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Ligue 1 preview: Montpellier inch closer to league crown

30 April 2012 05:07

Montpellier can put one hand on the Ligue 1 title when they host Evian in a standalone fixture on Tuesday.

Montpellier, who lead second-placed Paris Saint-Germain by five points with four matches remaining, can extend that advantage to eight points with victory over Evian.

Rene Girard's men head into the match in good form with five wins from their past six attempts, and will be full of confidence against their ninth-placed opponents.

Morocco midfielder Younes Belhanda has been a major contributor in the past month, with four goals in his last five appearances.

The finish line is fast approaching for Montpellier and another victory could all but seal their first major trophy since 1990, when they won the Coupe de France.

The rest of the teams in Ligue 1 are in action on Wednesday, with PSG needing to defeat Saint-Etienne to keep their title hopes on track.

PSG gave up a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 at reigning champions Lille on Sunday, a result which may ultimately cost them dearly in the title race.

Despite the possibility of trailing by as much as eight points come Wednesday, PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti is not about to concede the fight just yet.

"It was not a good evening. We have lost an important match which we were in control of," he said after the game.

"I'm disappointed. We have to look forwards because the championship is not over and we need to react immediately from this defeat.

"We want to qualify for the Champions League. The title is not lost yet."

Lille, two points behind PSG in third place, are away at Nice as they look to overtake their rivals to seal qualification for next year's Champions League.

At the other end of the table, the relegation battle is really heating up, with just four points separating the bottom six.

Auxerre, in last place on 31 points, can give themselves a strong chance of escaping trouble when they host 16th-placed Dijon (34 points) in a crucial match for both sides.

Sitting just one point clear of the drop zone, Ajaccio host 19th-placed Sochaux in a classic relegation six-pointer.

And between those two sides on the table, 18th-placed Brest have a tricky assignment at home to Toulouse.

The battle for fourth is also shaping as a thriller, with Stade Rennes one point clear of Lyon and Saint-Etienne.

Rennes are away to Bordeaux, while Lyon host Valenciennes in what shapes as a crucial round for the teams chasing Europa League qualifcation.

In other matches, Caen host Lorient and Marseille welcome Nancy to the Stade Velodrome.

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Info

Competition
Ligue 1
Date
1 May 2012
Game week
35
Kick-off
21:00
Half-time
1 - 1
Full-time
2 - 2
Venue
Stade de la Mosson (Montpellier)
Attendance
22599

Goals

Y. Belhanda (PG) 42'
(assist by O. Giroud) 
1 - 0
1 - 1
44' T. Kahlenberg
 (assist by S. Khalifa)
1 - 2
69' K. Bérigaud
 (assist by C. Barbosa)
O. Giroud 84'
(assist by S. Camara) 
2 - 2

Lineups

# Player Bookings
16
4
2
3
5 59'
13
20
10 42' 90+5'
22
18
17 84'
Coach: R. Girard
# Player Bookings
30 41'
21 90+5'
19
18
11 44' 45'
14
22
2
4
9 69'
29 90+7'
Coach: P. Correa

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
19 90+8'
14
12
1
11 90+7'
21
27
# Player Bookings
7
6
20 90+3'
3
40
33
17

Friday 22 August

18:01
17:56
17:33
17:29
17:27
17:17
17:02
16:37
16:28
16:03
15:25
15:22
15:05
14:09
14:00
13:33
13:31
12:23
12:16
11:57
11:54
11:26
10:50
10:24
09:52
09:31
09:29
07:24
06:18
05:29
04:47
03:50
03:20
02:46
02:35
00:13

Thursday 21 August

23:44
23:38
23:04
22:36
22:27
22:19
21:48
21:40
21:34
20:55
20:27
20:17
20:11
20:10
20:04
19:39
18:49
18:23
18:11
18:08
17:53
17:38
17:35
17:21
17:08
16:57
16:57
16:46
16:41
16:26
16:19
16:09
16:09
15:59
15:48
15:42
15:22
14:38
14:26
14:04
13:34
13:27
13:05
12:57
12:55
12:54
12:20
11:25
10:58
10:48
10:11
10:04
09:45
09:41
08:34
08:18
07:12
07:06
06:33
06:00
05:59
05:58
05:52
05:38
04:33
04:32
04:03
03:38
03:10
00:59

Wednesday 20 August

23:26
23:26
23:11
22:57
22:50
21:20
21:10
20:36
20:27
20:18
20:14
20:03
19:28
19:17
18:55
18:53
18:49
18:07
17:55
17:37
17:34
17:30
17:23
17:23
16:58
16:43
16:38
16:22
16:14
16:06
16:00
15:00
14:51
14:21
14:17
14:03
13:20
13:10
12:45
12:17
11:59
11:52
11:31
11:15
10:58
10:46
10:33
10:10
09:37
09:03
08:35
08:10
06:43
06:30
06:09
05:23
04:45
03:17
02:51
02:29
01:49
01:04
00:16

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