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BB Bob
23-01-2008, 09:17 PM
I have got to really like French Football over the last few years. With the exception of Lyon winning every year - although looking a bit wobbly this year - just about any team can beat any other team on their day. Not too many stars at the moment - they have all moved abroad - but some great young players and a good source of talent for the discerning British manager.

If you haven't heard of Benzema, the striker at Lyon, you will soon. Sammy Nasri at Olympique Marseille is a great player. Baky Kone at Nice is the quickest thing on two legs. Johann Elmander at Toulouse would do a good job for most Championship teams and may be Premier class.

For my sins, I follow OGCN - Nice. I go down to that part of the world pretty often and love it there. Oh, and their nickname is "les aiglons" which is Eagles! But I like most teams really with the obvious exception of Paris Saint Germain. Nobody likes them anywhere else in France.

Coverage in the UK is patchy. Live games on Setanta most weeks and a i hour highlight show either on Setanta or at 5am or so on a Tuesday morning. Worth setting the recorder for IMHO.

Anyway, tonights results here:-

18:30 Valenciennes 1 - 2 Lens
20:30 Caen 0 - 0 Auxerre
20:30 Lille 3 - 1 Le Mans
20:30 Lyon 2 - 0 Lorient
20:30 Monaco 1 - 0 Sochaux
20:30 Paris SG 3 - 0 Metz
20:30 Rennes 1 - 1 Nice
20:30 Strasbourg 2 - 0 Toulouse
20:45 Nancy 1 - 1 Marseille

League table now:-

P W D L F A Dif Pts
1 Lyon 22 14 3 5 43 21 +22 45
2 Bordeaux 21 11 6 4 33 25 +8 39
3 Nancy 22 9 10 3 26 13 +13 37
4 Nice 22 9 9 4 22 15 +7 36
5 Monaco 22 10 4 8 28 20 +8 34
6 Caen 22 9 7 6 24 20 +4 34
7 Valenciennes 22 9 5 8 27 22 +5 32
8 Lorient 22 7 9 6 21 22 -1 30
9 Le Mans 22 9 3 10 28 33 -5 30
10 Marseille 22 7 8 7 25 25 0 29
11 Rennes 22 8 5 9 22 27 -5 29
12 Paris SG 22 7 7 8 22 21 +1 28
13 Saint Etienne 21 8 4 9 22 22 0 28
14 Strasbourg 22 7 7 8 21 22 -1 28
15 Lille 21 5 11 5 23 21 +2 26
16 Lens 21 7 5 9 21 25 -4 26
17 Toulouse 22 6 8 8 22 27 -5 26
18 Auxerre 22 7 4 11 19 31 -12 25
19 Sochaux 22 4 8 10 18 27 -9 20
20 Metz 22 1 5 16 11 39 -28 8

Ratified by the Competition Organisation Commission of the LFP

This is a pretty good site for general info http://www.frenchleague.com/ligue1/index.asp although if you can read french www.lequipe.fr is good.

Anyway more later, eh?

BB Bob
24-01-2008, 08:26 AM
Soccer-France: European hopes of Valenciennes take a hit
2008-01-23 17:23 (New York)

Valenciennes, France, Jan 23, 2008 (The Sports Network via COMTEX) --
Valenciennes has been in the top half of the Ligue 1 table all season and has
the look of a side that will contend for a place in Europe.

However, the club dropped a 2-1 contest to Lens on Wednesday at Stade Nungesser,
the team's second straight loss and the third defeat in four games for the team.

The loss drops Valenciennes to seventh in the table, while Lens moves out of the
drop zone.

Steve Savidan had Valenciennes on the board in the 34th minute, but Lens
answered through Vitorino Hilton right before halftime. The hosts suffered a
setback in the 57th minute when Guillaume Rippert was sent off and Lens took
advantage as Kevin Monnet-Paquet scored the game-winner seven minutes later.

Geoffrey Doumeng set up the opener for Valenciennes when he played Savidan into
the box. The striker gained control on the left and fired a shot into the top
corner to put his side in front.

It took 10 minutes for Lens to respond when Olivier Monterrubio's free-kick took
a deflection and fell into the path of Hilton, who easily headed the ball past
keeper Nicolas Penneteau.

Rippert then changed the momentum of the match when he brought down Monnet-
Paquet as the striker was in on goal. The resulting free kick nearly put Lens
ahead immediately as Monterrubio's effort came back off the crossbar, but the
winner would come seven minutes later.

Monterrubio put Monnet-Paquet in on goal with a neat through ball, and the
striker slotted his shot past the keeper to boost the relegation hopes of Lens.

In other Ligue 1 action on Wednesday, league-leaders Lyon bounced back from a
weekend defeat to beat Lorient 2-0, Lille got past Le Mans 3-1, and Caen was
held to a 0-0 draw by Auxerre. Monaco downed relegation-struggling Sochaux 1-0
on Frederic Piquionne's 78th-minute tally, PSG thrashed last-place Metz 3-0,
Nice remained in the top four with a 1-1 draw against Rennes, Strasbourg moved
three points clear of relegation with a 2-0 win over Toulouse and Samir Nasri
helped Marseille earn a point at Nancy as he scored in the 87th minute of the
team's 1-1 draw.



(c)2008 The Sports Network. All Rights Reserved

-0-

BB Bob
27-01-2008, 11:45 AM
Matchday 23: Saturday review
Djibril Cisse scores his first hat-trick of the season as Marseille crush Caen (6-1) while Sochaux earn a vital win in their battle against relegation over Valenciennes (1-0) and Lens and Strasbourg share a four-goal thriller (2-2).
Ligue 1, Matchday 23



Marseille 6
Cisse 28, 54, 56, Valbuena 42, 44, Nasri 81

Caen 1
Toudic 2

A Djibril Cisse hat-trick helped Marseille to come from behind to record a stunning 6-1 win over Caen, easily OM's biggest victory of the season.

Cisse grabbed his sixth, seventh and eighth Ligue 1 goals of 2007-08, including two in three minutes in the second-half. Earlier Mathieu Valbuena produced two brilliant strikes in the space of three minutes to put Marseille ahead.

The visitors took a shock lead in the second minute when Yoan Gouffran crossed from the right and Julien Toudic scored at the second attempt after centre-half Julien Rodriguez blocked his first effort. That setback stunned Marseille into a response as Cisse missed a superb headed opportunity and then shot narrowly wide.

But after Marseille equalised through a Cisse header the hosts ran away with the game. They piled on the pressure and Valbuena put them in the clear thanks to two virtuoso efforts. On 42 minutes he found the top corner with a stunning 25-yard blast that evoked memories of his brilliant winner against Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League last September, and he followed up three minutes later with a fabulous chip over Costil from the edge of the penalty area to send Marseille in 3-1 ahead at the break.

Cisse completed his hat-trick with strikes in the 54th and 56th minutes, first latching on to a Samir Nasri through ball to leave Costil stranded in goal and then pouncing on a botched Brahim Thiam clearance to finish coolly. But there was no question of the hosts easing up, as Nasri notched his second goal in two games when he cut in from the left to finish with an unstoppable drive. Even then Marseille might have increased their lead against the shellshocked visitors as Nasri grazed the outside of a post in injury time.

Marseille have climbed to eighth, their highest position of the season, and are now just five points off the top four with 32pts. Caen remain sixth on 34pts.



Sochaux 1
Brechet 23

Valenciennes 0

A crucial goal from captain Jeremie Brechet helped Sochaux's mini-revival to continue at the Stade Bonal as Valenciennes crashed to a third consecutive league defeat.

The visitors started the game brightly, with the ever-threatening Steve Savidan almost opening the scoring in the first few minutes. But having found himself unmarked in front of the goalkeeper he contrived to lift the ball over both Teddy Richert and the Sochaux crossbar.

Ten minutes later, Valenciennes were made to pay for such profligacy. A deep corner from former Tottenham midfielder Stephane Dalmat eluded the entire defence, landing on the head of Brechet who guided in his first goal of the season to give Sochaux a shock lead.

Richert was called into action moments later to deny Gregory Pujol, but having gone behind, Valenciennes were unable to mount a response. Indeed it was Sochaux who looked the more likely scorers with debutant Kandia Traore and Gonzalo Vargas forcing saves from Nicolas Penneteau in the Valenciennes goal. Having started the day six points from safety, Sochaux are just starting to believe that they can escape the drop.



Lens 2
Monterrubio 5, 82

Strasbourg 2
Renteria 3, Santos 77

Two five-minute spells at either end of the match proved crucial as Lens twice came from behind to hold Strasbourg at the Stade Felix Bollaert.

Strasbourg began the day two places and two points better off than their hosts and silenced the crowd by scoring with virtually the first attacking move of the match. Colombian forward Wason Renteria latched on to a header from Guillaume Lacour and lifted the ball beyond the helpless goalkeeper Vedran Runje to claim his seventh goal of the season.

Incredibly, though, Jean Pierre Papin's men were behind just a matter of seconds, with the referee, M Lamarre, awarding a penalty after Toifilou Maoulida was fouled in the box. Winger Olivier Monterrubio stepped up to convert the spot-kick, the former Nantes and Rennes player registering his first goal since the first week of December.

With both sides cancelling each other out, the remainder of the first half failed to maintain such scoring form. In the second half, however, Lens picked up the pace, with Monterrubio and Nadir Belhadj troubling goalkeeper Stephane Cassard.

Typically, having shown such attacking intent, Lens were caught out by a well-worked corner that was straight off the training ground. Substitute Alvaro Santos was in the perfect place to meet the ball and score with his first touch. But Lens under Papin are a tough side to beat, and yet again they hit back almost immediately. The equaliser was an equally well-practised effort, as Monterrubio's free kick ensured it was honours even in a gripping encounter.



Toulouse 1
Arribage 34

Nice 1
Ederson 88

A last-minute goal from Nice's Brazilian midfielder Ederson earned a valuable point against struggling Toulouse.

Without a win since December 8 and without a number of key players, Toulouse manager Elie Baup fielded an attack-minded line-up, with strikers Johan Elmander and Pierre-Andre Gignac being supported by Paulo Cesar and Salim Arrache. The gamble certainly paid off midway through the first half as the home side took the lead.

A corner was flicked on at the near post by Paulo Cesar and captain Dominique Arribage contorted himself to score his first goal of the season with an acrobatic effort. After 10 years at the club, the 36-year-old has now reached the landmark figure of 20 goals.

But Nice came into the game in good form, unbeaten since beginning of October and on a run that has seen Frederic Antonetti's side take 11 of a possible 15 points in recent weeks, so it was no surprise that they hit back straight away. A header from former Sunderland striker Lilian Laslandes look destined to be the equaliser, but the ball crashed against the bar and rebounded to safety.

Having survived that scare and several others in the second half, a first win since December 8 was tantalisingly close for Toulouse, but with just seconds remaining Brazilian Ederson headed home a David Hellebuyck corner to grab a priceless point for Nice.



Auxerre 0

Nancy 0

Auxerre remain mired in the relegation zone after a goalless draw in difficult conditions at the Stade l'Abbe Deschamps.

At one point it was thought that match might have to be postponed because of thick fog that had enveloped the ground. But at the last minute, the gloom lifted and play got under way 30 minutes later than scheduled.

Perhaps it might have been better for the game not to have taken place, because both sides seemed affected by the delay. The closest the hardy spectators came to seeing a goal in the first half was a free kick from Benoit Pedretti that whistled past the Nancy goal.

In the second period, Auxerre showed the greater urgency, which was the least you might expect of a side in the bottom three, but as the game wore on it was Nancy, without a league win since November, that almost stole all three points. A rocket shot from midfielder Pascal Berenguer was well saved by Olivier Sorin and the goalkeeper was also on hand to deny Marc-Antoine Fortune in the dying minutes to secure a point for the hosts.



Le Mans 1
Matsui 23

Monaco 0

Le Mans earned a precious 1-0 win over Monaco to bring to an end a run of four straight defeats and curtail Monaco's impressive charge towards the top four.

The hosts were depleted as well as demoralised with goalkeeper Yohann Pele, centre-half Marko Basa and striker Tulio De Melo all injured, while Romaric, Gervinho (Ivory Coast) and Ibrahima Camara (Guinea) were on international duty at the Africa Nations Cup. Yet the hosts deserved the three points for a gritty display against disappointing visitors in a game of very few chances.

When the breakthrough came it was a soft goal. Monaco goalkeeper Flavio Roma will feel he ought to have done better as he could only push a corner into the path of Japan midfielder Daisuke Matsui, who blasted home from close range.

Monaco will be angry with themselves as they had the better chances to score before the break. Brazilian midfielder Nene forced a save from stand-in goalkeeper Rodolpe Roche and Jerko Leko was unable to prod home the simple follow-up. Then Jeremy Menez underlined his brilliance by beating Jean Calve and Le Mans' new Brazilian defender Geder but shot just wide.

Monaco lost momentum after the break as the increasingly confident hosts skilfully defended their lead. The visitors were restricted to shots from distance and had to wait until injury time for a clear scoring opportunity when Roche turned away Adriano's free-kick.

This result puts Le Mans up to seventh place on 33ts while Monaco remain fifth on 34pts.



Lille 0

PSG 0

Lille and PSG played out a goalless draw in Saturday's early kick-off, a result that does little to ease both sides' relegation fears.

The two teams went into the match on the back of impressive midweek wins – Lille 3-1 over Le Mans, PSG 3-0 v Metz – but neither side was able to make the breakthrough on a day when defences dominated.

