Nancy defy odds to trip up PSG
Jean Calvé's first Ligue 1 goal threw the French title race wide open as Nancy shrugged off their recent troubles to stun leaders Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the capital on Sunday.
Calvé had not scored in the top flight since making his Ligue 1 debut in 2005, but the defender was the unlikely matchwinner as he struck four minutes into the second half to end PSG's 12-game unbeaten run and lift Jean Fernandez's men out of the bottom three as they recorded a second successive win and their first away from home in seven attempts this season. Despite the loss - their first since their opening-game defeat at home to Lorient - PSG remain top of the table, but now head second-placed Montpellier only on goal difference.
Given that they arrived in the capital second-from-bottom, it was hardly surprising that Nancy set out to try and stifle the hosts' considerable attacking potential. However, they did allow PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu the opportunity to show why he continues to keep Nicolas Douchez out of the side when the Italian leapt across his goal to keep out Reynald Lemaître's drive.
The visitors were helped in their ambitions by their hosts' inability to find an end-product to their play. A Nene cross that Lemaître came close to turning past his own goalkeeper aside, PSG looked far from a team that had won their last six home games. Their best opening of the first half stemmed from a Nene set-piece, but Milan Bisevac was unable to find the target with his header.
The league leaders undoubtedly emerged from the dressing-room for the second-half with greater determination, but barely had time to put it into effect when Nancy silenced the Parc des Princes crowd by going in front. The danger looked to have passed when Lemaître's over-hit cross from the left drifted out to the opposite flank, but Lossemy Karaboué picked up the loose ball before spotting Calvé's burst forward - the ex-Le Mans man's first-time shot was too good for Sirigu.
Going a goal behind spurred the hosts into life, and they almost levelled when they broke smartly after aNancyfree-kick, but after Nene had teed him up, Christophe Jallet saw his shot stopped by Guy Rolland Ndy Assembé. Back Nancy came, and a Lemaître set-piece almost fashioned them a second when André Luiz rose highest to a free-kick to head powerfully goalwards - Sirigu's reactions allowed him to raise his hands quickly enough to push the ball onto the bar.
With the clock ticking and the tension rising, PSG pushed forward with increasing desperation but also greater incisiveness. Kévin Gameiro has now failed to score in his last eight outings for club and country, but Ligue 1's joint-leading scorer came desperately close to ending his drought when he turned the ball against the bar following Mathieu Bodmer's miscued header. Both Nene and Bodmer were then denied by Ndy Assembé in the frantic closing stages, but Nancy held on to spring the surprise of the season so far.