Football: Stalemate for high-flying Bordeaux and Marseille

25th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

High-flying Bordeaux slipped up in their bid to overhaul champions' Lyon, being held to a goalless draw at home by Lille

   PARIS, Feb 25, 2008 - High-flying Bordeaux slipped up in their bid to
overhaul champions' Lyon, being held to a goalless draw at home by Lille in
French league action on Sunday.
   Bordeaux had started the weekend one point behind the seven-time champions.
   But Lyon pulled three points ahead after a double from Brazilian striker
Fred gave them a 2-0 win at home to bottom-of-the-table Metz on Saturday.
   Bordeaux failed to make the most of their home advantage in a dour showing
at their Jacques Chaban-Delmas stadium against 14th-placed Lille.
   The European hopes of Eric Gerets' Marseille were also dented as they
dropped to fifth after being held 0-0 at relegation-threatened Toulouse in the
first of Sunday's two games.
   Despite missing defenders Gael Givet and Laurent Bonnart because of flu,
Gerets paid dearly for opting to leave strikers Djibril Cisse and Mamadou
Niang and midfielder Mathieu Valbuena on the bench for the first half.
   Gerets remained upbeat despite the setback.
   "I'm not talking about the Champions League because you have to remember
how far Marseille has come. When I began my work we were in the last three,"
he said.
   The hosts were physically fresher than a Marseille side that booked their
place in the UEFA Cup last 16 days earlier and held on for a point, albeit
their seventh draw in the past eight home games.
   Lyon, meanwhile, turned their attentions back to domestic duty after
holding Manchester United to a Champions League draw in midweek.
   Brazilian Fred ensured they extended their cushion with goals after six and
69 minutes to leave Lyon with 52 points after 26 games.
   Nancy consolidated third position, eight points behind Lyon, after getting
back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory at home against fourth-from-bottom
Lens, as Nice drop to sixth after losing 2-1 at home to Auxerre.
   Early season surprise package Nancy had shown signs of fatigue in recent
months with just one win in 11 matches, and a morale-sapping 4-0 hammering by
Saint Etienne last week.
   Late goals from Pascal Berenguer (73) and Youssouf Hadji (76) secured sweet
revenge for Nancy who conceded two defeats to Lens in the league and League
Cup quarter-finals this season.
   Senegalese midfielder Abou Kader Mangane had put Lens ahead four minutes
before the break.
   Le Mans move up to fourth after snatching a 2-1 victory in a bad-tempered
match at Valenciennes.
   Marko Basa opened for the visitors after just one minute with Anthony Le
Tallec giving them their second after 15 minutes.
   But both teams were reduced to ten men following scuffles after Steve
Savidan scored for the hosts just before the break while Le Mans captain Mans
Romaric was down.
   Le Tallec and Valenciennes defender Williams Martinez were both giving
their marching orders for exchanging blows.
   Paris Saint Germain remain fifth from the foot, after being held 1-1 by
Monaco at Parc de Princes.
   Elsewhere Saturday, St Etienne came away 3-1 winners from midtable rivals
   In the battle against relegation, Rennes, move up four places to 13th after
a 2-0 win at home against fellow Brittany side Lorient, while
second-from-bottom Sochaux won 2-0 at Strasbourg.


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