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Nice hold Lyon to boost Bordeaux title hopes

3 May 2008 20:27

PARIS (AFP) - French league minnows Nice held Lyon to a scoreless draw on Saturday to boost Bordeaux's hopes of causing a late championship upset.

Lyon's latest setback, after their 2-2 draw with Caen last week, leaves them on 73 points, only five ahead of second placed Bordeaux ahead of their trip to Marseille Sunday.

Results elsewhere meanwhile meant that for four teams - Paris St Germain, Toulouse, Lens and Strasbourg - the relegation battle is still a major concern.

Paris St Germain's bid to pull clear of the dreaded drop zone took another knock when they let slip a 1-0 lead late in their away tussle with Toulouse, which finished 1-1.

Lens' scoreless draw with Monaco later Saturday meant PSG dropped back among the bottom three, with only Strasbourg and already relegated Metz below them.

Nancy were one of the biggest winners Saturday, their 3-0 demolition of Strasbourg pushing them up to third.

PSG's possible relegation has provided the biggest footballing story in France in recent weeks, and their latest setback bodes ill for the future.

"It's infuriating," raged Paul Le Guen, whose side were on the verge of a precious win thanks to Bernard Mendy's strike, only for Mohamed Fofana to bundle in an equaliser for Toulouse in the 89th minute.

PSG keeper Mickael Landreau did well to keep out a late strike from Toulouse's Paolo Cesar.

He admits the next two matches would show PSG whether they have the mettle to emerge victorious from the relegation battle.

"We were unlucky to concede what I thought was a lucky goal by Toulouse at the end," said Landreau.

"Now it's clear. This is going to go all the way to the final two matches. It will be tough, but the teams who are the strongest mentally are the ones who will beat relegation."

Toulouse coach Elie Baup, who led Bordeaux to their last league title nearly a decade ago, said his side are primed for the remainder of the relegation battle.

"To come back into the match like we did is encouraging for our next two matches. We're all suffering from the relegation battle but the players showed tonight they've got something left to give," said Baup.

Lyon meanwhile know they have it all to do after Nice repelled a string of goalscoring chances from the six-time champions to force a scoreless draw, which reinforced their mid-table position.

A victory for Bordeaux against Marseille on Sunday would give Laurent Blanc's side 71 points and help close the gap on Lyon to just two points ahead of next week's penultimate round of games when Bordeaux host Sochaux and Lyon host Nancy.

On the final match day of the season, both Lyon and Bordeaux are away from home - at Auxerre and Lens respectively.

Lyon coach Alain Perrin, who it has been reported is already on his way out the club, said: "Whatever the result of Marseille and Bordeaux, we are masters of our own destiny."

Lyon and France midfielder Karim Benzema, at least for Sunday, will be Marseille's biggest supporter.

"We still got a point but we would have preferred to take three to keep Bordeaux at bay," Benzema told Canal Plus, admitting they would be watching Sunday's encounter closely.

"We'll be watching the Bordeaux game on Sunday, but I don't think it will be easy for them to win at Marseille."

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Info

Competition
Ligue 1
Date
3 May 2008
Kick-off
17:10
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
0 - 0
Venue
Stade Municipal du Ray (Nice)
Attendance
14206

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
16
3
17
4
11
22
24

Thursday 2 October

13:53
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03:10
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00:07
00:00
00:00

Wednesday 1 October

23:58
23:51
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23:33
23:20
23:00
22:57
22:52
22:42
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10:53
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10:01
09:34
07:00
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05:10
04:18
04:00
03:16
02:47
02:16
02:12
01:00
00:19
00:10
00:09
00:03
00:02

Tuesday 30 September

23:57
23:56
23:51
23:49
23:45
23:43
23:34
23:15
23:15
23:04
23:00
22:59
22:51
22:44
22:40
22:39
22:38
22:38
21:36
21:25
21:02
20:54
20:32
19:57
19:50
19:49
19:46
19:37
19:14
19:10
19:04
17:22
16:58
16:41
16:26
16:18
15:00
14:35
14:24
13:45
13:17
12:05
11:00
10:43
09:51
09:46
07:59
07:30
06:30
05:45
04:39
04:28
03:45
03:13
02:37
02:22
01:31
01:14
00:40

Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
1 8 +14 19
2 8 +7 17
3 8 +5 15
4 8 +9 14
5 8 +4 14
6 8 +0 14
7 8 +3 13
8 8 -3 13
9 8 +0 12
10 8 +4 11
11 8 +1 11
12 8 -3 10
13 8 +0 8
14 8 -1 8
15 8 -4 8
16 8 -4 7
17 8 -5 7
18 8 -8 7
19 8 -11 7
20 8 -8 6

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