Ligue One Roundup, Dec. 19

Bordeaux powered past Lorient 4-1 and earned the French league’s

unofficial title of winter champion on Saturday as the undisputed

leader at the halfway point.

With one more round left to reach midway, defending champion

Bordeaux topped the standings with 40 points from 18 matches, eight

clear of Marseille which had a game in hand. Marseille was held to

a goalless draw by 10-man Saint-Etienne, where temperatures dipped

to minus 8 degrees Celsius (17 F).

David Bellion collected a through ball from France playmaker

Yoann Gourcuff and beat goalkeeper Fabien Audard to open the

scoring for Bordeaux in the 12th minute. Fernando Cavenaghi then

played Bellion in with a headed pass and the former Manchester

United forward doubled the lead in the 41st.

Lorient had the opportunity to rally in the 52nd but Franco

Sosa’s penalty kick crashed against the post. On the subsequent

counterattack, Gourcuff beat the offside trap and pulled the ball

back for Cavenaghi, who tucked home the third goal.

Gourcuff’s angled shot in the 74th made it 4-0, and Kevin

Gameiro notched a consolation goal for Lorient in the 88th.

Also, it was: Montpellier 0, Nancy 2; Valenciennes 0, Lens 0;

Rennes 1, Paris Saint-Germain 0; Grenoble 1, Nice 1.

In Saint-Etienne, Efstathios Tavlaridis was red-carded after

eight minutes for fouling Marseille forward Bakari Kone, who was

bearing down on goal.

Midfielder Stephane Mbia nearly scored for Marseille in the

37th, but Mouhamadou Dabo cleared Mbia’s header off the goal-line.

Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda saved Marseille from an

embarrassing defeat by stopping a powerful strike from Blaise

Matuidi in the 88th.

In Montpellier, Djamel Bakar took a cross from Issiar Dia to

put mid-table Nancy ahead with a low shot in the 32nd. Pascal

Berenguer made it 2-0 with a lob in the 39th.

Montpellier remained in third place with 30 points, but Lyon,

Lille and Auxerre can leapfrog Montpellier with wins on Sunday.

In Rennes, Guinea forward Ismael Bangoura scored on a

counterattack in the 40th with an assist from Asamoah Gyan.

Rennes climbed to fourth place with 29 points while PSG

slipped to ninth place with 26 points.

In Grenoble, Nicolas Dieuze scored into an empty net for the

host team in the 75th after some fine work from Yoric Ravet. But

Tunisia forward Chaouki Ben Saada leveled for Nice in the 84th with

a chip.

Grenoble remained in last place with seven points. Nice was

16th, six points above the relegation zone.

The match pitting Boulogne against Sochaux was postponed

because of heavy snowfalls.

On Sunday, Auxerre hosts Toulouse, Lille faces Le Mans and

Lyon visits Monaco.

Bellion collected a through ball from France playmaker Yoann

Gourcuff to beat goalkeeper Fabien Audard and open the scoring for

Bordeaux in the 12th minute.

Fernando Cavenaghi then played Bellion in with a headed pass

and the former Manchester United forward doubled the lead in the

41st.

Lorient had the opportunity to rally in the 52nd but Franco

Sosa’s penalty kick crashed against the post. On the subsequent

counterattack, Gourcuff beat the offside trap and pulled the ball

back for Cavenaghi who tucked home the third goal.

Gourcuff increased his team’s lead with an angled shot in the

74th before Kevin Gameiro notched a consolation goal for Lorient in

the 88th.

Also Saturday, it was: Montpellier 0, Nancy 2; Valenciennes

0, Lens 0; Rennes 1, Paris Saint-Germain 0; Grenoble 1, Nice 1.

In Montpellier, Djamel Bakar took a cross from Issiar Dia to

put mid-table Nancy ahead with a low shot in the 32nd. Pascal

Berenguer made it 2-0 with a lob in the 39th.

Montpellier remained in third place with 30 points, but Lyon,

Lille and Auxerre can leapfrog Montpellier with wins on Sunday.

In Rennes, Guinea forward Ismael Bangoura scored on a

counterattack in the 40th with an assist from Asamoah Gyan.

Rennes climbed to fourth place with 29 points while PSG

slipped to ninth place with 26 points.

In Grenoble, Nicolas Dieuze scored into an empty net for the

host team in the 75th after some fine work from Yoric Ravet. But

Tunisia forward Chaouki Ben Saada leveled for Nice in the 84th with

a chip.

Grenoble remained in last place with seven points. Nice are

in 16th place, six points above the relegation zone.

The match pitting Boulogne against Sochaux was postponed

because of heavy snowfalls.

On Sunday, Auxerre hosts Toulouse, Lille faces Le Mans and

Lyon visits Monaco.