Third-division Gazelec Ajaccio consigned high-flying Montpellier to a shock defeat in the quarter-finals of the French Cup today, in the second scalping of a big-name club in as many days.
GFCO Ajaccio, locked in a promotion battle, scored the only goal of the game through Yohan Bocognano, the defender seizing on some slack defence from the visiting side to hammer a half-volley home after 75 minutes.
"It's massive and personally it's satisfying because I was the one who scored," said Bocognano. "In this type of match, you can't play it out beforehand. We played it out starting at 5p.m. [at kick-off]. We had nothing to lose. We didn't really see the difference between a team in Ligue 1 and the third division. It's a fantastic adventure that goes on."
Montpellier, currently in second spot in Ligue 1, joined Marseille in crashing out before the semi-finals, the latter going down to a 3-2 extra-time defeat to third-tier minnows Quevilly on Tuesday. Marseille's defeat was the latest set-back for the French giants who, despite qualifying for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League with victory over Inter Milan, are struggling in Ligue 1.
Rennes put in a dominant display against Valenciennes, winning 3-1 to go through to the last four after the home side were hit hard by the 42nd minute red carding of Foued Kadir for a reckless challenge on Yann M'Vila.
Rennes had taken the early lead through Jonathan Pitroipa, with Mamadou Samassa equallising for Valenciennes 20 minutes later with a great header from a Gael Danic cross. But after the expulsion of Kadir, Rennes took control of the match, Ghana defender John Boye handing his team the lead once again in the 52nd minute.
A dreadful fumble by goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau in his own box let in striker Youssouf Hadji for the icing on Rennes' cake.
The remaining place in the semi-finals will be filled by Lyon, who ran out convincing 3-1 winners over league leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
Lyon went in to half-time 2-1 up after a pinpoint left-footed Kim Kallstrom curling free-kick and a short-range tap-in by Lisandro Lopez cancelled out a Nene penalty for PSG after Samuel Umtiti was adjudged to have handled.
Bafetimbi Gomis rubbed PSG noses in it further with an injury-time penalty after Christophe Jallet hacked down Brazilian Michel Bastos in the box.