Lille had far more possession in the first-half but the first real opening fell to Peguy Luyindula, who received a pass from attacking partner Amara Diane and struck a powerful shot from the edge of the area that forced Lille's reserve goalkeeper Gregory Malicki into a spectacular save. That attempt on goal awoke Lille as Yohan Cabaye blasted a shot three minutes later but watched it come back off a post.

After half-time, however, both teams seemed happier to play for a draw. Mario Yepes was masterful at the back for the visitors while Rio Mavuba, who has arrived on loan at Lille from Spanish outfit Villarreal for the remainder of the season, showed his quality by patrolling in front of the defence to great effect.

The best chance fell to Michel Bastos, but the Brazilian midfielder shot wide of Mickael Landreau's post with his weaker right foot as Lille were unable to make the breakthrough. During the final 20 minutes the game seemed destined to end a stalemate, and so it turned out.

Lille have 27pts from 22 games with PSG on 29pts from 22 games.



Metz 1
N'Diaye 76

Rennes 1
Thomert 28

Metz picked up only their third home point of the season with a late equaliser that earned them a deserved share of the spoils against Rennes.

The hosts started strongly, with Cyril Chapuis lobbing narrowly over the bar on four minutes and a Wilmer Aguirre effort grazing the outside of the post on 11 minutes. Daniel Gygax hit a volley wide as well, but the visitors had chances, too – Mickael Pagis saw Metz goalkeeper Christophe Marichez stop an effort and then a superb one-two between Pagis and Sylvain Wiltord seemed certain to result in a goal but Pape Malik Diop managed to clear off the line with Marichez beaten.

Such a build-up of pressure paid off, however, as Rennes took the lead three minutes later. Metz failed to clear their lines properly and when the ball fell to Thomert he struck a superb left-foot volley into the top corner of the net.

Metz countered with attacks of their own but the problems that have plagued them all season were apparent as they frequently missed the target. After the break Rennes sat back and were content to hit the hosts on the break but Rennes striker Jimmy Briand was made to pay for squandering chances when Metz grabbed an equaliser 14 minutes from time. And it was a great goal, too – Gygax crossed from the left and Momar N'Diaye jumped highest to place a powerful header into the roof of the net. It was the Senegalese striker's third goal of the season.

The result will hardly help save Metz from relegation – they lie 20th, 19 points from safety – but at least means the club have salvaged some pride after a 3-0 hammering at PSG in midweek. Rennes are 11th on 30pts.


© French Football League 2006/2007 - All right reserved - http://www.frenchleague.com

BB Bob
27-01-2008, 11:49 AM
Todays games previewed. Setanta should be showing Lyons v St Etienne really for the atmosphere...

Live: Sunday previews
David Bellion (pictured) and Bordeaux attempt to keep up the pressure at the top with a win at Lorient while Ligue 1 leaders Lyon travel to local rivals St Etienne for one of the most passionate derbies in France.
Ligue 1, Matchday 23


St Etienne v Lyon
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
Sunday, January 27, 2008 (7.55pm kick-off UK Time)

Will it be 16th time lucky for St Etienne as they face Lyon in one of the most passionate local derbies in France? It's 15 head-to-head clashes since the green half of this local rivalry last celebrated a win.

You have to go back to the 1993-94 season and a home victory for St Etienne to see the last time they managed to take three points off their nearest opponents. As the years have gone by and the defeats racked up, Lyon's domination of the Ligue 1 scene has added a fresh dimension to the local clashes because les Gones are fast bearing down on St Etienne's record tally of 10 Ligue 1 titles. Lyon have six, having won the crown every season since 2001-02.

Yet if St Etienne have one major advantage here it's their outstanding record at their Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. St Etienne have won seven, drawn two and lost just once there in 2007-08, with their list of scalps including Valenciennes (3-1), Caen (3-0), Marseille (1-0) and Rennes (2-0). Their excellent defensive record has been the foundation of their success on home soil – St Etienne have conceded just two goals in their 10 home games. That's an exceptional record, and shows that even though Lyon have Ligue 1's top scorer in Karim Benzema (14 goals in 22 appearances) they will have their work cut out to break down the hosts' back line.

One man for whom this fixture will be a special occasion is Gregory Coupet. Not only it is yet another important step in his bid to reach top form following a five-month lay-off with a knee injury that kept him out until three weeks ago, it's also a chance for him to put one over on his old employers. Coupet has been such a pivotal figure in Lyon's pre-eminence over the past seven seasons that is it almost forgotten that he began his career at St Etienne. The France number one made his debut for les Verts in the 1993-94 season and made 66 Ligue 1 and 22 Ligue 2 appearances for the club before switching to Lyon at the age of 24, midway through the 1996-97 season. He has since made 365 Ligue 1 appearances for his current club and helped them win six consecutive Ligue 1 titles as well as the Coupe de la Ligue in 2001. He's the man St Etienne will have to beat if they are to end their 13-season barren run.



Lorient v Bordeaux
Stade du Moustoir
Sunday, January 27, 2008 (5pm kick-off UK Time)

Is there a better striker in Ligue 1 than Fernando Cavenaghi at the moment? It doesn't appear so.

The 24-year-old Argentine has become a key figure in les Girondins' unexpected title challenge, having forced his way into the reckoning during a season in which he seemed almost certain to have a bit-part role and, at one point, leave altogether. He has scored four goals in five games and is ready to play a leading role in the Lorient v Bordeaux clash at Stade du Moustoir on Sunday night.

Cavenaghi was a big-money signing from Spartak Moscow last January but struggled with injury during his first six months in Gironde, which limited him to just nine appearances and two goals last season. During the first-half of this campaign his opportunities to impress coach Laurent Blanc were mainly restricted to Bordeaux's Uefa Cup games, but he has played a vital role in the competition, scoring four goals in five matches to help Bordeaux reach the last 32 stage.

Partly as a consequence of those displays and also because Marouane Chamakh is away on international duty with Morocco at the Africa Nations Cup, Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc has handed Cavenaghi an opportunity in Ligue 1 matches over the past few weeks – and the striker has responded magnificently. He netted two goals as Bordeaux came from behind to beat Auxerre 4-1 earlier this month, then set his side on their way to victory over Le Mans (2-1) with the opening goal last week and struck the winner at home to St Etienne (1-0) on Thursday night. Without him there's no way Bordeaux would stand a realistic chance of challenging Lyon for the title (the gap is only three points).

Lorient go into the game on the back of a 2-0 defeat at Lyon on Wednesday night but there is no shame in losing to the champions. In any case their home form is outstanding – Christian Gourcuff's men have won their last three at Stade du Moustoir and drew the previous four games. Their last defeat on soil came more than four months ago when Rennes sneaked a 1-0 win on matchday 8, so that run of results will give Lorient confidence here.

As will their performance in the first meeting of the season – a thrilling see-saw match at Stade Chaban-Delmas in August saw the teams draw 2-2. Lorient took the lead through Rafik Saifi before a goal either side of half-time from David Bellion put Bordeaux in control. However, Lorient refused to give in and midfielder Hamed Namouchi struck a minute from time to earn the visitors a point. Similar entertainment here would make for a fantastic spectacle.


© French Football League 2006/2007 - All right reserved - http://www.frenchleague.com

mik59
27-01-2008, 11:57 AM
I'd like to wish Lyon all the best tonight as my immediate family and I have friends from there who we've known for 35 years or so. But sorry to see Caen not doing better as have a mate from there as well.

Made me think that may combine a trip to Lille on Eurostar with a match some time.

limited_edition
27-01-2008, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Not too many stars at the moment - they have all moved abroad - but some great young players and a good source of talent for the discerning British manager.

If you haven't heard of Benzema, the striker at Lyon, you will soon. Sammy Nasri at Olympique Marseille is a great player.
After the last World Cup, I thought it was the end of an era for France with the likes of Zidane, Makelele and Thuram retiring or past it at that level. But there's some incredible young French talent out there. Along with the rise and rise of Ribery now at Bayern, there's some other great young guns out there. Hopefully we'll see them at Euro 2008. Eg Benzema. Nasri, Ben Arfa, Mandanda the keeper from Marseille (I know he's also eligible to play for DR Congo) but I think he's played for France U21. Benzema in particular is probably the best young striker of his age I've seen out there. I dunno if all this talent came through the Clarefontaine Academy, but you have to credit the French for continually churning out talent.

Maidstoned Eagle
27-01-2008, 12:34 PM
When I lived in the South of France I went to see Marseille a few times and Monaco. Marseille had Papin, Waddle etc playing for them back then, Monaco had a few decent players as well.

I look out for Caen and Chateauroux results coz of their red and blue striped shirts.

Big Nig
27-01-2008, 12:41 PM
Went to Lille for a year for my university for my year abroad. Bought the shirt etc and pledged my allegiance to them for a year and been following them since when ive got back. Pity for them as they have sold a few of their good players like Keita to Lyon, whose currently playing for Cote Ivoire in the Cup of Nations. Always been a fan of his but reminds a bit like routledge in his young days....really quick and skillfull but most of the time keeps his head down too much and runs into the corners with not much idea.

Also remember watching Lille AC Milan and Lille Man Utd in Champions League last year for a combined value less than a Palace Cup tie against a Premier League side which was great value. Spent about 40 euros for the 2!

BB Bob
27-01-2008, 04:03 PM
Lens is really close to Calais and Valenciennes isn't much further. I think you can get a kids ticket behind the goal for about 3 Euros. I mean, honestly. You can't buy a coffee for that!!!

BB Bob
29-01-2008, 07:15 AM
Late report on Sundays games - work, I'm afraid!

Football: Benzema gives Lyon breathing space
2008-01-27 17:26 (New York)

by Chris Wright
=(PICTURE)=

PARIS, Jan 27, 2008 (AFP) - A superbly-executed free kick from
Karim Benzema gave leaders Lyon some breathing space Sunday in
bringing a 1-1 draw at local rivals St Etienne to leave the reigning
French champions four points clear.
After a goalkeeping blunder left them with work to do it was
only in the dying seconds that France international Benzema rescued
Alain Perrin's side to take Lyon onto 46 points from 23 games with
his 15th league goal of the campaign.
Rivals Bordeaux earlier saw their title charge hit the buffers
as a 1-0 loss at Lorient left Laurent Blanc's men stuck on 42 points
after a run of four straight wins ended.
St Etienne took the lead on the stroke of half time thanks to a
howler of a clearance by Lyon's French international goalkeeper
Gregory Coupet, who mishit a clearance straight at Bafetimbi Gomis.
He reacted to nod the home after initially appearing to have no
chance of latching onto the loose ball.
Lyon, who welcomed back striker Sidney Govou after a fortnight
out with injury, came into the fray with the best away attack after
scoring 17 times on their travels but were up against a mean home
defence.
Lorient earlier left Bordeaux's former World Cup winner Blanc
dejected but realistic after Christophe Jallet's penalty 15 minutes
from time clinched the three points.
Bordeaux's Brazilian defender Henrique fouled Rafik Saiki and
Jallet secured a gutsy win after sending Ulrich Rame the wrong way
to give Lorient a fifth win on a roll at their Moustoir stadium
home.
"That's life I guess and I have told the players to put it
behind them and move on," said Blanc.
"We made an individual error and were punished with the penalty
that won the match but I am not too down as we took nine points out
of 12 in January."
The result moved Lorient up three places to seventh, just three
points off the European places, whereas Bordeaux are now looking
nervously over their shoulders at third-placed Nancy, now just four
points behind.
On Saturday, Djibril Cisse hogged the headlines when he hit a
treble in Marseille's 6-1 demolition of Caen.
The win rekindled the former European Cup winners' hopes of a
place in the UEFA Cup after an inconsistent season which had brought
just seven league wins in 22 matches.
The goal blitz still left Cisse's men five points off a European
slot, but coach Eric Gerets, without club top scorer Mamadou Niang,
who is at the African Nations Cup with Senegal, saluted Cisse as a
man who "can do the business" on the right, left or through the
middle.
Mathieu Valbuena netted twice and Samir Nasri also got in on the
act for Marseille.
Paris Saint Germain, struggling in midtable, saw their hopes of
shooting up the table take a knock after a goalless draw away to
Lille to leave the capital club on 29 points from their 23 games.
Elsewhere, Nancy could only manage a 0-0 draw at lowly Auxerre,
while fourth-placed Nice made it 13 matches unbeaten with a 1-1 draw
at strugglers Toulouse.
Fifth-placed Monaco slumped 1-0 at Le Mans, now just a point
behind the principality side.
cw/dj08

BB Bob
29-01-2008, 07:15 AM
Football: French league table
2008-01-27 17:08 (New York)


PARIS, Jan 27, 2008 (AFP) - French league table after weekend
programme (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against,
points):

Lyon 23 14 4 5 44 22 46
Bordeaux 23 12 6 5 34 26 42
Nancy 23 9 11 3 26 13 38
Nice 23 9 10 4 23 16 37
Monaco 23 10 4 9 28 21 34
Caen 23 9 7 7 25 26 34
Lorient 23 8 9 6 22 22 33
Le Mans 23 10 3 10 29 33 33
Marseille 23 8 8 7 31 26 32
Valenciennes 23 9 5 9 27 23 32
Rennes 23 8 6 9 23 28 30
Paris SG 23 7 8 8 22 21 29
Strasbourg 23 7 8 8 23 24 29
Saint-Etienne 23 8 5 10 23 24 29
Lille 22 5 12 5 23 21 27
Lens 22 7 6 9 23 27 27
Toulouse 23 6 9 8 23 28 27
Auxerre 23 7 5 11 19 31 26
Sochaux 23 5 8 10 19 27 23
Metz 23 1 6 16 12 40 9
afp08

-0- Jan/27/2008 21:53 GMT

-0- Jan/27/2008 22:08 GMT


BB Bob
29-01-2008, 07:20 AM
Just shows what I know. "Washed up" Cisse delivers the goods. Bellion looks to have revived his career as well after a spelll at Man Utd and, I think, Sunderland. Did well at Nice last year and doing the business in Bordeaux. Metz look doomed now. Even a change of manager hasn't had any impact.

