Football: Lens depose Marseille after six-goal thriller

29th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 28, 2007 (AFP) - A combination of defensive errors and opportunistic scoring saw Champions League hopefuls Lens claim a share of the points in a dramatic 3-3 draw with St Etienne on Sunday.

PARIS, Jan 28, 2007 (AFP) - A combination of defensive errors and opportunistic scoring saw Champions League hopefuls Lens claim a share of the points in a dramatic 3-3 draw with St Etienne on Sunday.

Lens were being led 3-0 at home by 'Les Verts' after Bafetimbi Gomis's 16th minute opener, and a double from Marek Heinz before the half-time whistle.

However a spirited second half fightback saw the 'Red and Gold' save face and grab a point which pushed them back up to third place at the expense of Marseille.

Seydou Keita was the hero for Lens, giving them hope by beating St Etienne keeper Jeremie Janot with a 66th minute header from 15 metres out.

Adama Coulibaly then rose to beat Janot with a header to reduce Lens's arrears two minutes from time.

In a dramatic finale, the St Etienne defence then remained rooted to the spot as Keita rose to meet a corner from the right to beat Janot for the second time.

Lyon remain virtually uncatchable as they romp towards a sixth consecutive domestic title.

But the fight for the second automatic quallfying spot for the Champions League is far from over.

Only five points separate the next six teams below Lyon, although Lille (38), Lens (37) and Marseille (36) are currently setting the pace ahead of Saint Etienne, Sochaux and Bordeaux.

On Saturday, Milan Baros celebrated his recent move to Lyon by scoring a face-saving goal in a 1-1 home draw with Nice.

Lyon coach Gerard Houllier brought the Czech striker from Aston Villa, with striker John Carew going in the opposite direction in the hope of revitalising the team's stuttering attack.

Nice had Houllier's men worried for a brief moment when Baky Kone opened the scoring in the 34th minute.

However, Baros replied five minutes later, latching on to a well-timed cross from Sidney Govou to beat Hugo Lloris from close range in the Nice goal.

Paris St Germain gave their suffering fans a little relief after taking a welcome point from a scoreless draw at home to Sochaux.

A defeat could have put PSG into the drop zone, but they managed to avoid such ignominy and moved to relative safety -- although that was mainly because fallen former French champions Nantes went down 2-0 at home to Lorient.

Former Rangers manager Paul Le Guen was called in to save PSG from the drop, however the tactician is still looking for the win that could kickstart a late season revival.

Portuguese international Pauleta -- who hails from the Azores islands -- spurned several chances to give PSG the lead, and later apologised to his team.

"We all played really well and we should have won, but I just wasn't up to scratch," said the PSG skipper.

"I'm really disappointed. So much so that I'd love to just get on a plane and go home to the Azores."

Marseille, PSG's bitter rivals, are in a much healthier position but spurned a chance to take second spot with a 2-0 away defeat at Le Mans.

Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news, Football

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