Football: Lyon on title track as PSG Cup joy cut short

31st March 2008, Comments 0 comments

Lyon eased closer to a seventh successive French title with a 2-1 win at Valenciennes but Paris Saint Germain has a thumping relegation headache.

   PARIS, March 31, 2008 - Lyon eased closer to a seventh successive
French title with a 2-1 win at Valenciennes on Sunday but Paris Saint
Germain's League Cup party was transformed into a thumping relegation
   International striker Sidney Govou scored his seventh goal of the league
campaign in the 65th minute to secure the victory for Lyon which gives Alain
Perrin's side a nine-point lead with just seven games left.
   Govou fired home a cross from the impressive Abdul Kader Keita past
Valenciennes goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau to wrap up his team's sixth
successive win and make light of the absence of injured top scorer Karim
   Keita had given Lyon an eighth-minute lead when he drove past Penneteau
from a pinpoint cross from Francois Clerc.
   However, Valenciennes, who defeated second-placed Bordeaux last weekend,
were deservedly level after 27 minutes when Eric Chelle headed home.
   Perrin refused to start celebrating the championship.
   "All of our matches are becoming more difficult as every opponent raises
their game against us," he said.
   PSG, who clinched the League Cup with a last-minute penalty win over Lens
on Saturday, came back to earth with a bump when fellow strugglers Toulouse
beat rock-bottom Metz 2-0 to push the capital club into second from bottom
   Achille Emana scored twice in the last ten minutes to give Toulouse the
three points which lifted them above PSG and into third from bottom place.
   On Saturday, Argentinian striker Fernando Cavenaghi scored twice as
Bordeaux battled back from a goal down to beat nine-man Nancy 2-1.
   The victory kept Bordeaux in second place in the table, six points ahead of
Nancy, and boosted their hopes of Champions League football next season.
   Nancy haven't won at Bordeaux since 1996 but they were ahead on Saturday on
the half-hour mark when Moncef Zerka scored following a corner from Benjamin
   Cavenaghi, who had started the day with 10 goals to his name this season,
levelled on 53 minutes when Fernando Wendel's corner was met by Souleymane
   The Argentinian was quickest to the pass and scored with a diving header
despite the close attentions of Andre Luiz. Nancy then had Jonathan Brisan
sent off for a foul on Mathieu Chalme.
   Cavenaghi wrapped up the three points from the penalty spot in the 82nd
   Chris Malonga was penalised for a foul on Johan Micoud and Cavenaghi coolly
slotted the ball past Nancy goalkeeper Gennaro Bracigliano.
   Nancy finished the match with nine men after Frederic Biancalani was
sent-off for a second bookable offence in the closing moments.
   "Things went our way tonight, but that's not always the case," said
Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc. "I understand that Nancy aren't happy with the
referee. They lost the match and lost two players. It was a very bad evening
for them."
   Nancy coach Pablo Correa was furious with losing two men.
   "Do I feel a sense of injustice? There are children listening so I can't
tell you what I think."
   Fourth-placed Marseille travel to Lorient later Sunday eager to nail down a
qualifying spot for European football next season.


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