Cisse is January Goal King
With a total of six goals, the rejuvinated Marseille striker Djibril Cisse was top scorer in Ligue 1 Orange for January, winning the LFP monthly award made in conjunction with Le Parisien-Aujurd'hui and France2 Foot.
Cisse's rich vein of New Year form has brought him goals in each of his three matches - a hat-trick against Caen, two goals against Valenciennes and one against Rennes.


Behind him in the list for the month came Fernando Cavenaghi with four goals, then Lyon hot-shot Karim Benzema and Amara Diané of PSG, each with three.


Benzema remains top scorer for the season so far with 15 goals, leading from David Bellion of Bordeaux with 11 and Cisse's team-mate Mamadou Niang on 10.

Latvian Eagle
29-01-2008, 07:58 AM
I do look out for Marseille's results as they were a big club when I was little. And they had Chris Waddle at the time. :D

Also looked out for Nantes, are they leading the 2nd division!?

BB Bob
29-01-2008, 08:01 AM
Sitting in second place at the moment. They really should breeze through given their size, but it's never that easy, is it? Nantes, Troyes and Sedan got relegated last year. Metz stormed this league last year and look at them this year.

Pl W D L F A GD Pts
1 Le Havre 21 12 7 2 37 18 +19 43
2 Nantes 22 12 6 4 33 18 +15 42
3 Troyes 21 10 8 3 29 19 +10 38
4 Bastia 21 10 6 5 31 19 +12 35
5 Clermont 21 8 11 2 32 21 +11 35
6 Grenoble 22 9 7 6 29 23 +6 34
7 Montpellier 22 8 8 6 25 18 +7 32
8 Angers 22 8 8 6 21 19 +2 32
9 Ajaccio 22 8 8 6 24 23 +1 32
10 Sedan 21 7 9 5 26 24 +2 30
11 Boulogne 22 7 6 9 25 31 -6 27
12 Brest 22 7 6 9 19 28 -9 27
13 Guingamp 22 6 8 8 21 21 0 26
14 Reims 21 7 4 10 24 34 -10 25
15 Châteauroux 22 5 8 9 21 26 -5 23
16 Niort 22 6 4 12 20 26 -6 22
17 Dijon 22 4 10 8 16 30 -14 22
18 Libourne St Seurin 21 4 6 11 25 37 -12 18
19 Amiens 21 3 8 10 20 31 -11 17
20 Gueugnon 22 2 8 12 21 33 -12 14

Bastia have been deducted one point by the Discipline Commission following an incident away to Libourne St Seurin on September 14, 2007. The Commision's decision was taken on October 11, 2007.
Ratified by the Competition Organisation Commission of the LFP

st albans
29-01-2008, 08:10 AM
watched some recent 'highlights'. shocking league

BB Bob
29-01-2008, 08:15 AM
At least most of the teams are the same level and any team can beat any other. In quality terms, there are the odd gems. No Work Permit requirements (that I know of) so you see some good Brazilians and African kids. In quality terms, overall it's definitely more Chmapionship than Premiership, but it depends what you want from a league really. For me, it's competition (i.e. competitiveness) as much as quality.

kabbott
29-01-2008, 10:43 PM
Good thread. I'll help you out with some of the match reports in future. I've been living in Lyon since 1983 and have watched le championnat improve greatly over the years. I live a couple of miles from Stade Gerland, the Olympique Lyonnais ground, and take in a couple of matches per season. Lyon have won the league for 7? years on the trot now but have stiffer competition from the likes of Bordeaux and Nancy this season. Two of their major players have been out through injury more or less since the start of the season, Greg Coupet, the keeper, who I was sure A.Wenger would have gone for a few years back and Cris, a solid centre back, a lot better than some of the Brazilian defenders selected recently. Cris is hoping to have recovered for the Champions' League matches against Man. Utd. although he might be lacking match fitness. Lyon have got a shrewd president who has done some good wheeing and dealing in the transfer market, selling Essien and Malouda to Chelski for large profits and replacing them with similarly good younger and cheaper players.
The Lyon Academy has regularly produced quality players. Which European team still qualified for the Champions' League can boast three home-grown forwards: Sydney Govou, Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa. Benzema and Ben Arfa are brilliant and only 20 years of age. Benzema is a cross between Zidane and Henry and is already very consistant. Ben Arfa is a wicked dribbler who can deliver defence- splitting passes and can score goals but he is still a little unpredictable.
And let's not forget Juninho, possibly the best taker of free kicks in the world and terribly underrated.

GodstoneEagle
29-01-2008, 11:38 PM
my dad knows steve savidan. top player

BB Bob
30-01-2008, 07:14 AM
Steve Savidan will surely leave Valenciennes this summer and the lord only knows what will happen to them next season. Some of the goals he scores are fantastic and, with all due respect to Valenciennes, he deserves the chance to test himself at a higher level. I am sure that one of the bigger clubs would love to have him. Good enough for the Premiership? Could be. After all, players like John Utaka have stepped up fairly well

BB Bob
30-01-2008, 07:26 AM
Juninho is a terrific player too. His strike rate from free kicks anywhere around the box is phenomenal. Lyon are without doubt the best team in France at them moment but I have to say I have doubts over Perrin. Sure, he had a good season with Sochaux last year after a pretty uninspiring spell at Pompey. But something isn't quite right there. I know that injuries to Coupet and Cris left a big hole down the middle but hopefully the signing of Boumsong and their return will steady the ship. You don't want too many performance like the Caen game, though, or leaving it so late in the game as at the weekend!

The summer will be interesting. Hugo Lloris, the French U21 keeper and the man largely responsible for Nice's performance this year, will be a target I suspect. Will he want to be a back up to Coupet though?

BB Bob
30-01-2008, 10:00 AM
Merde alors!

Ederson a signé à Lyon. Un accord ayant été conclu lundi entre Nice et Lyon, Ederson (Photo L'Equipe) a effectué un aller-retour express ce mardi à Lyon, où il s'est officiellement engagé pour quatre ans et demi. Le joueur devrait toutefois être prêté à Nice jusqu'à la fin de la saison, même si Jean-Michel Aulas espère le garder. Les dirigeants des deux clubs en discuteront mercredi.

For those who don't read French, Ederson - top Brazilian midfielder this year at Nice - has been signed by Lyons for around €15m. At least we get to keep him on loan for the rest of the season.

BB Bob
30-01-2008, 10:01 AM
More..

(ESP)-AULAS - EDERSON SNUBBED REAL AND UNITED
2008-01-30 05:53 (New York)

AULAS - EDERSON SNUBBED REAL AND UNITED
LYON, January 30 (Ligue 1) - Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas claims new
signing Ederson turned down Manchester United and Real Madrid to join the
French
champions.
The Brazilian attacking midfielder completed his switch to Les Gones on Tuesday
for a fee of around 15 million euros.
And Aulas claims his club beat two of Europe's heavyweights to the
22-year-old's signature.
``He could have signed for Manchester (United) or Real Madrid, but he preferred
OL,'' he said on club website www.olweb.fr.
``It is a sign that the club has grown, that our credibility is growing.''
Ederson has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with Lyon, who are expected
to respect the player's wishes and loan him back to Nice for the rest of this
season.
He will then join Les Gones on a permanent basis in the summer.
Lyon have signed young midfielder Marc Crosas from Barcelona and Cesar Delgado
from Mexican outfit Cruz Azul in the January transfer window.
And Aulas believes the club are on their way to rivalling the likes of United
and Real on the pitch.
``His (Ederson's) arrival will reinforce a top-class team, an extraordinary
squad that brings together talented young internationals like Hatem (Ben Arfa),
Karim (Benzema) or even Loic (Remy),'' he added.
``A team for tomorrow being put together with a desire to fight on an equal
footing with the biggest European clubs like Real Madrid or even Manchester
United.''
end

BB Bob
30-01-2008, 11:29 AM
He doesn't just take the free kicks then.....

Ederson signed as one for Lyon future

Ederson will move to Lyon this summer (©Getty Images)Olympique Lyonnais have engaged the services of Ederson at a cost of €15m, with the midfielder joining the French champions in the summer after spending the rest of the season with OGC Nice.

Juninho role
The 22-year-old Brazilian has passed a medical with the Ligue 1 leaders but will remain with Nice for the next four months before completing the switch. Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas paid tribute to the influence of midfielder Juninho Pernambucano in helping to sign a player coveted by a number of clubs and considered the long-term successor to the 32-year-old Lyon captain. "Juninho has called Ederson several times," Aulas said

Growing in stature
Ederson started his career with SC Internacional in his native Brazil before moving to EC Juventude in 2004 prior to his transfer to Nice – initially on loan – that summmer. Although he started just one league game in his first term at Les Aiglons, he impressed enough for the deal to be made permanent in 2005. Ederson has since become a key figure for a team lying fourth in Ligue 1, scoring 12 goals in 77 league matches.

kabbott
30-01-2008, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by GodstoneEagle
my dad knows steve savidan. top player

I saw Lyon against Valenciennes last season, with Lyon sneaking a 2-1 victory with two goals in the dying minutes. Steve Savidan gave the Lyon defence a right run-around that night. I think Lyon even made a sneaky bid for him in last winter's transfer window. He is a very good player often left to fend for himself in attack. He's showing real potential after drifting from one club to another in the lower echelons of French football.

kabbott
30-01-2008, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
He doesn't just take the free kicks then.....

Ederson signed as one for Lyon future

Ederson will move to Lyon this summer (©Getty Images)Olympique Lyonnais have engaged the services of Ederson at a cost of €15m, with the midfielder joining the French champions in the summer after spending the rest of the season with OGC Nice.

Juninho role
The 22-year-old Brazilian has passed a medical with the Ligue 1 leaders but will remain with Nice for the next four months before completing the switch. Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas paid tribute to the influence of midfielder Juninho Pernambucano in helping to sign a player coveted by a number of clubs and considered the long-term successor to the 32-year-old Lyon captain. "Juninho has called Ederson several times," Aulas said

Growing in stature
Ederson started his career with SC Internacional in his native Brazil before moving to EC Juventude in 2004 prior to his transfer to Nice – initially on loan – that summmer. Although he started just one league game in his first term at Les Aiglons, he impressed enough for the deal to be made permanent in 2005. Ederson has since become a key figure for a team lying fourth in Ligue 1, scoring 12 goals in 77 league matches.

Sorry to hear that Aulas has signed one of the Aiglons' prized assets. I heard there was a clause in his contract stipulating that if an offer of more than 12,000,000 Euros came in, they couldn't turn it down. On moral grounds Ederson couldn't leave Nice before the end of the season, although Aulas was seeking to tempt him to come immediately by offering Loic Remy (another promising youngster) in exchange.

GodstoneEagle
30-01-2008, 07:43 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Steve Savidan will surely leave Valenciennes this summer and the lord only knows what will happen to them next season. Some of the goals he scores are fantastic and, with all due respect to Valenciennes, he deserves the chance to test himself at a higher level. I am sure that one of the bigger clubs would love to have him. Good enough for the Premiership? Could be. After all, players like John Utaka have stepped up fairly well he would like to stay in frnace or come to the prem. my dad hates football so hasn't tried to convince him to come to palace

kabbott
30-01-2008, 07:50 PM
Originally posted by GodstoneEagle
he would like to stay in frnace or come to the prem. my dad hates football so hasn't tried to convince him to come to palace

Won't we be in the Premier League next season? Surely we could offer him better wages than what Valenciennes are paying him at the moment. Having said that, to me, he doesn't seem like the type who would cross the Channel that easily. I think we'll have to make do with Benzema instead.

GodstoneEagle
30-01-2008, 07:55 PM
we could be :D

i think he looks like a class centre-forward. pompey are probably favourites as karembeu is scouting france constantly for them but i feel he'd fit into any mid-prem side easily

kabbott
30-01-2008, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by GodstoneEagle
we could be :D

i think he looks like a class centre-forward. pompey are probably favourites as karembeu is scouting france constantly for them but i feel he'd fit into any mid-prem side easily

Who? Savidan or Benzema?

BB Bob
31-01-2008, 07:57 AM
I think I can fairly confidently say that Benzema is not going to Pompey anytime soon!!!

BB Bob
31-01-2008, 08:02 AM
Originally posted by kabbott
Sorry to hear that Aulas has signed one of the Aiglons' prized assets. I heard there was a clause in his contract stipulating that if an offer of more than 12,000,000 Euros came in, they couldn't turn it down. On moral grounds Ederson couldn't leave Nice before the end of the season, although Aulas was seeking to tempt him to come immediately by offering Loic Remy (another promising youngster) in exchange.

