Rennes rein in PSG, Nantes slump again
Paris Saint-Germain missed out on the chance to go above Lyon into third as they were beaten 1-0 by Rennes on Sunday. Nantes' relegation troubles deepened as they suffered a 2-1 loss at home to Le Havre.
Sunday 3 May 2009
Paris Saint-Germain / Stade Rennais FC : 0 - 1
With Lyon just a point distant at kick-off, PSG knew victory would take them into the top three, and the hosts - who were without top scorer Guillaume Hoarau, an 11th-hour absence through injury - produced a lively first-half display which should have seen them go in front.
As so often this season, Stéphane Sessegnon was at the heart of PSG's most threatening moves, and the Benin international should have done better than drag his shot wide of goal after a neat one-two with Ludovic Giuly had given him the first clear-cut opportunity of the match 17 minutes in.
Sessegnon then saw a near-post header ricochet off Rennes midfielder Stéphane Mbia and fly narrowly wide of Nicolas Douchez's left-hand post, while young defender Mamdou Sakho was unlucky to see an instinctive back flick go the wrong side of the same upright just before half-time.
Having shown very little in the opening 45 minutes, Rennes started the second-half with more determination, but should have found themselves behind just after the hour mark, and would have but for some miraculous goalkeeping from Douchez.
The former Toulouse number one missed the midweek defeat to Bordeaux with back pain, but showed why Guy Lacombe was so keen to have him back for the visit to the Parc des Princes as he acrobatically pawed away a Peguy Luyindula header before parrying Jérémy Clément's point-blank effort just seconds later. Douchez then deserved his good fortune as Luyindula could only fire the rebound against a post.
Lady Luck proved even kinder to the visitors as they struck the only goal of the game on 66 minutes when former PSG midfielder Jérôme Leroy saw his volley take a telling deflection off Sakho to completely wrongfoot Mickaël Landreau.
PSG continued to press with Clément going close, but Rennes threatened, too - Romain Danzé forcing Landreau to block his low drive late on as the Breton club claimed only their third win in 20 visits to the capital.
FC Nantes / Havre AC : 1 - 2
Le Havre may be all but mathematically consigned to relegation, but Frédéric Hantz's men appear set to go out in style by dragging some famous names down with them after leaving Nantes rooted in the drop zone.
Elie Baup's men had slipped into the bottom three after Caen's win on Saturday, but failed to give themselves breathing space despite Christian Bekamenga giving them a 24th-minute lead.
Mamadou Diallo levelled for the visitors five minutes before the break and Florian Marange struck a superb solo effort on 61 minutes to give Le Havre a first win in four matches.