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
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
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
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
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
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.