Like Palace, Nice are always going to be a club that sees it's best players go on to bigger and better things. I'm not sure moving to a new stadium will sort that out, either. Kone will probably be next and then you are back where you started - mid table, flirting with relegation and the odd cup run to look forward to. Still, it's quite fun being in the sunlit highlands for a little while from time to time.

Big game at home to Marseille on Sunday evening for both clubs now. Nice haven't lost at home for more than a year, but I suspect it could be tested this weekend!

DedBallSpeshlst
31-01-2008, 11:35 AM
I was at the Marseille - Caen match on Saturday night (I support Caen so couldn't enjoy myself even though there were some cracking goals among Marseille's 6!).

A quick bitch from me: Caen scored their first after two minutes and had scored again within 15 minutes for what should have been a 2-0 lead. The ball went about 2 feet across the line into the goal before the Marseille keeper knocked it back into play, and the officials pretended not to see it because every decision has to be in favour of the bigger club. Anyway, a lot of Marseille players falling over for automatic free kicks (and admittedly some great finishing) and six goals later...

On Steve Savidan - I started a thread in the transfer forum suggesting him for Palace before Valenciennes had moved up to Ligue 1 (I'd seen him play in Caen and in some other televised Ligue 2 matches). The responses I received at the time were "Steve Who?" and "Are you his manager?".

:)

Abjekt
31-01-2008, 01:34 PM
I'm a Bordeaux fan as they're the team nearest to my parents' gaff in France and all my mum's family are from around that way.

We're having a good season again this year, not that far behind Lyon which is pleasing.

And... that's it!

BB Bob
31-01-2008, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by DedBallSpeshlst
I was at the Marseille - Caen match on Saturday night (I support Caen so couldn't enjoy myself even though there were some cracking goals among Marseille's 6!).

A quick bitch from me: Caen scored their first after two minutes and had scored again within 15 minutes for what should have been a 2-0 lead. The ball went about 2 feet across the line into the goal before the Marseille keeper knocked it back into play, and the officials pretended not to see it because every decision has to be in favour of the bigger club. Anyway, a lot of Marseille players falling over for automatic free kicks (and admittedly some great finishing) and six goals later...

On Steve Savidan - I started a thread in the transfer forum suggesting him for Palace before Valenciennes had moved up to Ligue 1 (I'd seen him play in Caen and in some other televised Ligue 2 matches). The responses I received at the time were "Steve Who?" and "Are you his manager?".

:)

I saw the highlights - shocking decision, particularly as Cisse's first was almost identical and given. I guess that kind of thing always happens at the Velodrome and the Parc des Princes etc.! You must be pleased with the season you've had so far though. Time for some bouncebackability (or whatever the Warnock equivalent is)

BB Bob
31-01-2008, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by Abjekt
I'm a Bordeaux fan as they're the team nearest to my parents' gaff in France and all my mum's family are from around that way.

We're having a good season again this year, not that far behind Lyon which is pleasing.

And... that's it!

Laurent Blanc is doing a fantastic job at Bordeaux. Nice to see them playing with a bit of style, too, after the dreadful guff served up last year. Bellion is doing well, isn't he. I can't remember the Argentinian's name, but he seems to be on fire at the mo. too.

Abjekt
31-01-2008, 02:03 PM
Yeah from what I've seen this season, they've been looking real quality, it's great stuff!

Bellion's doing brilliantly, think he's got 11 for the season which is a great return. And it's good having Cavenaghi in too for a bit of extra.

Hopefully they can give it a bit of a push and wrestle the title away from Lyon, I'd say it was the best chance they'll have had in the last few years, but I'm sure they won't manage it.

kabbott
31-01-2008, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
I saw the highlights - shocking decision, particularly as Cisse's first was almost identical and given. I guess that kind of thing always happens at the Velodrome and the Parc des Princes etc.! You must be pleased with the season you've had so far though. Time for some bouncebackability (or whatever the Warnock equivalent is)

I saw it too. Disgraceful decision which changed the course of the whole game. How times have we seen Marseille (and PSG for that matter) moaning about dodgy decisions against them? They didn't seem too upset the other night. Having said that, two cracking goals by Valbuena, even better than the one he got at Anfield.
There's been a lot of talk about the poor standard of refereeing over here, but I don't think it's worse than anywhere else.

BB Bob
31-01-2008, 06:20 PM
The commentator made some uber cheesy comment about it being called the valbuenadrome from now on!

You can't really look beyond Lyon, but they are a young team and under pressure. They could easily have lost at ASSE at the weekend. I don't think any of the minnows will hold on to be honest, but who knows. And if l'OM can get over their post ribery hangover, they could challenge for Euro spots.

I can't believe,either, that lille or lens will be as bad in the 2nd half of the season. Papin's had a mare, hasn't he? And has anyone seen a worse striker (and I use the word in it's loosest sense) than him this year?

kabbott
31-01-2008, 07:12 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
The commentator made some uber cheesy comment about it being called the valbuenadrome from now on!

You can't really look beyond Lyon, but they are a young team and under pressure. They could easily have lost at ASSE at the weekend. I don't think any of the minnows will hold on to be honest, but who knows. And if l'OM can get over their post ribery hangover, they could challenge for Euro spots.

I can't believe,either, that lille or lens will be as bad in the 2nd half of the season. Papin's had a mare, hasn't he? And has anyone seen a worse striker (and I use the word in it's loosest sense) than him this year?

It's true Lyon didn't play that well against L'ASSE but they too had a totally valid goal disallowed when Fred was adjudged to have been offside when he was on the same line as their centre back. Lyon my well have gone on to win that match, but they had to wait until the final minute for a goal à la Juni ou à la Zizou to share the spoils.
As for Papin, I'm not sure he's cut out to be a football coach. He got Strasbourg out of the 2nd division and they still fired him. If Lens fare well it'll all be down to the Druid and his magic potion ...

BB Bob
31-01-2008, 07:27 PM
Doh! When I said worse striker, I meant, of course, Patrick "no, no, it's not about the money" Kluivert. What a disgrace to professional footballers that man is....

kabbott
31-01-2008, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Doh! When I said worse striker, I meant, of course, Patrick "no, no, it's not about the money" Kluivert. What a disgrace to professional footballers that man is....

What an embarrassment to football. Isn't he still the highest goalscorer for the Dutch natonal team? I've always rated Claude Puel as a good coach, but what was he thinking when he took Kluivert? A bit of desparation surely, he didn't/doesn't have anyone at the club capable of scoring. If you look at the league table, Lille have only lost five (or maybe six) games like Lyon but they're the draw specialists and can't transform them into victories.

kabbott
31-01-2008, 07:51 PM
Lyon have loaned out 21 year-old U21 international Loic Remy to Lens until the end of the season with the option of buying him (between 8 and 10 million Euros). They've loaned out Sandy Paillot (20 years of age) to FC Grenoble to get used to being kicked about more than he does with the stiffs. Shame about Remy. He looked promising but he's well down the pecking order now with wide men Govou, Ben Arfa, Keita and new man, Argentinian Caesar Delgado, and even Benzema who can play wide.

GodstoneEagle
31-01-2008, 08:03 PM
paillot could be very good i've heard

GodstoneEagle
31-01-2008, 08:03 PM
guys what are your views on fodé mansare?

kabbott
31-01-2008, 08:38 PM
Originally posted by GodstoneEagle
paillot could be very good i've heard

Perrin feels he still a bit tender, hence the loan move. Of course Lyon have bought Jean Alain Boumsong who I don't rate at all, but his experience will probably come in handy against Man Ure. Pity Cris won't be fully fit. He could have sorted Rooney out. Not so sure anyone anywhere can deal with Ronaldo at the moment though.

kabbott
31-01-2008, 08:44 PM
Originally posted by GodstoneEagle
guys what are your views on fodé mansare?

Not a big fan. I think he's underachieved slightly. Wide man, fast but 14 goals in 150 or so league matches ... With 78 minutes to go until midnight, are you secretly hoping NW will surprise us all? I take it, you're a fan of his ...

GodstoneEagle
31-01-2008, 11:50 PM
i think he has talent. more than he's showing like you said. bit like bergognoux

cranesparkeagle
01-02-2008, 12:01 AM
What are attendances like in France? Imagine PSG, Lyon and Marseilles to be pretty big. The rest?

GodstoneEagle
01-02-2008, 12:03 AM
marseille by far the biggest stadium and biggest following

BB Bob
01-02-2008, 06:54 AM
ATTENDANCES Season --- 2007/2008 2006/2007 2005/2006 2004/2005 2003/2004 2002/2003 2001/2002 2000/2001
By Day By Club Percentage of Capacity

Club Average
1 Marseille 51449
2 Lyon 36669
3 Paris SG 36564
4 Lens 33085
5 Saint Etienne 28143
6 Rennes 25528
7 Bordeaux 25410
8 Strasbourg 19783
9 Caen 19408
10 Nancy 18678
11 Toulouse 17225
12 Sochaux 15101
13 Metz 14584
14 Valenciennes 13738
15 Lille 13328
16 Lorient 11906
17 Monaco 11276
18 Nice 10883
19 Le Mans 10408
20 Auxerre 9225


As you can see, not that great! I remember watching a game last year - not sure if it was at Toulouse or Bordeaux - but I swear that Troyes had not more than 6 fans there. "Etes-vous venu en minibus?"

GodstoneEagle
01-02-2008, 09:38 AM
auxerre is really disappointing

Ready Teddy
01-02-2008, 09:43 AM
I thought PSG being in a capital city would have got more?

Ready Teddy
01-02-2008, 09:44 AM
P.S I follow Bordeaux, well look out for thier results and get the new shirt when it's out.

The Omen
01-02-2008, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by Ready Teddy
I thought PSG being in a capital city would have got more?

I get the impression they are more into their rugby.

Would like to see Paris SG go down this year. Have a friend who supports them... :o

BB Bob
01-02-2008, 04:33 PM
Cisse reveals England offers
Player close to return
By Patrick Haond Last updated: 1st February 2008


Cisse: Tempted by England

Marseille striker Djibril Cisse has revealed he nearly quit France to return to England during the January transfer window.

Former Liverpool player Cisse attracted the attention of Manchester City and Blackburn last month.

Whilst being tempted to make a return to the Premier League after enduring a poor start to his Ligue 1 season with L'OM, the France international believes it is in his best interests to remain in Marseille ahead of this summer's Euro 2008 tournament.


Objective


"The fans booing? I have turned the page, but I won't forget. I had a lot of scores to settle," Cisse said.

"I was close to leaving but it has finally calmed down. Mainly it was Manchester City that were interested but Blackburn were also attracted.

"Above all there was an objective that made me stay in France and which is close to my heart. If I want to play in Euro 2008 it was better for me to stay at L'OM.

"Moreover I didn't want to leave Marseille as a failure. Physically I feel much better, I have almost never felt so well, even during my time at Auxerre. I am not far off being my best."

Possibility

Cisse, however, has not ruled out a return to England in the future.

"I will probably move back to the Premier League, because of football and part of my family lives there and I also because I like the way of life. If I have to leave OM it will be for England," he said.

BB Bob
01-02-2008, 04:47 PM
Coupe de France this weekend.

vendredi 1er février 2008
20h00 Boulogne-sur-Mer (L2) - Tours FC (Nat)
20h30 à Starsbourg Strasbourg (L1) - Metz (L1)
samedi 2 février 2008
16h00 Arles (Nat) - Niort (L2)
17h00 Sochaux (L1) - Montpellier (L2)
Lyon-la-Duchère (CFA2) - Lille (L1)
Sedan (L2) - Nantes (L2)
18h00 Le Poiré-s/vie (CFA2) - Paris-SG (L1)
Paris FC (Nat) - Dijon (L2)
19h00 Amiens (L2) - GFCO Ajaccio (CFA)
20h00 Lorient (L1) - Rennes (L1)
Angers (L2) - Nice (L1)
Bastia (L2) - Auxerre (L1)
20h45 Bordeaux (L1) - Le Mans (L1)
dimanche 3 février 2008
15h00 Carquefou (CFA2) - Nancy (L1)
16h00 Croix-de-Savoie (CFA) - Lyon (L1)
21h00 Marseille (L1) - Monaco (L1)


As a competition, it can throw up some real giant killing. Like so much else about french football, it is wildly unpredictable. Some might say that applies to the French as well....

For obscure reasons, I have a soft spot for Angers, so it is nice to see them hosting Nice at the weekend. It should be a nice payday for Croix de Savoie. Bordeaux v Le Mans could be tricky. Le Mans have played above themselves again this season, but they are a solid team and quite good going forward. They've got a great little Japanese guy there called Matsui who always catches my eye when I see them. Then again, that might just be because you don't see that many Japanese players around...

