Girard: Montpellier have won nothing yet
Montpellier coach Rene Girard is not counting his chickens in the Ligue 1 title race despite a superb weekend which left his side five points clear at the summit. Les Heraultais turned up the heat on rivals Paris St Germain with a 1-0 win at Toulouse on Friday night thanks to Younes Belhanda's early goal.
And Carlo Ancelotti's side were unable to respond despite dominating for long periods against third-placed Lille yesterday, the dismissal of Mamadou Sakho allowing Eden Hazard to level at 1-1 before Nolan Roux netted Lille's winner.
PSG keeper Salvatore Sirigu said afterwards that Montpellier would be "idiots" to throw away the title in the final four games of the season, but Girard insists the result instead served to bring Lille - now seven points off the summit - into a three-horse race.
"We thought the title would be played out between two teams, now it is between three," he said. "It's up to us to reap the fruits of our lead. Today, we are five points ahead but there are still 12 to play for. We need three wins to be certain of being champions. Honestly, I don't listen to this sort of thing.
"Looking at the first 76 minutes of the game, you would have said nothing could go wrong for PSG, but in the end they were beaten. The wind can quickly turn," the Frenchman admitted. "When Paris scored, they had total control of the game. They could have scored a second or a third, but they did not. And then, like all good teams, Lille shook things up completely. There was a triple punishment: a penalty, a goal and the sending-off of Sakho. That was the big turning point in the match."
Girard maintains the result will not change his side's approach to their run-in, which continues tomorrow night at home to Evian. "This match didn't change what I told them," he said. "After the game against Toulouse, I told them we have not won anything yet.
"We will continue to play, focus on ourselves and go until the end. If we do what we have to and keep going well, we have nothing to fear. If not, we could get a nasty surprise."