Ligue 1 news

Girard plays down title talk

May 8, 2012

Montpellier boss Rene Girard has played down his side's bid for a first-ever Ligue 1 title despite moving three points clear with two games remaining.

A 2-0 win at fifth-placed Rennes last night edged Montpellier closer to a remarkable success, although Girard remained cautious afterwards with the visit of defending champions Lille next up.

Lille will arrive in Montpellier next Sunday holding on to a slim hope of retaining their title, with a five-point gap to bridge.

Girard is therefore wary and insisted his side's main focus was securing second place, and a Champions League position.

``We have enjoyed success but we were forced to work hard for the result,'' he told reporters after last night's game, when a Souleymane Camara strike and an own goal from Benoit Costil sealed the points.

``We showed quality on the pitch, and I am starting to wonder whether this team likes to play with pressure. We must now secure second place ahead of Lille.''

Despite his caution Girard admitted his side would go all out for the title.

``It took 10 months of competing, why ruin it now with two rounds remaining, wondering what will happen to us?'' he said.

``Nothing has been decided, but we will carry on until the end.''

Montpellier finish the season at lowly Auxerre, while closest challengers Paris St Germain face Rennes (home) and Lorient (away) in the final fortnight.

end