Marseille v Monaco is the other glamour tie. Gotta fancy Marseillw for it, I guess, but Piquionne can turn games if he's in the mood.

kabbott
01-02-2008, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by GodstoneEagle
i think he has talent. more than he's showing like you said. bit like bergognoux

Another great player who hasn't delivered the goods. Spotted in the Lyon region at the age of 11 and joined Olympique Lyonnais. Built up a most promising reputation in the junior and reserve team ranks. Made a number of appearances for the first team but couldn't nail down a place due to other more experienced players keeping him out. There were some flashes of brilliance. I think he even nearly signed for A.C.Milan at one point. He's been at Toulouse for two years now and can't even get into their team. What's going on? He did play 20 odd times for the Under 21's (which I think was a record at the time) scoring ten times. He turned 25 in January. Time's running out. Come on, Elie Baup! Bergougnoux and Elmander looks so good on paper. In any case I doubt Elmander will be at Toulouse next season.

kabbott
01-02-2008, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
ATTENDANCES Season --- 2007/2008 2006/2007 2005/2006 2004/2005 2003/2004 2002/2003 2001/2002 2000/2001
By Day By Club Percentage of Capacity

Club Average
1 Marseille 51449
2 Lyon 36669
3 Paris SG 36564
4 Lens 33085
5 Saint Etienne 28143
6 Rennes 25528
7 Bordeaux 25410
8 Strasbourg 19783
9 Caen 19408
10 Nancy 18678
11 Toulouse 17225
12 Sochaux 15101
13 Metz 14584
14 Valenciennes 13738
15 Lille 13328
16 Lorient 11906
17 Monaco 11276
18 Nice 10883
19 Le Mans 10408
20 Auxerre 9225


As you can see, not that great! I remember watching a game last year - not sure if it was at Toulouse or Bordeaux - but I swear that Troyes had not more than 6 fans there. "Etes-vous venu en minibus?"

Winning the World Cup in 1998 certainly brought some fervour to French league football 'l'effet Coupe du Monde' as they called it. The average French football fan cannot rival any of his European counterparts. There are a few exceptions, of course. At Marseille there's a pretty good atmosphere except when things are going badly, in which case they can quickly turn against their team. Paris St Germain is pretty much the same. The atmosphere has got better over the years at Lyon, but that's not surprising.They are still a bit jealous of those two clubs in that they haven't yet gained popularity throughout France. They need a big victory in Europe, pourquoi pas contre Man Utd. St. Etienne still have a good following, nostalgic of some great matches in Europe in the 70's.
As for support away from home, apart from the aforementioned clubs there is next to no following. In many a match, you can literally count the away fans in their enclosure. Unthinkable in England.

kabbott
01-02-2008, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Coupe de France this weekend.

vendredi 1er février 2008
20h00 Boulogne-sur-Mer (L2) - Tours FC (Nat)
20h30 à Starsbourg Strasbourg (L1) - Metz (L1)
samedi 2 février 2008
16h00 Arles (Nat) - Niort (L2)
17h00 Sochaux (L1) - Montpellier (L2)
Lyon-la-Duchère (CFA2) - Lille (L1)
Sedan (L2) - Nantes (L2)
18h00 Le Poiré-s/vie (CFA2) - Paris-SG (L1)
Paris FC (Nat) - Dijon (L2)
19h00 Amiens (L2) - GFCO Ajaccio (CFA)
20h00 Lorient (L1) - Rennes (L1)
Angers (L2) - Nice (L1)
Bastia (L2) - Auxerre (L1)
20h45 Bordeaux (L1) - Le Mans (L1)
dimanche 3 février 2008
15h00 Carquefou (CFA2) - Nancy (L1)
16h00 Croix-de-Savoie (CFA) - Lyon (L1)
21h00 Marseille (L1) - Monaco (L1)


As a competition, it can throw up some real giant killing. Like so much else about french football, it is wildly unpredictable. Some might say that applies to the French as well....
.
For obscure reasons, I have a soft spot for Angers, so it is nice to see them hosting Nice at the weekend. It should be a nice payday for Croix de Savoie. Bordeaux v Le Mans could be tricky. Le Mans have played above themselves again this season, but they are a solid team and quite good going forward. They've got a great little Japanese guy there called Matsui who always catches my eye when I see them. Then again, that might just be because you don't see that many Japanese players around...

Marseille v Monaco is the other glamour tie. Gotta fancy Marseillw for it, I guess, but Piquionne can turn games if he's in the mood.

Cup fever hasn't hit France. They seem to talk more about the F.A.Cup than their own Coupe de France. I agree, there are some real potential banana skins in this round, with some teams you couldn't find on a map having the match of a lifetime and there they playing in front of 1,000 or 2,000 spectators! Take Lyon's second team La Duchère. In recent times, they've performed a few giant-killing acts. I'm not exactly sure but their ground, if you can call it that, holds about 3,000 people. I think they've got one stand. You'd imagine they'd have the match switched to Lyon's ground and all the Lyon fans would pile down to support them like we did for Wimbledon against Leeds all those years ago. Lyon rent their stadium out and with policing and all other overheads, if La Duchere don't get more than, say 25,000 people (which they wouldn't), they'd be out of pocket. So they'll probably be playing in front of 500 fans in their own ground. I'll never understand. Ah la magie de la Coupe!

BB Bob
01-02-2008, 11:01 PM
I've never worked out why Lens have such a large and, by all accounts, completely nutty following. Have I missed something? They are probably the closest club to Calais, so the most viable option for anyone wanting to watch french football live to go to.

BB Bob
02-02-2008, 08:15 AM
Metz rise up for the Cup
Metz got the French Cup weekend off to a stunning start, the bottom club winning 3-0 away to Strasbourg. The man who led the way was two-goal Wilmer Aguirre (left).
The first half was goal-less, although Strasbourg had much the better of the play and squandered a number of decent chances.


But despite losing defenders Manuel Corrales and Sebastian Bassong to injuries, it took Metz only two minutes of the second half to take the lead through Aguirre.


Forced to go forward, Strasbourg soon found themselves in even deeper trouble when Aguirre struck again on 63 minutes.


Metz could even afford the luxury of a missed penalty, but they completed their romp in added time with a third goal by the 17-year-old Luxembourg player Miralem Pjanic.


In Friday night's other tie, Tours won through 2-1 at Boulogne, thanks to a penalty in the last minute of extra time.

kabbott
02-02-2008, 10:27 AM
Originally posted by BB Bob
I've never worked out why Lens have such a large and, by all accounts, completely nutty following. Have I missed something? They are probably the closest club to Calais, so the most viable option for anyone wanting to watch french football live to go to.

You mean their 30,000 or so fans are made up of thousands of people from the south-east corner of England who sneak over to France, take in a match at Lens and then go back to Blighty with vans, coaches, lorries etc. full of cheap booze?

kabbott
02-02-2008, 10:40 AM
Actually Lens have got a large catchment area up there in the industrialised north of of France. But there's also Lille and Valenciennes up there whose fanbase isn't quite the same. We're talking France here so there's probably some cultural explanation. i'll try and check it out.

Maidstoned Eagle
02-02-2008, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by kabbott
You mean their 30,000 or so fans are made up of thousands of people from the south-east corner of England who sneak over to France, take in a match at Lens and then go back to Blighty with vans, coaches, lorries etc. full of cheap booze?

Sounds like a plan.

waddoneagle
02-02-2008, 10:56 AM
I like Rennes:p

kabbott
02-02-2008, 11:07 AM
French Cup Fever!

After last night's first surprise (by the way, Mosalem wasn't playing for Strasbourg), who isn't looking forward to watching Paris Saint Germain come a cropper against the mighty Le Poiré-sur-Vie this evening (Eurosport France 6 o'clock local time). This is what it's all about. Le Poiré-sue-Vie is in the Vendée region, south of Britanny close to the Atlantic coast. The town?village has a population of 7,500 inhabitants, and their team of amateurs plays in the equivalent of Division 5. For security reasons they are not allowed to play at their home ground (park?) mainly because of the naughty PSG boys. So their match has been moved to the Nantes stadium 65 Km. down the road. They need 15,000 spectators to break even, i.e. twice their population, but they've already sold 25,000 places! Playing in such a big stadium will take a lot of their home advantage away from them, but PSG are having another stinker of a season and I'm sure they won't be relishing this trip one little bit. Allez le Poiré!!!

Maidstoned Eagle
02-02-2008, 11:11 AM
PSG fans are a bit silly, they fight amongst themselves apparently.

kabbott
02-02-2008, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by Maidstoned Eagle
PSG fans are a bit silly, they fight amongst themselves apparently.

A bit silly? You're being very polite/PC here. Firstly, a lot of their boys are linked to extreme right-wing organisations. They even used to heckle the great George Weah who was their best player and one of the best forwards in the world for a few years.

The system in some French teams like PSG and Marseille is very debatable. The clubs sell season tickets to supporters' associations at very cheap rates, and, as a result, these same groups of supporters seem to think they play some kind of role within the clubs. When their clubs aren't doing so well, which has been the case for PSG and Marseille for a few years now, their fans steam down to the clubs' training centres and hurl abuse at the players or stone the players' cars and even, almost, come to blows with the players or other people connected with the clubs. nheard of in England, I think.

As for the fighting amongst themselves, when you see the football the players serve up, they've got nothing better to do...
Actually the problem is probably politically related. Left against right, so yes, very silly. I can't ever remember rucks between the Holmedale and the boys in the Whitehorse Lane end, the Shed against the North stand back in the good ol' days.

kabbott
02-02-2008, 11:38 AM
Originally posted by waddoneagle
I like Rennes:p

Rennes quite happy to welcome back their hero Sylvain Wiltord after he made a hasty departure from Lyon. Great player, great example of professionalism for the young players like Benzema and Ben Arfa, but having bonked half of Lyon's first team wives, well O.K. one for sure and maybe two the atmosphere in dressing room was no longer what it was.

Maidstoned Eagle
02-02-2008, 11:53 AM
Originally posted by kabbott
A bit silly? You're being very polite/PC here.

Silly is a good word, and I've never been described as PC before. :D

Originally posted by kabbott
Actually the problem is probably politically related. Left against right, so yes, very silly.
Thats what I heard, there was a programme about World football on BBC World Service that had a piece about it.

kabbott
02-02-2008, 12:03 PM
Originally posted by Maidstoned Eagle
Silly is a good word, and I've never been described as PC before. :D


Thats what I heard, there was a programme about World football on BBC World Service that had a piece about it.

If they lose this evening in the cup things may beome very silly

kabbott
02-02-2008, 04:52 PM
The dream is still alive HT 0-0

Maidstoned Eagle
02-02-2008, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by kabbott
The dream is still alive HT 0-0

Found a live stream but it won't connect. :(

Maidstoned Eagle
02-02-2008, 05:05 PM
Got a stream but no sound and quality isn't brilliant.

kabbott
02-02-2008, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by Maidstoned Eagle
Got a stream but no sound and quality isn't brilliant.

A terrible day all round. Points dropped at home. England dire at Twickers and Le Poiré-sur-Vie beaten 1-3 by a very unconvincing PSG who scored with 2 from Diané, who is starting to score a few in 2008. He's got a pretty good turn of pace. PSG's other one was from Bernard Mendy, surely one of the worst players ever to play professional football in recent times. 28,000 turned, so a good pay day for Le Poiré.

Other results today in the cup:
Sochaux (D1) 1:1 Montpellier (D2) Sochaux go through 4:3 on pens.
La Duchère (D5) 0:1 Lille (D1)
Sedan (D2) 0:0 Nantes (D2) Sedan go through 4:2 on pens.
Arles (D3) 0:0 Niort (D2) Niort go through 9:8 on pens.

Still to come tonight:
Bordeaux v Le Mans

and tomorrow:
Croix de Savoie (D4) v Olympique Lyonnais (D1), which could be fun.
Marseille v Monaco

BB Bob
02-02-2008, 06:38 PM
Do most of the L1 teams use it as a runout for the kids or do they put out full strength teams?

Quite agree about today. My only consolation about the Palace game was at least I missed watching England p*ss it all up a wall! La Duchere looked like they did well!

kabbott
02-02-2008, 07:22 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Do most of the L1 teams use it as a runout for the kids or do they put out full strength teams?

Quite agree about today. My only consolation about the Palace game was at least I missed watching England p*ss it all up a wall! La Duchere looked like they did well!

The answer is that it depends. The last two finals would suggest a return to normality. Last season Sochaux, coached by Alain Perrin, defeated Marseille in an all Ligue 1 encounter, and, in 2006, PSG also defeated Marseille. But before that, a lot of very silly sides got through to the final, although none of the clubs actually won, suggesting that the top clubs were not putting out their strongest sides.
In 2005 Sedan (D2) reached the final.
In 2004 Chateauroux (D2) reached the final.
In 2001 Amiens (D3) got to the final.
In 2000 Calais, from , would you believe the French 4th Division got to the final only to lose 2:1 to FC Nantes in what was a truly memorable cup run. I can't remember the details but I think they knocked out three or four Ligue 1 clubs.
In 1999 Sedan (D2) got to the final.
In 1996 Nimes, then in the 3rd division, lost the final but qualified for the UEFA Cup 'cos they lost to a team which had already qualified for Europe. They even got through one or two rounds.
A lot of the better teams put out mixed teams, half first team players with other fringe and younger players.
I think PSG actually put out their first team 'cos if they hadn't, they probably would have lost. Lyon have got a potential banana skin tomorrow against Croix de Savoie (match preview tomorrow lunchtime). They could do with resting Benzema tomorrow - he's already played nearly 40 games this season. We lost a few players during the transfer window, we've got new ones coming in who are not match fit, and we've got one or two injuries. So it could be interesting.

Abjekt
02-02-2008, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by kabbott
Still to come tonight:
Bordeaux v Le Mans
Cavenaghi got the only goal, Les Girondins go through :lux:

BB Bob
03-02-2008, 07:43 AM
Nice out

French Cup Saturday round-up
Frederic Antonetti (pictured) watches his Nice side crash to defeat at Angers, Auxerre are easily beaten by Bastia but there are no such problems for Bordeaux, PSG and Lille, who all make it safely through to the last 16.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
French Cup last 32


Nice and Auxerre both crashed out of the French Cup to Ligue 2 opposition on Saturday night as they lost to Angers and Bastia respectively.

