael Pagis and the striker brilliantly backheeled the ball into the net.

Worse was to follow for Toulouse when Rennes scored a second with just 15 minutes left to play as John Mensah got on the end of a corner from Olivier Thomert to seal all three points for the home side. Defeat leaves Toulouse above 18th-placed Lens on goal difference with one game to go.


Strasbourg 1
Gameiro 23

Caen 4
Toudic 6, 84, Dos Santos own goal 12, Gouffran 31

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Strasbourg were relegated from Ligue 1 as Caen thrashed them 4-1 on their own pitch at Stade de la Meinau. This was their 10th straight defeat, which is why they've slipped straight back down to Ligue 2 at the first attempt.

An early goal from Julien Toudic set the tone and les Alsaciens were never really in the match. The second goal summed up Strasbourg's luck as goalkeeper Stephane Cassard punched out Gregory Proment's free-kick but the ball hit Strasbourg defender Manuel Dos Santos and went straight in the net.

Kevin Gameiro briefly gave the host hope when he scored following excellent work by Alvaro Santos and James Fanchone on 23 minutes, but the optimism lasted only 11 minutes. Cedric Hengbart fed Yoan Gouffran from the right flank and the striker tapped the ball home for his 10th goal of the season to make the score 3-1.

Alvaro Santos hit the post as Strasbourg fought back in the second-half but they needed three goals to maintain their hopes of staying up and never looked likely to get them. Toudic then grabbed his second to wrap up an emphatic win for Caen six minutes from time to seal Strasbourg's fate in emphatic fashion.


Monaco 3
Bakar 48, Nene 75, Meriem 82

Auxerre 0

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Monaco beat Auxerre 3-0 in a match that turned out to be meaningless for both sides.

While neither side was mathematically safe from relegation at the start of the play, the failure of the sides below to win guaranteed Ligue 1 status for Monaco and Auxerre.

Not that Monaco were taking any chances at the Stade Louis II. After a tight first half, the home side finally began to carry some attacking threat, and when Jeremy Menez placed a quick free kick on the head of Djamel Bakar, they had the lead.

Menez, a half-time substitute, was proving the difference between the two sides; his neat one-two with another substitute, Nene, set up the Brazilian to double the advantage. A brilliant third goal from Camel Meriem capped a great night for the Principality side.


Valenciennes 1
Savidan 89 pen

Nice 2
Ederson 49, Kone 57

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Two goals in the space of seven minutes at the start of the second half condemned Valenciennes to defeat in their final home game of the season.

With little to play for at Stade Nungesser, neither side seemed able to rouse themselves in a torpid first half. But just after the break, the crowd was finally treated to some worthwhile action when Brazilian Ederson opened the scoring with a precise finish.

Just moments later it was 2-0 as the brilliant Ivorian Bakary Kone sped clear and buried the ball past Nicolas Penneteau to claim his 13th goal of the season. Steve Savidan pulled one back for Valenciennes late on - also his 13th of the campaign - but it was too little, too late for the home side.


Metz 1
B Gueye 33

Lorient 2
Saifi 45, Abriel 66

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Lorient came from behind to win a hugely entertaining match at Stade Saint-Symphorien.

Babacar Gueye opened the scoring for the hosts but Lorient had already had chances to find the net, with Rafik Saifi seeing an effort disallowed in the sixth minute. He then netted the equaliser in injury-time at the end of the first half to take his tally to 13 for the season.

Midfielder Fabrice Abriel put the visitors ahead with a clever shot on 66 minutes to give Christian Gourcuff's side a deserved win, even though Metz came close to earning a point when Gueye's free-kick came back off the bar 11 minutes from time.

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