LIGUE 1 REVIEW

Ligue 1: Marseille go top after Nantes victory

March 21, 2009
By Reuters

Marseille are the new leaders of Ligue 1 after a 2-0 victory over Nantes.

After a goalless first half, Renato Civelli fired the hosts into the lead in the 55th minute and Brandao made the points safe four minutes later.

Bordeaux moved into second, two points behind Marseille, courtesy of a comfortable 3-0 victory at basement boys Le Havre.

Yoann Gourcuff opened the scoring after 12 minutes and Souleymane Diawara added a second 13 minutes into the second half before Wendel made the result absolutely safe two minutes from time.

The triumph puts Laurent Blanc's team above champions Lyon, who host Sochaux tomorrow, on goal difference.

Lille withstood a stoppage-time onslaught from Grenoble to collect all three points in a 2-1 victory, which leaves them very much in the title race.

The hosts seemed to be cruising to victory thanks to first-half goals from Michel Bastos and Robert Vittek before Sandy Paillot's late goal set up a frantic final five minutes.

Veteran Nice midfielder Olivier Echouafni headed an equaliser a minute from full-time to secure a 2-2 draw and deny 10-man Caen their first league win in 14 outings at the Municipal du Ray.

A horrendous run of form has seen Caen go without a win in Ligue 1 since late November and leave them languishing second from bottom in the table.

It looked like they would finally bring that run to an end when two goals in nine second-half minutes - a Vincent Hognon own goal and Nicolas Seube's strike - shot them ahead after going behind to Loic Remy's sixth-minute opener.

But Caen's task was complicated when they were forced to defend the last seven minutes without Gregory Leca, who was sent off for a second bookable offence, and it proved beyond them as 36-year-old Echouafni headed in.

Park Chu Young scored the only goal of the game as Monaco eased their relegation worries with victory at the Stade Marcel Picot against Nancy.

Defeat for the Lorraine side - their sixth in eight games - means they remain just a point above the bottom three.

Auxerre took control against Le Mans with two goals in the first 19 minutes - and comfortably held on for the three points.

Ireneusz Jelen opened the scoring after eight minutes with a cool lob and Dariusz Dudka doubled the advantage eight minutes later.

Rennes and Valenciennes battled out a goalless draw tonight in an ill-tempered encounter that saw both teams reduced to 10 men.

Rennes midfielder Kader Mangane saw red after 25 minutes and the visitors surrendered their man advantage just before the hour mark when Carlos Sanchez was also dismissed.