Nice's defeat was their first in 13 matches as Angers raced into an early lead via Paul Alo'o Efoulou and then added further goals after half-time when Fahid Ben Khalfallah struck a brace. Habib Bamogo netted a last-minute consolation for the visitors.

Auxerre's defeat was even more dramatic as they found themselves three goals down at Stade Furiani within 16 minutes. Corsican outfit Bastia, managed these days by former Marseille and France defender Bernard Casoni, showed exactly why they are challenging for promotion towards the top of Ligue 2 by tearing apart Jean Fernandez's visitors in the early stages. Veteran striker and captain Pierre-Yves Andre, who once of Bolton Wanderers, scored twice in the space of 11 minutes while midfielder Kafoumba Coulibaly netted the other. Once 3-0 up, the hosts relaxed and Auxerre were unable to find a route back into the match.

On Friday evening Metz won the battle of Ligue 1 sides against Strasbourg at Stade de la Meinau in the first top-tier clash of the round. Les Grenats turned their league form on its head as they strolled to a 3-0 win with three goals in the second-half.

In the other game on Friday National outfit Tours provided the first real shock with the elimination of Ligue 2 side Boulogne-sur-Mer. The giant-killing was performed with 10 men after Tenema N'Diaye was sent-off mid-way through the first period. The minnows went ahead on 76 minutes before succumbing to a last-minute equaliser which sent the game into extra-time. Nevertheless, the third tier side rallied and were rewarded for their efforts when Antony Lopez Peralta slotted home a winning penalty in the final minute of additional time.

They will be joined in the hat for the next round draw by Arles who beat Ligue 2 opposition, in the form of Niort, 9-8 on penalties, after a goalless 120 minutes. In other spot-kick related victories, Dijon and Sedan qualified via penalty wins over Paris FC (6-5) and Nantes (4-2) respectively.

Lille left it reasonably late to dispose of amateur side Lyon-la-Duchère with Nicolas Fauvergue scoring the game's only goal mid-way through the second-half while PSG recovered from 1-1 to eliminate their amateur opposition, Le Poiré-sur-Vie, 3-1. Amara Diane was the star man for the capital outfit, grabbing two second-half goals to ease their route to victory.

At the Stade Bonal, struggling Sochaux needed extra-time and penalties to get the better of Ligue 1 outfit Montpellier. The hosts led 1-0 after 31 minutes thanks to a Michaël Isabey goal but the visitors made it 1-1 on the hour. Sochaux were reduced to 10 men following the sending-off of Kandia Traoré but Montpellier goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren suffered the same fate in extra-time and Sochaux kept their nerve to win 4-3 on spot-kicks.

Amiens made hard work of their victory over Ligue 2 rivals Ajaccio (1-0) while the Brittany derby proved to be something of a disappointment - Lorient and Rennes played out a goalless draw before hosts Lorient went through 3-1 on penalties. In Saturday night's other all-Ligue 1 clash, Bordeaux beat a depleted Le Mans 1-0 thanks to a 15th-minute winner from Fernando Cavenaghi. It was the Argentine's 10th goal of the season.
:sob: :sob: :sob: :sob: :sob: :sob:

Maidstoned Eagle
03-02-2008, 07:54 AM
Originally posted by kabbott

Marseille v Monaco

A Riviera derby no less. :p

BB Bob
03-02-2008, 08:52 AM
Should be a good game tonight, but Nice v Monaco is the real Cote d'azur derby.

Looks like Nice put out a first time last night too. Doesn't bode too well for the rest of the season...

Maidstoned Eagle
03-02-2008, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Should be a good game tonight, but Nice v Monaco is the real Cote d'azur derby.


True.

kabbott
03-02-2008, 01:30 PM
In about 30 minutes Criox de Savoie (D4) amateur team wth quite a professional set-up against Lyon. Croix de Savoie have quite a big budget for an amateur team. They are sponsored by Danone, have a couple of ex-pros and six players who went through the Lyon Academy. Lyon have quite a strong team out, according to L'Equipe this morning, but have left Benzema and Ben Arfa on the bench just in case. The rest of the bench is made up of kids, unknown for some but generally pretty good. Will be watching this and the rugby at the same time. Hope Scotland give the French a run for their money. I'm going to get enough stick at work tomorrow as it is after yesterday's debacle at Twickers.

Maidstoned Eagle
03-02-2008, 01:41 PM
I drive my truck past, or through, a few places mentioned in BB Bobs report. Bolougne, Niort, Tours, Le Man, Bordeaux etc. i might have to see how close to some of these grounds I go. It'd make a 9 hour rest period a bit more interesting.

BB Bob
03-02-2008, 02:55 PM
If you use maps.google.com you can get a pretty good aerial view and can usually spot the grounds. Use www.lequipe.fr for the grounds addresses if you want to be more exact!

League 1 plays Saturday and Sunday. League 2 plays Fridays with a "big" monday night game (almost always Nantes) usually on Eurosport France. The National is, I think, Fridays and Saturdays.

(Sorry if I'm teaching you to suck eggs!)

Maidstoned Eagle
03-02-2008, 02:56 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
If you use maps.google.com you can get a pretty good aerial view and can usually spot the grounds. Use www.lequipe.fr for the grounds addresses if you want to be more exact!

League 1 plays Saturday and Sunday. League 2 plays Fridays with a "big" monday night game (almost always Nantes) usually on Eurosport France. The National is, I think, Fridays and Saturdays.

(Sorry if I'm teaching you to suck eggs!)

Not at all mate. When I do a run I'm usually in or near Poitiers on a Friday night.

BB Bob
03-02-2008, 03:01 PM
Half time report

La Croix-de-Savoie fait sensation dans cette première période et aurait même pu ouvrir la marque sans trois interventions remarquables de Coupet. Les Lyonnais peinent à développer leur jeu. Seul Benzema se montre percutant dans la surface du FCS 74

3 great saves from Coupet keep Lyon in the game!

BB Bob
03-02-2008, 03:52 PM
Fred (80 mins) 1-0

However, elsewhere:-

Carquefou - Nancy
(mt : 0-0)

2 - 1


Carquefou is somewhere just outside Nantes (or so I found out when I googled it!

kabbott
03-02-2008, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Fred (80 mins) 1-0

However, elsewhere:-

Carquefou - Nancy
(mt : 0-0)

2 - 1


Carquefou is somewhere just outside Nantes (or so I found out when I googled it!

Watched the game on Eurosport. Lyon were lucky to get out of that. Croix de Savoie played out of the skin. And it wasn't kick and hoof either. Lyon were awful. They even put their best team out: 4-4-2 with Benzema and Fred attacking down the middle and Ben Arfa and Govou down the flanks. Lyon are desperately missing Juninho's calming influence and leadership in the middle of the park. Boumsong played his first game for L'OL and is well short of match fitness. And even when he's fit, I think he's cr*p. Squillaci's not the same player when he's not playing alongside Cris. Grosso must be the worst left back ever to win a World Cup Winner's medal. Aulas, the President of L'OL, doesn't want to admit they made a mistake in the transfer market buying him to replace Abidal. Any other player would have been dropped long ago for the performances he's turning in. Alain Perrin subbed Ben Arfa. It's true he didn't have a good match, but nobody did. I feel the coach is picking on him and it's not going to do his confidence any good. Coupet ,the Lyon keeper was man of the match and kept Lyon in the game. If Perrin doesn't turn things around soon things might get nasty and he could be looking for a new job. God knows what Man. Utd. are going to do. Mind you, Spurs showed everyone how to do it.

kabbott
03-02-2008, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Fred (80 mins) 1-0

However, elsewhere:-

Carquefou - Nancy
(mt : 0-0)

2 - 1


Carquefou is somewhere just outside Nantes (or so I found out when I googled it!

Carquefou - incredible performance. They're in CFA2 which is the equivalent of Division 5. I haven't seen any highlights yet, but all the coals were scored in extra time with the winner coming in the 117th minute, so I don't know if Nancy put out a weakened side, but even so quel exploit!

BB Bob
03-02-2008, 06:34 PM
I think you'd be better off without Perrin anyway, although I'm not sure there are any outstanding candidates to replace him at the moment.

You would never, ever find the kind of results in the FA cup that you have seen in the Coupe de France. The number of L1 clubs going out is amazing. Nice did quite well only losing to a L2 team (even if Angers nearly weren't allowed to be promoted at the start of the season). All part of the rich tapestry (or should that be crapestry?) that makes French football, if not the best quality in Europe, certainly the most unpredictable!

kabbott
03-02-2008, 06:40 PM
Originally posted by Maidstoned Eagle
True.

There's always been a bit of needle in matches between Monaco and Marseille, not between supporters I might add, since Marseille have got loads and Monaco haven't got any, which isn't quite true since the year they unexpectedly reached The Champions' League final. I've just got over Lyon's sneaky victory and France's unfortunate victory in the rugger (it's going to be hell at work tomorrow), it's time to settle down to tonight's derby.

BB Bob
03-02-2008, 06:42 PM
My son tells me we should follow Lyon as I live in Leigh-on ....Sea.


Groan

:rolleyes:

kabbott
03-02-2008, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
I think you'd be better off without Perrin anyway, although I'm not sure there are any outstanding candidates to replace him at the moment.

You would never, ever find the kind of results in the FA cup that you have seen in the Coupe de France. The number of L1 clubs going out is amazing. Nice did quite well only losing to a L2 team (even if Angers nearly weren't allowed to be promoted at the start of the season). All part of the rich tapestry (or should that be crapestry?) that makes French football, if not the best quality in Europe, certainly the most unpredictable!

I can only agree with you there. French pundits seem to think that their football is crap,'cos there aren't many goals scored. But maybe the defences in France are better, not to mention the keepers. O.K. Spurs Reading 6:4 is great entertainment but I'm sure the coaches weren't totally over the moon with the defences' performances. In any case even if the clubs could afford him, who's going to put in an offer for Paul Robinson?
And things are only going to get worse before they get better. Canal+ have drastically lowered their bid for exclusive T.V rights since the bought out their competitors TPS last year, so theoretically there'll be at less dosh going into French football in the near future. France couldn't afford to buy the best players before so God knows what it's going to be like in the future.

In the meantime let's see if Cissé carries on his goalscoring run tonight.
Two other pieces of info. Monaco have a useful youngster by the name of Bakar, I think, who scored a hat-trick coming off the bench in the previous round, and Marseille's sub keeper is none other than Cedric Carusso - remember him? - back after a long lay-off with ligament problems.

kabbott
03-02-2008, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
My son tells me we should follow Lyon as I live in Leigh-on ....Sea.


Groan

:rolleyes:

Boom boom

kabbott
03-02-2008, 08:08 PM
Marseille 2:0 Monaco HT Two early goals: Valbuena (with an assist from Grandin on his debut) and Grandin. He arrived from Caen last week with a reputation of being very talented but also a bit of a partygoer with an attitude problem. Hope this is the proverbial game of two halves, if not I'm off to bed. By the way, Marseille are playing very well. They could steam up the table in the second part of the season.

kabbott
03-02-2008, 09:13 PM
Final score Marseille 3:1 Monaco. Entertaining game. cissé got Marseille's third before Bakar, monaco's best player, pulled one back to give them a little hope.
The next round's draw has already been made with some interesting clashes:
Lyon v Sochaux (Lyon up against the Cup holders and Alain Perrin's former club)
Carquefou v Marseille (The romance of the Cup)
PSG v Bastia (a lot of rivalry between the capital's club and the team representing Corsica - should an explosive affair!!!)

Abjekt
03-02-2008, 10:06 PM
Lille at home for my boys. Not the easiest of games, but one that we should get through.

BB Bob
04-02-2008, 07:46 AM
Full draw


Nightmare draw for the holders
French Cup holders Sochaux squeezed through to the last 16 with a 4-3 extra time defeat of Montpellier - but now the draw has put them away to Lyon, in one of three all-Ligue 1 ties.
Only eight Ligue 1 Orange teams remain in the draw, which was made by French international favourite Christian Karembeu and Miss France 2008, Valérie Bègue.


FULL DRAW


Bordeaux v Lille

Lyon v Sochaux


Lorient v Metz


Carquefou (CFA 2) v Marseille


Amiens v Arles (National)


PSG v Bastia


Sedan v Angers


Dijon v Tours (National)

Matches to be played on Tuesday 18 or Wednesday 19 March.

BB Bob
04-02-2008, 10:00 AM
Sorry, couldn't resist the picture of Miss France!

