Brest hold Lyon, Marseille move to third
Lyon let slip the perfect chance to pile the pressure on French league leaders Paris Saint-Germain when they were held to a 1-1 draw at Brest today, while Marseille reclaimed third place after beating Troyes 2-1.
With the expensively-assembled Paris outfit losing 1-0 at lowly Reims, Lyon had the chance to draw level on points, but a lacklustre display on a rough-and-ready looking pitch in Brest left them two points adrift in the title race.
It took Brest only eight minutes to get their heads in front as Moroccan midfielder Kamel Chafni went on a run down the left, exchanged passes with Magaeye Gueye on the edge of the area and strode forward, beating Steed Malbranque to the ball and planting his low shot firmly in the bottom right hand corner beyond Remy Vercoutre's outstretched hand.
Seven minutes into the second half, Lyon were back on terms as Lisandro Lopez burst through and Brest defender Tripy Makonda could only watch as the Argentine's shot ricocheted into the empty net off his chest.
Lyon had a chance to steal all three points with ten minutes to go as Arnold Mvuemba teed up Lisandro but his shot was cleared off the line by Florian Lejeune with goalkeeper Alexis Thebaux beaten. Worse was to follow in stoppage time when Gomis volleyed wide with the goal at his mercy for what proved to be the final kick of the match.
Meanwhile, Marseille wrested control of the final UEFA Champions League spot back from Saint-Etienne, climbing to within three points of Lyon, and five behind PSG, after grinding out a 2-1 home win over basement club Troyes.
Brazilian striker Marcos capitalised on a defensive lapse from Nicolas N'Koulou to put the visitors ahead on 70 minutes at Stade Velodrome, but two goals in as many minutes provided the perfect tonic for Marseille after successive defeats to bitter rivals PSG.
Substitute Modou Sougou sparked the recovery, crossing for N'Koulou to bundle home an equaliser via a deflection off Florian Jarjat nine minutes from the end. The Senegal winger was then again instrumental in the winning goal as he teed up Andre-Pierre Gignac to slot home from six yards out after a clever exchange of passes with Mathieu Valbuena.
Lille battled from a goal down to maintain their European push with a hard-fought victory over Bordeaux at the Grand Stade Lille Metropole. Jaroslav Plasil had given Les Girondins the lead from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark.
But Rudi Garcia's side responded well and turned the game on its head thanks to second-half goals from Ronny Rodelin and Salomon Kalou to secure their fourth straight league win and climb to seventh in the standings.