Evian TG vs. Sochaux  2 - 3

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Ligue 1 wrap: Lyon bounce back against Lille, Sochaux break drought

11 March 2012 02:51

Lyon held off Lille for a 2-1 win in Ligue 1 despite going down to 10 men on Saturday, as Bordeaux and Sochaux also won.

Hosts Lyon were looking to recover from their surprise Champions League round-of-16 exit away to APOEL Nicosia on Wednesday.

They made a strong start to the match at the Stade de Gerland, with Alexandre Lacazette heading home Mouhamadou Dabo's cross 12 minutes in.

Nolan Roux came close to an equaliser for reigning champions Lille, but it was Lyon who claimed the second goal of the match.

Lacazette pounced on a loose ball from Florent Balmont, feeding Lisandro Lopez, who sent a measured shot beyond Lille goalkeeper Mickael Landreau.

The visitors pulled one back in first-half stoppage time, with Aurelien Chedjou Fongang netting a header after Lyon failed to defend Benoit Pedretti's corner.

Nolan Roux saw another good chance blocked by Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris early in the second half.

Both sides had shots which struck the crossbar, with the woodwork keeping out Michel Bastos' free-kick for Lyon, before Tulio de Melo was denied an equaliser for Lille.

Lyon went a man down in the 67th minute, when Dejan Lovren was shown a second yellow card for a bad challenge on Hazard.

Tulio missed another opportunity for Lille late on, as the undermanned hosts hung on to record all three points.

The win sees Lyon move up to sixth place, four points behind Lille, who occupy the final Champions League qualification berth in third.

Also on Saturday, Yoan Gouffran and Jaroslav Plasil both scored as Bordeaux ran out 2-0 winners away to Brest, with Bruno Grougi missing a penalty for the hosts on 76 minutes.

Brice Dja Djedje's own-goal, together with strikes from Vincent Nogueira and Edouard Butin, helped Sochaux come from behind to beat Evian 3-2 away from home.

Sochaux's first win from 14 matches in all competitions lifts them off the foot of the table at the expense of Auxerre, who visit Rennes on Sunday.

Nice managed a 1-1 draw at home to Nancy, after Franck Djadjede cancelled out Daniel George Niculae's opener for the visitors.

Mareque Lucas' own-goal and Innocent Emeghara's effort sealed a 2-0 win for Lorient away to Toulouse.

Finally, St Etienne scored twice in the space of five minutes late in the second half as they came from behind to beat Valenciennes 2-1 away from home.

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Ligue 1 preview: Lille title defence on the line

10 March 2012 03:10

Lille face a tough trip to Lyon on Saturday, desperately needing a win to keep in touch with the top two teams in Ligue 1.

The club from the north-east of France have won just two of their last five games, including two consecutive draws.

That leaves Rudi Garcia's side third on the ladder, seven points behind second-placed Montpellier and eight short of leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Their next assignment comes at Stade de Gerland against a Lyon outfit coming off a disappointing exit from the Champions League at the hands of Apoel Nicosia.

The seven-time French league champions recorded their fourth match in a row without a win after succumbing to the Cypriots on Wednesday.

Lille will be hoping to take advantage of their hosts' poor form, although the visitors will need to improve their ability to wrap up victories after 11 draws from 26 games this season.

Injuries to key defensive players could make it difficult, however, with goalkeeper Mickael Landreau and centre-back Marko Basa both doubtful for Saturday's game.

If Lille fail to win on Saturday, that could leave the title race to just two clubs.

Montpellier and PSG both play on Sunday, with the league-leaders travelling to Dijon and Montpellier hosting Caen.

AC Ajaccio and Marseille get the round underway on Friday, with Marseille keen to get back on track after a 2-0 loss to Evian last time out, their third consecutive defeat.

Didier Deschamps' side have not scored a goal in those three defeats, last hitting the net in their 1-0 Champions League victory over Inter Milan a fortnight ago.

The match against Ajaccio will be Marseille's last chance to overturn their form slump before they face Inter in the reverse leg of their round-of-16 tie.

As Marseille and Lyon have plummeted down the ladder, Rennes, St Etienne and Toulouse have become the front-runners for a Europa League berth.

Rennes hold the qualification spot on goal difference and can improve their grasp on fourth place if they beat second-bottom Auxerre on Sunday.

St Etienne travel to Valenciennes, while Toulouse host Lorient.

In other matches, Bordeaux will head to Brest, Evian take on Sochaux and Nice play Nancy.

Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +34 82
2 38 +34 79
3 38 +33 74
4 38 +13 64
5 38 +12 61
6 38 +9 60
7 38 +4 57
8 38 +3 56
9 38 -1 50
10 38 +4 48
11 38 -10 45
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -7 42
14 38 -20 42
15 38 -7 41
16 38 -21 41
17 38 -14 39
18 38 -20 38
19 38 -25 36
20 38 -11 34