More on the weekends games:-

Football: Minnows Carquefou slay high-fliers in French Cup
2008-02-03 17:30 (New York)

by Chris Wright
=(PICTURE)=
ATTENTION - ADDS Marseille win ///

PARIS, Feb 3, 2008 (AFP) - Fifth division outfit Carquefou
produced a huge French Cup shock Sunday, knocking out first division
high-fliers Nancy to reach the last 16, while league leaders Lyon
avoided a similar fate with a narrow win over a fourth division
side.
After a goalless 90 minutes at Carquefou the match came to life
in extra-time when, instead of Nancy's superior fitness proving
decisive, their hosts from a small northwestern town shocked them by
first taking the lead, then going back in front after the
professionals had levelled.
Laurent Delanoe opened the scoring after 101 minutes of
hard-fought action which had seen Nancy look nothing like the side
standing third in the French table and dreaming of possible
participation in the Champions League next season.
They emerged from their slumber briefly when Marc-Antoine
Fortune levelled inside four minutes with a fortuitous lob, just
before the end of the first period of extra-time.
But if the first division side thought they had earned at least
a replay Sebastien Le Paih had other ideas and netted the winner
with three minutes to go at a Stade du Moulin-Bousseau packed with
3,000 fans.
"It's a shock," said Carquefou coach Denis Renaud.
"It will take a few days to sink in. Now we're just three
matches away from the Stade de France (which will host the final."
Nancy coach Pablo Correa slammed his side.
"We didn't deserve any better and I have to congratulate
Carquefou. They wanted it more than we did."
In an all-first division encounter, ten-time winners Marseille
saw off neighbours Monaco 3-1 at the Stade Velodrome where new
signing from Caen, Elliot Grandin set up the opener for Mathieu
Valbuena before hitting a sumptuous second inside the opening ten
minutes.
Djibril Cisse, on a hot streak after his up-and-down Liverpool
adventure, bagged the third before Djamel Bakar netted a
consolation.
Lyon meanwhile thanked a goal ten minutes from time by Brazilian
Fred as the league leaders edged out fourth division Croix de Savoie
1-0.
On Saturday, Ivorian striker Amara Diane scored a brace as Paris
Saint Germain made it into the last 16 by ending the dreams of fifth
division Le Poire-sur-Vie, 3-1 away, while holders Sochaux also
advanced, on penalties, against Montpellier.
Another fifth division side, Lyon-Duchere lost out to the only
goal, scored for top flight Lille by Nicolas Fauvergue.
bur/cw/dj08

-0- Feb/03/2008 22:15 GMT

kabbott
04-02-2008, 09:41 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Sorry, couldn't resist the picture of Miss France!

More on the weekends games:-

Football: Minnows Carquefou slay high-fliers in French Cup
2008-02-03 17:30 (New York)

by Chris Wright
=(PICTURE)=
ATTENTION - ADDS Marseille win ///

PARIS, Feb 3, 2008 (AFP) - Fifth division outfit Carquefou
produced a huge French Cup shock Sunday, knocking out first division
high-fliers Nancy to reach the last 16, while league leaders Lyon
avoided a similar fate with a narrow win over a fourth division
side.
After a goalless 90 minutes at Carquefou the match came to life
in extra-time when, instead of Nancy's superior fitness proving
decisive, their hosts from a small northwestern town shocked them by
first taking the lead, then going back in front after the
professionals had levelled.
Laurent Delanoe opened the scoring after 101 minutes of
hard-fought action which had seen Nancy look nothing like the side
standing third in the French table and dreaming of possible
participation in the Champions League next season.
They emerged from their slumber briefly when Marc-Antoine
Fortune levelled inside four minutes with a fortuitous lob, just
before the end of the first period of extra-time.
But if the first division side thought they had earned at least
a replay Sebastien Le Paih had other ideas and netted the winner
with three minutes to go at a Stade du Moulin-Bousseau packed with
3,000 fans.
"It's a shock," said Carquefou coach Denis Renaud.
"It will take a few days to sink in. Now we're just three
matches away from the Stade de France (which will host the final."
Nancy coach Pablo Correa slammed his side.
"We didn't deserve any better and I have to congratulate
Carquefou. They wanted it more than we did."
In an all-first division encounter, ten-time winners Marseille
saw off neighbours Monaco 3-1 at the Stade Velodrome where new
signing from Caen, Elliot Grandin set up the opener for Mathieu
Valbuena before hitting a sumptuous second inside the opening ten
minutes.
Djibril Cisse, on a hot streak after his up-and-down Liverpool
adventure, bagged the third before Djamel Bakar netted a
consolation.
Lyon meanwhile thanked a goal ten minutes from time by Brazilian
Fred as the league leaders edged out fourth division Croix de Savoie
1-0.
On Saturday, Ivorian striker Amara Diane scored a brace as Paris
Saint Germain made it into the last 16 by ending the dreams of fifth
division Le Poire-sur-Vie, 3-1 away, while holders Sochaux also
advanced, on penalties, against Montpellier.
Another fifth division side, Lyon-Duchere lost out to the only
goal, scored for top flight Lille by Nicolas Fauvergue.
bur/cw/dj08

-0- Feb/03/2008 22:15 GMT

Stuff the footy for two minutes. I think she's quite tasty is Miss France, for a change. The judges never seem to elect the best ones. Mind you, she almost lost her crown only weeks after winning it, after photos deemed to be a bit osé were published in a magazine. I've seen hotter photos in ads for shower gel and ice cream. I have also seen some interesting photos of Carla Sarkozy. Now you may or may not like the man/woman/couple but you'd rather see photos of her than Madame Chirac, wouldn't you?

BB Bob
04-02-2008, 10:10 PM
It's not Cherie Blair or Mrs Brown (whatever her name is) is it? Now if only Sarkozy can concentrate on the economy for a while...

BB Bob
07-02-2008, 07:30 AM
What's going on with the new French kit. Yuk! It makes Sedans kit (a horrible red and green combo) look classy!

BB Bob
07-02-2008, 02:14 PM
Vivendi, Orange Win French Soccer Broadcast Rights (Update2)
2008-02-07 08:00 (New York)


(Updates share prices in sixth paragraph.)

By Rudy Ruitenberg
Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Vivendi SA's pay-television unit
Canal Plus and France Telecom SA's Orange will pay 668 million
euros ($976 million) a season for rights to broadcast French
soccer matches, the country's professional soccer league said.
Canal Plus will pay 465 million euros a year for nine
lots, including two that allow it to pick a Sunday night match
each week and the season's 10 best matches, company spokesman
Antoine Banet-Rivet said in a telephone interview today.
The League de Football Professionnel auctioned the rights
to the four-season period starting with 2008-2009 in 12 lots to
maximize bidding. Canal Plus currently pays 600 million euros a
year for most of the television rights to French soccer matches
in a three-year deal that ends this year.
``Despite a difficult context, French professional
football has increased the amount of its rights,'' the league
said in an e-mailed statement late yesterday.
France Telecom's Orange won three lots, including the pick
of the Saturday night match and rights to broadcast games to
mobile phones. The company will pay 203 million euros a year
for the lots, France Telecom spokeswoman Beatrice Mandine said.
Vivendi shares fell 20 cents, or 0.8 percent, to 26.45
euros at 1:55 p.m. in Paris. France Telecom gained 93 cents, or
4.1 percent, to 23.53 euros.

Attracting Subscribers

Vivendi Chief Executive Officer Jean-Bernard Levy said in
November that Canal Plus would bid less than it paid in the
2004 auction for the rights, when it bid against Television Par
Satellite. The Vivendi unit acquired TPS in January 2007.
Football is the main reason to subscribe for 40 percent of
Canal Plus users, or more than 2 million households, according
to a presentation by the league citing a September study by
polling company Ipsos.
The league had split the rights into live broadcasts,
``fans'' lots that give rights to broadcast the matches of a
limited number of clubs, ``multiplex'' and ``magazine'' lots of
highlights, and mobile rights.
Canal Plus, in addition to the two premium lots, won the
three fans lots, which allow it to broadcast all matches of the
20 clubs in France's premier league, as well as four lots that
will allow the pay-TV company to show highlights.
France Telecom's Orange, in addition to the Saturday match
and mobile rights, won a lot that will allow it to offer video-
on-demand featuring highlights.

kabbott
07-02-2008, 05:07 PM
I'm not sure at all of the prices you pay back home to watch the footy. Over here I've got the Canal+ package which shows three live French first division matches, at the weekend there's one at the end of Saturday afternoon plus one on Sunday afternoon plus the Big Match on a Sunday evening at 9 o'clock. Then I've also got the package which is called Foot+ which means you can watch any one of the other seven League matches on a Saturday evening, all this for 7 Euros per month. This package also entitles you to all the Champions' League matches which are not covered on the private terrrestrial channel TF1.

BB Bob
07-02-2008, 07:04 PM
Blimey, that's cheap. I pay a tenner for Setanta on Freeview (like TPS in France, I think) and get some German, Dutch, French and Portuguese fottie. I get the odd Premiership game and some Jock football. But a package with sky with all of the TV channels is, I think, well north of £30 per month.

kabbott
07-02-2008, 09:15 PM
Oh I forgot to mention. Canal+ also has the rights to showing Premier League ( 2 or 3 matches live over the weekend), League Cup and F.A. Cup football as well as German, Italian ... Now how do you manage that plus the rugby, not to mention all the cycling that comes on in the spring? That's one busy timetable, I can tell you!

It does look as if the French League are going to get their 660 million Euros, which really is a minimum. The French clubs really can't compete with the other big European championships, which is a shame really.

What's funny now is that even some of the new minor satellite channels are showing any footy they can get. A channel called Direct 8 has bought the rights to show England's international matches. So after the mediocre Spain France match I got a glimpse of the England team beginning a new era ...

BB Bob
08-02-2008, 07:39 AM
All sounds a lot cheaper than Blighty...

This weekends preview:-

Football: Juninho's little toe gives struggling Sochaux big
2008-02-07 20:55 (New York)

hope
by Justin Davis

PARIS, Feb 8, 2008 (AFP) - Champions Lyon should have no worries
in stretching their lead over Bordeaux when they host French league
minnows Sochaux Saturday.
With 15 games to play Lyon have a four-point lead on Laurent
Blanc's side, who have emerged as the likely challengers to a crown
which Lyon have made their own for six consecutive years.
However Bordeaux, like Lyon, have a similarly easy fixture in
hosting basement side Metz. Barring catastrophe, the side which
former France international Blanc has spectacularly revived this
season are likely to keep biting at Lyon's heels.
Metz brought in a new coach, Yvon Pouliquen, in January to save
their season but with only one win and a total of nine points from
23 games they are virtually guaranteed second division football next
season.
Sochaux can boast five times as many wins as Pouliquen's side,
but they are still second from bottom in the table on 23 points,
three adrift of struggling Auxerre.
If there is any hope for Metz, it will be in the fact that
Bordeaux's number one keeper Ulrich Rame is doubtful following an
ankle knock in training Monday.
Defender Marc Planus is also uncertain, while Blanc will be
without injured defender David Jemmali (calf) and midfielder
Fernando (knee), although Blanc will welcome back central defender
Souleyame Diawara, who has returned from the African Cup of
Nations.
Similarly, Sochaux will also be buoyed by the fact that Lyon's
dead ball specialist Juninho is doubtful.
The Brazilian skipper fractured the little toe on his left foot
during the League Cup defeat to Le Mans in mid-January, and at
training on Thursday seemed pessimistic over his participation.
"I'm still feeling pain, and it's not just a niggle. It's not
going to clear up in time for Saturday," Juninho said.
"At training you can always fight through it. But the truth is
that I can't even walk properly when I put my boots on," added the
Brazilian, who could also be missing from the starting line-up for
the Champions League tie against Manchester United.
"There's still another two weeks to go, but if I don't play any
matches before then it's unlikely I'll start against United because
against a team like that you can't afford to be less than 100
percent."
Nice, following a promising campaign, remain in fourth place
nine points adrift of Lyon ahead of the visit of Marseille on
Sunday.
On what is effectively a French riviera derby, Nice will be keen
to prove that they are the on-form team of the south of France, this
season at least.
After another shaky start to the campaign Marseille are just
above the mid-table position in ninth, although a possible
consolation for Eric Gerets' side is that arch-rivals Paris Saint
Germain are below them.
PSG host Le Mans on Saturday.

Fixtures (all times GMT):
Saturday
Paris-SG v Le Mans (1500)
Bordeaux v Metz
Lyon v Sochaux
Monaco v Lille
Nancy v Toulouse
Rennes v Auxerre
Strasbourg v St Etienne
Valenciennes v Lorient (all 1900)

Sunday
Caen v Lens (1700)
Nice v Marseille (1955)
jd/dj08

BB Bob
08-02-2008, 07:40 AM
Strange appointments you never thought you'r see (part 81)

KEVIN BLACKWELL has landed a consultancy role with French side Paris
Saint-Germain.

The former Luton boss who is in the running for the vacant manager's
position at Southampton will advise the club on the benefits of
adopting a long-term strategy.

PSG approached Blackwell due to his experiences at Luton and Leeds,
who both fell into administration after failing to cope with crippling
debts..


What does this say about PSGs finances......

Abjekt
10-02-2008, 03:10 PM
Top 3 all won this weekend. Cavenaghi got another 2 goals for Les Girondins... this is all good stuff!

kabbott
10-02-2008, 04:36 PM
Originally posted by Abjekt
Top 3 all won this weekend. Cavenaghi got another 2 goals for Les Girondins... this is all good stuff!

I think Bordeaux will give Lyon a run for their money. Laurent Blanc's got them woring well as a unit. Cavenaghi and Bellion are doing the business up front. Lyon won 4:1 last night without looking good. Not sure if that's a good or a bad sign. Fergie was at the game last night throwing down a few glasses of Beaujolais. He didn't see much, except that he left before the end and so missed Lyon's last two goals which were good build-ups and finishes. Apparently Perrin was at Man U this afternoon ...

BB Bob
10-02-2008, 05:18 PM
Who do you think he was looking at? Benzema?

