Rennes scale summit as Lille snowed under
Rennes took advantage of Lille's postponed game against Lorient by climbing to the top of France's Ligue 1 with a laboured 1-0 win at home to Monaco on Saturday.
Colombian striker Victor Hugo Montano claimed the game's only goal, blasting high into the net from the penalty spot in the 64th minute after Nampalys Mendy was penalised for handling a cross. Monaco had seen South Korean international striker Park Chu-Young spurn two chances, volleying narrowly wide in the first half and then blazing high over the crossbar from six yards after nine minutes of the second period.
"It's true that it wasn't our day in the first half," said Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti, whose side drew 0-0 at Marseille in mid-week. "In the second half we played our own game, showed our level and I think the victory is deserved when you look at the second half."
Rennes move a point above champions Marseille, who play on Sunday, while Monaco remain 17th, one place above the relegation zone.
Lille, second going into the weekend, were bidding to go top on Saturday but their game at home to Lorient was called off due to heavy snow in northern France and is now scheduled to take place on Sunday afternoon.
"It's better not to start the match than to start it and then stop it," said Lorient president Loic Fery. "We all want to play tomorrow (Sunday)."
Sochaux soared up the standings to fifth on the back of a 2-1 defeat of Valenciennes, while Toulouse are now seventh after Federico Santander's second goal for the club secured a 1-0 win at home to Caen, who drop a place to 19th.
Auxerre, who visit Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League next Wednesday, secured a 1-1 draw at Lens through an 87th-minute Jean-Pascal Mignot header, while bottom club Arles-Avignon drew 1-1 with Nancy.
In the final match of the day, Lyon defeated Montpellier 2-1 thanks to an injury-time winner from Lisandro Lopez. The win moved Lyon up to third in Ligue 1 with victory at Montpellier. Lisandro opened the scoring after five minutes but Montpellier looked like they would claim a point from a closely-fought contest when Emir Spahic headed home ten minutes from the end.
But with almost the last kick of the game Lisandro lashed home a winner from close range. The win extends Lyon's unbeaten league run to nine games and moves them just a point behind leaders Rennes.
Marseille go to Mediterranean rivals Nice on Sunday, while Paris Saint-Germain host Brest.