French Ligue One Roundup, Feb. 27

BY foxsports • February 27, 2011

Lille drew 1-1 with Lyon to retain the lead in the French league on Sunday on goal difference from Rennes, while Andre Ayew scored twice to give third-place Marseille a 2-1 win over Nancy.

Lille and France defender Adil Rami diverted a free kick from Eden Hazard toward Moussa Sow, who found the net for the hosts with a backheel flick in the ninth minute.

It was Sow's 17th goal this season, consolidating his spot as the leading scorer in the league.

But Sweden midfielder Kim Kallstrom leveled in the 26th with a powerful half-volley from 25 yards that goalkeeper Mickael Landreau could only palm into his own net.

Lyon dropped to fifth place, four points off the pace.

Lille dominated possession in the opening minutes. It took Sow's opener to force a reaction from Lyon, Jimmy Briand's angled shot stopped by Landreau in the 20th.

Lyon's equalizer made the match more lively.

Briand made a cross from the right flank for Brazilian winger Michel Bastos, who headed over the crossbar from close range in the 37th.

Lille threatened from a counterattack the following minute. Ivory Coast forward Gervinho dribbled outside of Lyon defender Dejan Lovren only to miss the target.

Lille pressured Lyon at the restart in the hope of scoring a quick goal. Lyon was cornered in its own territory and conceded free kicks but did not crack.

Rami hit a low drive from 30 yards that goalkeeper Hugo Lloris turned around the post in the 68th.

Lyon, however, finished the stronger.

On a free kick from France playmaker Yoann Gourcuff in the 76th, Jeremy Toulalan trapped the ball with two touches in the middle of the Lille defense before spinning and shooting, but Landreau made the save.

Landreau had to dive in the 80th to parry a low shot from Briand. Gourcuff got to the rebound but was denied by the goalkeeper.

Briand outpaced the Lille defense in the 89th to be clean through on goal, but Landreau came off his line to snatch the ball at the winger's feet.

Lille created the last chance in the 90th. Poland midfielder Ludovic Obraniak made a cross for Tulio de Melo, but the Brazilian forward headed the ball straight into Lloris' arms.

In Nancy, midfielder Julien Feret opened the scoring with a curling shot in the 34th. But Ayew equalized from close range on the stroke of halftime off a headed pass from Stephane Mbia.

Ayew had his cross parried by goalkeeper Damien Gregorini in the 87th, but the Ghana winger pounced on the loose ball to score the winning goal from a tight angle.

"We managed to win in tough conditions," Ayew said. "We'll have to keep going because there are a lot of teams taking points."

Paris Saint-Germain beat Toulouse 2-1 to climb to fourth place, two points off the pace.

PSG's Sylvain Armand chested down a clearance from the Toulouse defense to volley home in the 28th. PSG doubled its lead in the 38th with an own goal from Adrian Gunino, who deflected in a shot from Mathieu Bodmer.

Franck Tabanou took advantage of a defensive blunder from Armand to score for Toulouse in the 62nd.

Toulouse midfielder Paulo Machado missed a penalty in the 17th after Armand had fouled Moussa Sissoko.

"The goal is to stay in the leading pack," PSG coach Antoine Kombouare said. "If we are well placed in the beginning of April, then it will be interesting."

On Saturday, it was: Rennes 2, Lens 0; Sochaux 0, Montpellier 0; Saint-Etienne 0, Nice 2; Valenciennes 0, Lorient 0; Arles-Avignon 1, Brest 1; Monaco 2, Caen 2; and Bordeaux 3, Auxerre 0.


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