Monaco loses 1-0 at Evian
PARIS (AP) Monaco let Paris Saint-Germain run away with the title by losing 1-0 at struggling Evian in the French league on Saturday.
Evian defender Cedric Mongongu converted a penalty in the 84th minute after Monaco centerback Ricardo Carvalho blocked a goal attempt from Cedric Barbosa with his hand.
PSG edged Nice 1-0 on Friday to extend its lead over second-place Monaco to 13 points with just seven rounds left.
”Did we lose the title today? No. For me, it was over at the start of the season,” Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri told a news conference, implicitly referring to PSG’s better squad.
Monaco midfielder James Rodriguez wasted a good chance in the 50th. Clean through on goal, Rodriguez pounced on a low pass from Valere Germain but missed the target from six yards.
Evian remained in 17th place but moved five points clear of the relegation zone. Despite a rough season, Evian is no stranger to such feats as it also beat PSG 2-0 in December.
Elsewhere, Marseille was dealt a hard blow to its hopes for a European spot with a 1-1 draw at relegation-embattled Sochaux.
Sochaux centerback Stoppila Sunzu opened the scoring by heading home a corner from Sebastien Roudet in the 25th minute. Marseille centerback Nicolas Nkoulou equalized in the last minute with a header off a poor clearance from the Sochaux defense.
”One point is not enough, but I’ll take it because it’s better than zero,” Marseille coach Jose Anigo told a news conference. ”There’s no shame in coming away with a point from Sochaux, which is fighting relegation and is a team hard to play.”
Marseille remained sixth in the league, one point clear of Reims which drew 1-1 with Lorient.
Reims winger Odair Fortes fired home a powerful strike to level in the 49th after striker Vincent Aboubakar scored his 13th league goal with a penalty to give Lorient the lead on the stroke of halftime.
Toulouse drew 2-2 with bottom-side Ajaccio to stay level on points with Reims.
Ajaccio led 2-0 with goals from midfielder Ricardo Faty in the fourth and striker Gadji Tallo in the 33rd. But Toulouse rallied with a close-range effort from leftback Issiaga Sylla in the 37th and a diagonal strike from midfielder Clement Chantome in the 61st.
Valenciennes lost ground in the battle for safety by splitting the points with Montpellier in a goalless draw. Bordeaux also drew 0-0 with Nantes.
On Sunday, third-place Lille hosts Guingamp, Saint-Etienne visits Lyon and Rennes faces Bastia.