French Ligue One Roundup, Feb. 13

Victor Hugo Montano scored his ninth goal this season as

Montpellier beat Grenoble 1-0 on Saturday to draw level on points

with French league leader Bordeaux.

Defending champion Bordeaux and Montpellier have 48 points

each with Bordeaux topping the standings due to a better goal

difference.

Bordeaux, which has won only one of its last four league

games, plays Saint-Etienne on Sunday.

Montano broke the deadlock following a nice collective move,

collecting Souleymane Camara’s precise cross to beat goalkeeper

Jody Viviani in the 27th minute and secure Montpellier’s fifth

consecutive league win.

“This was a difficult match but even when we are not playing

well the team is winning, that’s a good thing,” Montano said. “We

have a young team but we can match up with the biggest French

teams. I don’t think we will be champions, but for the moment we

don’t think too much and we don’t want to put pressure on

ourselves.”

Third-place Lille beat northern rival Boulogne-sur-Mer 3-1

after two goals from Ludovic Obraniak to stay in the title race

with 44 points.

Obraniak collected Yohan Cabaye’s long pass and opened the

scoring in the sixth minute with a half-volley. Rami extended the

lead from close range following a corner four minutes later.

Defender Olubayo Adefemi reduced the gap in the 28th minute.

Obraniak notched his second goal of the night in the 43rd after

taking advantage of goalkeeper Jean-Francois Bedenik’s poor

clearance.

Seven-time champion Lyon moved within five points of Bordeaux

with a 1-0 win over Lens.

Three days before hosting Real Madrid in the Champions

League, Lyon struggled in the first half but finally prevailed when

Argentine striker Cesar Delgado beat goalkeeper Vedran Runje from

close range in the 76th minute.

Without injured Brazilian striker Brandao, fifth-place

Marseille bounced back from a 3-1 French Cup defeat at Lens with a

convincing 2-1 win at Monaco.

Marseille, with one match in hand, has 42 points while Monaco

stayed sixth with 39 points.

Marseille had the best chances and captain Mamadou Niang

logically put his team ahead in the 37th minute from the spot.

Three minutes later, Monaco striker Moussa Maazou’s shot was

deflected into his own goal by Marseille midfielder Stephane Mbia.

Marseille maintained its domination in the second half and

finally grabbed the three points thanks to Julio Nkoulou’s own-goal

in the 88th minute following a corner.

“We were fresher than us at the end of the match and that’s

the reason why we were able to win the game,” Marseille coach

Didier Deschamps said. “This is an important result. Since the

begining of the year we have played with a good state of mind and

the players know each other better.”

After four consecutive league defeats, Paris Saint-Germain

drew 0-0 at Nancy. PSG lies in 14th place with 30 points, two less

than Nancy.

Following an humiliating 5-1 loss to Marseille last weekend,

Valenciennes recovered with a 2-1 win over relegation-threatened

Nice. Defender Rudy Mater’s goal put the northern side in front in

the 50th minute before Loic Remy headed in from a free kick in the

76th.

Substitute Filip Sebo, who replaced David Ducourtioux in the

84th, scored Valenciennes’ winner in injury time.

Also Saturday, Le Mans was held to a scoreless draw by

Sochaux. Auxerre faces Rennes and Toulouse travels at Lorient in

Sunday’s other matches.