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Football: PSG move out of the red

Published on April 02, 2007

PARIS, April 1, 2007 (AFP) - Goals from Amara Diane and Sylvain Armand lifted Paris Saint Germain out of the relegation zone Sunday with a valuable 2-1 win at European hopefuls Lens.

Le Guen opted for the strike trio of Pierre-Alan Frau, Peguy Luyindula and  Diane for the must-win tie, leaving under-achieving stalwarts Pedro Pauleta and Bonaventure Kalou on the bench.

And the strategy of the former Rangers boss paid off early with Luyindula setting up Diane for the opener after just three minutes.

The hosts grabbed the equaliser six minutes after the break when the ball bounced off the leg of PSG defender David Rozehnal into his own net.

But PSG continued to press forward with Armand grabbing the winner after 72 minutes.

The win lifts PSG one point above the drop zone, but they still face a battle for survival with upcoming ties against French League Cup winners Bordeaux, Toulouse and Lyon.

Le Guen said: “This is an important result given our situation and it will give us more confidence. But I won’t be comforted until we’re out of this predicament, tonight was only one step along the road.”

The squeeze meanwhile is now on Lens, second behind leaders Lyon, for a European spot with challengers Sochaux and Toulouse moving third and fourth, three points behind Lens, after 1-0 wins over Troyes and Saint Etienne respectively.

Johan Elmander’s eighth goal of the season after 72 minutes secured all three points for hosts Toulouse, while a Romain Pitau free kick after 33 minutes secured a victory for Sochaux as Troyes drop into the relegation zone after their fourth defeat on the trot.

Bordeaux, riding high after Saturday’s League Cup final win over Lyon, can however reclaim the third spot as they play Nancy on Wednesday, with the champions hosting Rennes.

In the race for Europe, Lille’s bid for a Champions League spot was further hit as they dropped to sixth place after losing 2-0 at home to northern rivals  Valenciennes.

Elsewhere former European champions Marseille missed the chance to cement their European credentials with a 2-1 defeat at Lorient on Saturday.

Sitting ninth, Le Mans, threw away a two-goal advantage, including an 11th goal of the season for Ismael Bangoura, to draw 2-2 with Auxerre.

At the other end of the table, Nice were held 1-1 by visiting Monaco, a draw which leaves the hosts just two points clear of safety.

Sedan moved off the bottom spot for the first time since mid-November after a goalkeeping howler from Fabien Barthez gave them a 1-0 win over relegation rivals Nantes.

The 1998 World Cup winner fumbled to allow what had been a weak effort from Sedan captain David Ducourtioux into his own net after 61 minutes.

The veteran was substituted minutes later, complaining from a thigh injury picked up at the beginning of the match.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news