Auxerre vs. Brest  4 - 0


Ligue 1 wrap: PSG slip boosts Montpellier

30 April 2012 05:02

Lille defeated title-challengers Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 on Sunday, giving leaders Montpellier a boost towards their first Ligue 1 title.

After Javier Pastore gave PSG the lead at the start of the second half, Lille hit back with two goals in seven minutes to claim victory and severely damage the title hopes of the capital club.

PSG went into the match five points behind Montpellier but with a game in hand after the league-leaders defeated Toulouse 1-0 on Friday.

Victory was crucial for PSG if they were to keep the pressure on Montpellier and, after a scoreless first half, Pastore put them on course for a win with a looping header in the 48th minute.

But Lille, who are in third place in Ligue 1, drew level in the 71st minute when Joe Cole split the defence with a fantastic pass from his own half to Nolan Roux and the substitute was dragged down in the box by Mamadou Sakho.

The PSG defender was sent off and Eden Hazard scored from the penalty spot.

Lille's second goal was set up by a moment of Hazard brilliance when the 21-year-old attacking midfielder crossed the ball with his right foot around the back of his left leg to Tulio De Melo and the big striker headed back across goal for Roux to nod the ball home.

The result leaves PSG five points behind Montpellier and Lille move to within two points of the capital club with four games to go.

Elsewhere, Stade Rennes moved above Lyon and into fourth with a 3-1 win at home to struggling Ajaccio.

The visitors had Samuel Bouhours sent off in the 10th minute, and they were behind when Julien Feret struck soon after.

Razak Boukari doubled their advantage five minutes from time, but Brazilian striker Ilan pulled a goal back for the visitors.

Midfielder Yacine Brahimi settled any nerves the hosts had with his sealer in the 90th minute.

Bottom-placed Auxerre took a step towards safety, thrashing Brest 4-0 to put them within three points of moving out of the bottom three.

In other Ligue 1 results on Sunday, Saint-Etienne defeated Dijon 1-0, Bordeaux won 3-0 at Sochaux, Valenciennes triumphed 2-0 over Nice while Caen and Nancy drew 1-1.


Ligue 1 preview: Montpellier continue title push

28 April 2012 03:50

Montpellier's bid to win their first Ligue 1 title takes them to Toulouse on Friday while second-placed PSG take on Lille on Sunday.

Montpellier - who top the league by two points with five games to play - last lifted a major trophy in 1990 when they won the Coupe de France.

Many have predicted Rene Girard's men to fall off the pace at some stage of the season, especially with the big-spending PSG hot on their heels.

They have shown impressive resolve and although Girard admits his side are feeling the pressure, he believes it is something felt by every football side.

"We have a competition to play, pressure is growing up for everyone, both in top or down in the rankings," Girard said.

"And that's football, there is always some pressure, ask to Chelsea and Barcelona if they were not under pressure, ask Guardiola (Barcelona's manager)," he said, referring to the recent Champions League semi-final between the two sides.

"It is something which is part of our job."

Toulouse sit seventh on the table but have lost three of their past four clashes, including a 2-1 defeat at Evian TG on Saturday.

Montpellier have only ever lost once to Toulouse in their nine matches, winning five of them.

And Girard's men will be favourites to add to their lead atop Ligue 1 on Friday.

Lorient also host Marseille on Friday, with the latter without a win in their last 12 league fixtures.

With PSG not in action until Sunday, Carlo Ancelotti's men could find themselves five points adrift of the table-toppers when they kick-off at third-placed Lille.

The match shapes as a pivotal one in the club's push for the title, with Lille notoriously difficult to beat at their Stade Lille-Metropole venue, where they have lost just four of their last 53 Ligue 1 fixtures.

PSG's away form has been indifferent too, winning just two of their last seven fixtures on the road.

A 6-1 drubbing of second-bottom Sochaux on Sunday may give them a lift heading into the match, with attackers Javier Pastore, Thiago Motta, Jeremy Menez, Nene and Sylvain Armand all getting on the scoresheet.

Also on Sunday, Ajaccio's bid to avoid the drop will be tested as they travel to an in-form Rennes and Saint-Etienne's push for a Europa League spot continues as they welcome Dijon.

Auxerre - who sit bottom and are six points from safety - take on 18th-placed Brest in a relegation six-pointer and fellow strugglers Sochaux are at home against Bordeaux.

Other matches see Nancy battle Caen and Valenciennes play host to Nice.

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