Rennes vs. Olympique Lyonnais  1 - 1

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Ligue 1 wrap: Hazard stars in Lille win

2 April 2012 06:28

Ligue 1 champions Lille closed in on Paris Saint-Germain courtesy of a 2-1 win over Toulouse on Sunday, as Caen and Ajaccio drew.

Title-holders Lille took control early in the match at the Stade Lille Metropole, thanks to goals from Eden Hazard and Dimitri Payet.

Belgium international Hazard drew a foul from Daniel Congre inside the area 12 minutes from kick-off, and dispatched the resulting penalty to put Lille 1-0 ahead.

And he was instrumental as the home side doubled their lead in the 31st minute.

Hazard advanced into the area and dummied a shot on goal, opting instead to set up Payet for a simple finish.

Toulouse pulled one back on the hour mark when Christopher Aurier scored via a deflected effort.

But the visitors' hopes of mounting a comeback faded when Francois Sirieix was shown a straight red card for a bad tackle on Nolan Roux with eight minutes to go.

The win sees Lille close to within four points of second-placed PSG, who lost at Nancy on Saturday.

League leaders Montpellier, also four points clear of Lille, are not in action during this round, and will have a game in hand over their title rivals.

A 76th-minute goal from Lisandro Lopez saw Lyon salvage a 1-1 draw at Stade Rennes.

Former Paris Saint-Germain striker Mevlut Erdinc gave the hosts a sixth-minute lead at Stade de la Route de Lorient, but they were unable to hold onto the advantage.

Striker Lopez levelled to help Remi Garde's into fourth, six points adrift of third-placed Lille.

Stade Rennes, who dominated most of the encounter, went ahead when Erdinc cut into the area and fired a low effort past Hugo Lloris.

They wasted several chances to put the game to bed, and Lyon made them pay when Lopez got on the end of a Clement Grenier free-kick.

Elsewhere on Sunday, relegation-threatened Caen earned what could prove to be a valuable point with a 0-0 draw at home to Ajaccio.

But it might have been a considerably better result for the home side, who saw Pierre-Alain Frau miss a first-half penalty at the Stade Michel-d'Ornano.

Johan Cavalli and Eduardo Dos Santos both had late chances to win it for Ajaccio blocked by Caen goalkeeper Alexis Thebaux.

The draw leaves Caen third-from-bottom in the standings, level on points with 17th-placed Brest, but inside the relegation zone on goal difference.

Ajaccio are two points better off in 15th.

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Ligue 1 preview: PSG look for clear lead

31 March 2012 04:10

Paris Saint-Germain can edge ahead in the Ligue 1 title race this weekend when they travel to Nancy on Saturday.

With league leaders Montpellier not in action, PSG can go three points ahead in the title race if they can win at the Stade Marcel Picot.

Trailing Montpellier on goal difference, too many draws have cost Carlo Ancelotti's side this season, including their last two outings, against Bordeaux and Caen, and they must start winning if they hope to claim their first Ligue 1 title since 1986.

"I'm not happy," said coach Ancelotti after their draw with Bordeaux.

"We wanted to win. We're not in a good spell right now. It took us a long time to get into the game. We again waited for the second half.

"It was only then that we put on more pressure and took control, but we made mistakes in defence.

"We need more confidence, more discipline, and we need to play simpler football. Fatigue wasn't the problem. We have to work harder."

Nancy are enjoying a purple patch at the moment, beating Lyon and leaders Montpellier in a four-game unbeaten streak.

However, despite being in 12th spot on the table, Nancy remain just five points clear of the drop zone, and will be desperate to give themselves more breathing room.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Auxerre travel to Valenciennes hoping to dig themselves out of relegation trouble.

Jean Wallemme's side are four points adrift at the bottom of the table and have not won in the league this year.

They blew a one goal lead in a 2-1 loss against 11th placed Valenciennes earlier in the season, but will be hoping they can reverse that result this time around.

Saint-Etienne will be hoping they can snap a run of two straight losses when they host lowly Nice, while Sochaux host Brest in a relegation six pointer.

Bordeaux and Dijon go head-to-head at the Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas, with the hosts still holding onto a slim chance of European qualification.

Lorient can put space between themselves and the relegation zone when they host Evian, while on Sunday, Caen host Ajaccio.

Also on Sunday, Lille must win at home to fourth-placed Toulouse to keep pace with leaders PSG and Montpellier, while Stade Rennes host Lyon as both clubs press for European qualification.


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