Arithmetic took center stage with number “7” as second place PSG travelled away to ninth place Lorient this past weekend. Living up to his number jersey number, 32-year-old Ludovic Guily scored his 7th league goal as he volleyed in Guillaume Hoarau’s carefully headed pass. The 1-0 result see PSG close the gap on Lyon as Paul Le Guen’s men aim to cap Lyon’s consecutive Ligue 1 crowns at 7.
Elsewhere fellow title hopefuls Bordeaux could not withstand the seduction of Alain Casanova as they fell 3-0 to Toulouse. Despite being the far superior side for most of the encounter, Laurent Blanc’s men failed to capitalize and found themselves down by 2 at the end of the first half with goals by Francois Sirieix and Andre-Pierre Gignac – the latter’s 16th league goal. It was more of the same after both teams arrived from half time team talks as Cavenaghi and Chamakh came close for Bordeaux before Moussa Sissoko added injury to insult with a 93rd minute goal.
Grenoble Foot 38 almost put its “foot” in its mouth prior to Larsen Toure added time goal which gave the hosts a 2-1 win against 10 men Caen. The thrilling affair was marked with Gregory Leca’s red card ten minutes into the tie for a professional foul. On loan Lyon defender Sandy Paillot gave Grenoble the lead minutes before halftime before Caen suffered its second casualty as manager Frank Dumas was sent into the stands for arguing with the officials. Veteran midfielder Anthony Deroin almost stole a point for the Normandy side five minutes from time before Toure’s strike snatched all three points for Grenoble.
Marseille lost more ground atop the Ligue 1 table as they were held to a goalless draw by 15th place Valenciennces. L’OM manager Eric Gerets appeared livid as his team failed to score despite their dominance for most of the tie. Marseille narrowly hold on to a Champions league spot over Toulouse thanks to a slightly better goal difference.
The round’s third stalemate was at the Stade Marcel Picot as AS Nancy and Le Mans battled to a 2-2 scoreline. The hosts took the lead through Youssouf Hadji, younger brother of Moroccan football legend Mustapha Hadji. Coutadeur equalized for the visitors in the 20th minute but Brazilian defender Andre Luiz restored Nancy’s lead in the 53rd minute. Thorstein Helstad leveled the encounter eight minutes later as both teams sit 11th and 14th respectively.
St.Etienne ran ragged against Nantes in a scrappy relegation match with a double from Araujo Ilan which cancelled Ivan Klasnic’s early goal. Elsewhere in the drop zone, it was a case of the have and the have nots as Le Havre came back from a goal to win 2-1 in a feisty match against Sochaux. Rennais moved three points closer to a place in Europe as goals from Bocanegra and Briand saw the Rouges et Noirs beat a rather flat Auxerre side.
Finally, déjÃ vu struck as Lyon returned to the scene of the crime as they faced Lille aiming to avenge its midweek’s Coupe De France loss . The “eX” and “whY” affair left ex Lille players Bodmer, Keita and Makoun ego bruised as former Lille cum Lyon manager Claude Puel will lament why his team failed to secure any points in the tightly contested match. Michel Bastos continued his amazing form as his left sided cross found the head of Vittek to give Lille the lead in the 60th minute. Two minute from time Bastos wrapped up his man of the match performace with a chip over Hugo Lloris to send a record Ligue 1 crowd at the Stade de France into raptures.