Lille extend lead, Rennes held
Lille remained firmly on course for a first Ligue 1 title since 1954 with a 2-1 victory at Brest this afternoon.
Goals from Gervinho and Moussa Sow either side of half-time earned the visitors victory after they had gone behind to a Benoit Lesoimier strike. "For me we only played for one hour, from the 30th minute onwards," said Lille coach Rudi Garcia. "We were in big trouble before that. But we showed resourcefulness and, despite being under pressure, we managed to turn things around."
Les Dogues' advantage at the top of the table is now five points after second-placed Rennes drew 1-1 at third-placed Lyon. The hosts looked like they were going to bounce back from their midweek UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid when Bafetimbi Gomis gave them a 36th-minute lead.
And the hosts were further boosted when Rennes had Victor Montano sent off for a terrible challenge on Dejan Lovren after 65 minutes. But the ten men found an equaliser late on, Kevin Theophile Catherine nodding in from close range after Lyon failed to clear a free-kick into the box.
"It's hard to accept such a result," said Lyon coach Claude Puel. "That's football. There's ten matches left. It's still a long way. It's true that, at home against a direct rival, we could have gone up to second place. It's an opportunity that we weren't able to seize. The disappointment is strong tonight."
St Etienne drew 0-0 at Lorient in a low-key encounter while Montpellier were surprisingly beaten 4-1 at home by struggling Lens. The visitors had won just once on their travels this season coming into the encounter but were hugely impressive, especially in a first half in which they scored three times.
Kanga Akale set them on their way after 17 minutes and further strikes from Adil Hermach and Sebastien Roudet all but settled the contest before the break. Garry Bocaly pulled one back but Issam Jemaa restored Lens' three-goal advantage shortly after the hour mark.
Bordeaux come back to draw
Bordeaux stunned Valenciennes with two late goals to force a draw at the Stade Nungesser. Valenciennes swept into a 2-0 lead before the hour mark, with both goals coming from midfielder Gael Danic.
However, Jussie pulled one back in the 81st minute and then two minutes later Mickael Ciani's looping header brought the teams back on level terms. Substitute Danijel Ljuboja scored with the last kick of the match to earn Nice a barely-deserved 1-1 draw at Toulouse.
Toulouse looked to he heading for victory thanks to Federico Santander's first-half effort, and had enough chances to put the game out of sight, but they were made to pay for those misses as Ljuboja's 82nd-minute introduction paid off for the visitors.
Ireneusz Jelen scored twice to see off Sochaux and move Auxerre out of the relegation zone. The hosts came into the contest having won just one of their previous 14 Ligue 1 contests but the Pole's double proved enough to see off mid-table Sochaux. Jelen opened the scoring after 17 minutes and added a second 18 minutes into the second half.