Lille wobble continues, Rennes stretched

Lille's position at the top of the French first division is looking increasingly precarious after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Bordeaux at home on today. Lille were bidding for a positive reaction after sinking to a shock 1-0 defeat at struggling Monaco last weekend, but a 76th-minute equaliser from centre-back Vujadin Savic prevented them from stretching their lead.

The result leaves Lille four points clear of Marseille, who will close to within a point of the champions elect if they prevail at Montpellier tomorrow in a match that is a dress rehearsal for next weekend's League Cup final.

Bordeaux imposed themselves from kick-off and procured the most clear-cut chances of the first half, with Lille goalkeeper Mickael Landreau saving well from Florian Marange and Anthony Modeste.

The leaders took the lead in the 58th minute when Yohan Cabaye released league top scorer Moussa Sow, who clipped the ball inside Cedric Carrasso's near post for his 21st strike of the campaign.

Bordeaux deal blow
Lille were unable to keep Bordeaux at arm's length, however, and with 14 minutes remaining they were punished when Savic met Jaroslav Plasil's inswinging right-wing corner with an emphatic near-post header.

Earlier, Lorient came from behind to win 2-1 at Rennes and damage their Brittany rivals' hopes of securing a place in next season's UEFA Champions League. Stephane Dalmat gave the hosts a 23rd-minute lead after striding into space and finding the bottom-left corner with a low shot, but Rennes were then reduced to 10 men after Samuel Souprayen saw red for two bookable offences.

We're playing with the resources we have at our disposal. I take nothing away from Lorient's victory. They deserved it.
Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti on their stretched squad

France international striker Kevin Gameiro equalised early in the second half when he met Morgan Amalfitano's right-wing cross with a superb header at the near post. On-loan Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin gave Lorient the points in the 63rd minute, deftly tucking home from close range after Nicolas Douchez allowed a shot from Amalfitano to squirm from his grasp.

Rennes finished the game with nine men after centre-back Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik was shown a second yellow card for dissent with under five minutes remaining.

"We're playing with the resources we have at our disposal," said Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti, whose squad has been ravaged by injuries. "I take nothing away from Lorient's victory. They deserved it. But there's a moment when you get to the verge of physical breakdown and things break."

Rennes watching rivals
Antonetti's side have now gone five games without a win in Ligue 1 and will fall five points behind third-place Lyon in the race for Champions League football if OL win at Paris Saint-Germain tomorrow.

A stunning injury-time free-kick by Dariusz Dudka brought Auxerre a much-needed 1-0 success at Toulouse that lifted the visitors out of the relegation zone and into 14th place. "It was a little hold-up but it's the luck that's evaded us for a long time," said Auxerre defender Cedric Hengbart.

Second-bottom Lens remain in deep trouble, however, and are now six points from safety after a 1-1 draw at home to Brest. Caen dropped into the relegation zone berth vacated by Auxerre after losing 3-2 in an entertaining game at Sochaux, while goal difference is all that keeps Monaco above Caen after they fell 3-2 at Nice.

Dimitri Payet claimed a brace - his 11th and 12th league goals of the season - in a 2-1 victory for Saint-Etienne at home to Nancy that moved Les Verts into sixth place.