Nice to see someone giving Lyons a run for a change

BB Bob
11-02-2008, 07:14 AM
All good things come to an end, but sounds like an OK game.



Marseille earn derby win
Marseille bring Nice's home unbeaten run to an end with a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Mamadou Niang and Djibril Cissé.
Sunday, February 10, 2008



Ligue 1, Matchday 24
Stade du Ray







>> Match Stats

Nice 0


Marseille 2
Niang 25, Cissé 76


Nice lost their first game at home since January 2007 to Marseille, OM winning 2-0 in the south coast derby.



Le Gym's proud 21-match unbeaten run came to an end in the most frustrating of fashions as local rivals OM scored either side of half-time to earn the bragging rights in the Côte d'Azur.


Deprived of Bakary Koné and Joseph-Désiré Job, both of whom were still in Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations, Nice started with Anthony Modeste and on-loan Marseille man Habib Bamogo up front.


Marseille welcomed back Mamadou Niang knowing that a win would put them up to fifth in the table and two points behind their south coast neighbours.


After a frantic opening Nice were the first to test the opposition's 'keeper with a smart shot from the Brazilian Ederson, left alone at the back post courtesy of some lax Marseille defending. Thankfully for the visitors, Mandanda was equal to the shot and saved well with his feet.


Marseille were struggling to deal with the pace and trickery of the Nice forward line and on 19 minutes Krupoviesa became the third player of the OM back four to be shown a yellow card for a reckless foul.


If the visitors were struggling with the intensity of the derby they didn't show it though as just minutes later they took the lead. Collecting the ball inside the area, Lorik Cana cleverly drew several Nice defenders before squaring perfectly for Niang who slotted home with ease.


Djibril Cissé came close to making it two just prior to the break but a good save from the youngster Hugo Lloris prevented the visitors extending their lead.


Nice came to life once more in the second-half as Ederson sent Anthony Modeste through on goal only for Mandanda to come to OM's rescue again.


The French 'B' international then produced yet another stop, for a second time, against Modeste, the French striker volleying goalwards only for Mandanda to save with his legs.


And just as Nice were beginning to look like they might cause Marseille some problems up stepped Cissé to take advantage of a rare Lloris mistake in the 76th minute to end the dreams of the home side and secure the three points.

BB Bob
11-02-2008, 07:27 AM
Caen need to sort themselves out at the back. Despite the start they have had to the season, in a congested league, they are only 7points from relegation!



Lens rout Caen
Caen suffer an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at home to Lens and miss out on a chance to move into the top five.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ligue 1, Matchday 24



>> Match Stats

Caen 1
Lemaître 68


Lens 4
Maoulida 1, Mangane 33, Rémy 66, Seube (og) 75

Lens continued their revival with a 4-1 rout of Caen to move up to 13th in Ligue 1, three points clear of the relegation zone. Jean-Pierre Papin's side have now won four of the last five league games while Caen are still left looking for the first win of the year.



Lens took the lead within a minute of the start with a flowing move. The damage was done by Nadir Belhadj who crossed superbly following a one-two with Loic Rémy for Maoulida to lob Vincent Planté with a great header.


It was a knockout blow and Caen were still picking themselves off the floor when Remy nearly put them 2-0 up less than five minutes later. The Lens offensive continued and les Sang et Or then had a goal disallowed with Kader Mangane in a offside position.


Caen strived to hit the post through Eluchans before the visitors extended their advantage with Mangane correctly keeping himself in play to head the ball past a hesitant Planté in the 33rd minute.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, the second-half began with Lens in the ascendency. Already two up to the good, Jean-Pierre Papin's side went looking for a third. It duly arrived twenty minutes in when Rémy finished off an Olivier Monterrubio volley for his first Ligue 1 goal.


Caen managed to reduce the gap to two with a headed Lemaître goal but Lens roared back into a three goal lead and secured the three points when the unfortunate Seube diverted the ball into his own net with fifteen minutes left.

kabbott
11-02-2008, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Who do you think he was looking at? Benzema?

Nice to see someone giving Lyons a run for a change

He was over to observe the whole team; there's a little Champions' League tie in 10 day's time ...

kabbott
11-02-2008, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
All good things come to an end, but sounds like an OK game.



Marseille earn derby win
Marseille bring Nice's home unbeaten run to an end with a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Mamadou Niang and Djibril Cissé.
Sunday, February 10, 2008



Ligue 1, Matchday 24
Stade du Ray







>> Match Stats

Nice 0


Marseille 2
Niang 25, Cissé 76


Nice lost their first game at home since January 2007 to Marseille, OM winning 2-0 in the south coast derby.



Le Gym's proud 21-match unbeaten run came to an end in the most frustrating of fashions as local rivals OM scored either side of half-time to earn the bragging rights in the Côte d'Azur.


Deprived of Bakary Koné and Joseph-Désiré Job, both of whom were still in Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations, Nice started with Anthony Modeste and on-loan Marseille man Habib Bamogo up front.


Marseille welcomed back Mamadou Niang knowing that a win would put them up to fifth in the table and two points behind their south coast neighbours.


After a frantic opening Nice were the first to test the opposition's 'keeper with a smart shot from the Brazilian Ederson, left alone at the back post courtesy of some lax Marseille defending. Thankfully for the visitors, Mandanda was equal to the shot and saved well with his feet.


Marseille were struggling to deal with the pace and trickery of the Nice forward line and on 19 minutes Krupoviesa became the third player of the OM back four to be shown a yellow card for a reckless foul.


If the visitors were struggling with the intensity of the derby they didn't show it though as just minutes later they took the lead. Collecting the ball inside the area, Lorik Cana cleverly drew several Nice defenders before squaring perfectly for Niang who slotted home with ease.


Djibril Cissé came close to making it two just prior to the break but a good save from the youngster Hugo Lloris prevented the visitors extending their lead.


Nice came to life once more in the second-half as Ederson sent Anthony Modeste through on goal only for Mandanda to come to OM's rescue again.


The French 'B' international then produced yet another stop, for a second time, against Modeste, the French striker volleying goalwards only for Mandanda to save with his legs.


And just as Nice were beginning to look like they might cause Marseille some problems up stepped Cissé to take advantage of a rare Lloris mistake in the 76th minute to end the dreams of the home side and secure the three points.

At 0:1 Nice were still playing some pretty decent football. Mandanda did keep Marseiile in the game, and then, of course, Marseille hit Nice on the break. Nice were slightly lacking in fire power with both Koné and Laslandes (how old is he now?) out. Ederson, as usual, showed touches of class. He'll be good at Lyon next year. It looks like Marseille are on a roll.

kabbott
11-02-2008, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Caen need to sort themselves out at the back. Despite the start they have had to the season, in a congested league, they are only 7points from relegation!



Lens rout Caen
Caen suffer an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at home to Lens and miss out on a chance to move into the top five.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ligue 1, Matchday 24



>> Match Stats

Caen 1
Lemaître 68


Lens 4
Maoulida 1, Mangane 33, Rémy 66, Seube (og) 75

Lens continued their revival with a 4-1 rout of Caen to move up to 13th in Ligue 1, three points clear of the relegation zone. Jean-Pierre Papin's side have now won four of the last five league games while Caen are still left looking for the first win of the year.



Lens took the lead within a minute of the start with a flowing move. The damage was done by Nadir Belhadj who crossed superbly following a one-two with Loic Rémy for Maoulida to lob Vincent Planté with a great header.


It was a knockout blow and Caen were still picking themselves off the floor when Remy nearly put them 2-0 up less than five minutes later. The Lens offensive continued and les Sang et Or then had a goal disallowed with Kader Mangane in a offside position.


Caen strived to hit the post through Eluchans before the visitors extended their advantage with Mangane correctly keeping himself in play to head the ball past a hesitant Planté in the 33rd minute.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, the second-half began with Lens in the ascendency. Already two up to the good, Jean-Pierre Papin's side went looking for a third. It duly arrived twenty minutes in when Rémy finished off an Olivier Monterrubio volley for his first Ligue 1 goal.


Caen managed to reduce the gap to two with a headed Lemaître goal but Lens roared back into a three goal lead and secured the three points when the unfortunate Seube diverted the ball into his own net with fifteen minutes left.

Apart from Lyon, Bordeaux and Nancy things are very tight in Ligue1.
Marseille have won a few and have zoomed up the table, and any team near the top only has to lose three or four on the trot and they'll find themselves being dragged into a relegation fight

BB Bob
11-02-2008, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by kabbott
He was over to observe the whole team; there's a little Champions' League tie in 10 day's time ...

Doh! Wakey wakey.

I read an interview with Echouafni on l'equipe which was very good. He talked about Modeste and how well he did, but depth is a real problem. I don't rate Job that much and Laslandes still has a great touch but his legs have gone. Oh and the big summer signing - Derek Asamoah from Shrewsbury. Oh dear!

BB Bob
11-02-2008, 06:19 PM
Probably worth putting the table up

1 Lyon 24 15 4 5 +25 49
2 Bordeaux 24 13 6 5 +11 45
3 Nancy 24 10 11 3 +14 41
4 Nice 24 9 10 5 +5 37
5 Marseille 24 9 8 7 +7 35
6 Valenciennes 24 10 5 9 +7 35
7 Monaco 24 10 5 9 +7 35
8 Le Mans 24 10 4 10 -4 34
9 Caen 24 9 7 8 -4 34
10 Lorient 24 8 9 7 -3 33
11 Strasbourg 24 8 8 8 +2 32
12 Paris SG 24 7 9 8 +1 30
13 Lens 23 8 6 9 -1 30
14 Rennes 24 8 6 10 -6 30
15 Saint Etienne 24 8 5 11 -4 29
16 Auxerre 24 8 5 11 -11 29
17 Lille 23 5 13 5 +2 28
18 Toulouse 24 6 9 9 -6 27
19 Sochaux 24 5 8 11 -11 23
20 Metz 24 1 6 17 -31 9

Is it top 3 for Champions league and next two for UEFA? Bottom 3 down anyway!

BB Bob
13-02-2008, 01:17 PM
Sorry! Trying to get a picture in....

BB Bob
14-02-2008, 08:34 AM
Marseille cruise but Bordeaux lose
Jussie (pictured) netted a penalty for les Girondins but they lost 2-1 away at Anderlecht... there were no such problems for Marseille, however, who earned a comfortable 3-0 victory over Spartak Moscow.
UEFA Cup, last 32, first legs
Wednesday, February 13, 2008



Marseille 3
Cheyrou 61, Taiwo 68, Niang 79

Spartak Moscow 0

Marseille have put themselves in a strong position to reach the last 16 of the UEFA Cup with a 3-0 win over Spartak Moscow in the home leg of the round of 32.

The Russians belied the fact they are in their close season at the moment with an excellent performance during the first-half in which they matched their Marseille counterparts and kept a clean sheet. But Marseille took advantage of their superior fitness after the break to beat Spartak's Croatia international goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa three times and earn a considerable advantage.

Benoit Cheyrou opened the scoring with a powerful header following a perfect Samir Nasri cross on 62 minutes before Cheyrou then turned provider by supplying the ball for a Taye Taiwo header to make the score 2-0. It was the first time the Nigeria international, who has just returned from the Africa Cup of Nations, has scored for Marseille this season.

Ten minutes from time Marseille's prolific attacking duo Mamadou Niang and Djibril Cisse combined when the France international found Niang, who finished comfortably for his 14th goal of the season in all competitions.

Marseille: Mandanda - Bonnart, Faty (Kabore 46), Givet, Taiwo - Valbuena (Zenden 77), Cana, Nasri, Cheyrou - Niang (Oruma 83), Cisse

Spartak Moscow: Pletikosa - Parchivlyuk, Kovac, Stanzl, Kudryashov - Bystrov (Pavlyuchenko 69), Mozart, Titov, Maidana (Dineev 65) - Welliton, Pavlenko (Prudnikov 84)



Anderlecht 2
Polak 79, Mpenza 95

Bordeaux 1
Jussie (pen) 69

Ligue 1 title-chasers Bordeaux suffered a shock defeat against Belgian hosts Anderlecht when they threw away a one-goal lead in the last 15 minutes to lose 2-1.

Despite being dominated throughout the first half Laurent Blanc's side managed to keep the game goalless for more than an hour and took the lead when poacher supreme Fernando Cavenaghi was brought down in the area to earn the visitors a penalty in the 69th minute. Brazilian striker Jussie, getting a rare start, stepped up to score from the spot.

Far from being demoralised at falling behind, however, Anderlecht fought back and equalised 11 minutes from time when Poland midfielder Jan Polak – guilty of a glaring miss that could have given the hosts the lead in the first half – fired home a sumptuous volley.

The game looked to be heading towards a 1-1 draw but substitute striker Mbo Mpenza caused Laurent Blanc's side a major problem by finding the net in the fifth minute of injury-time to earn Anderlecht a potentially crucial winner. Having led so near to the end the result will be a serious disappointment for Bordeaux but they still have an away goal to take home to Stade Chaban-Delmas for the second leg.

Anderlecht: Zitka - Wasiliewski, Pareja, Juhasz, Van Damme - Polak, Biglia, Goor (Mpenza 72), Chatelle (Legear 84) - Akin, Mbark

Bordeaux: Rame – Chalme, Diawara, Henrique, Jurietti – Alonso (Wendel 61), Diarra, Alonso, Ducasse, Obertan - Jussie (Micoud 82), Chamakh (Cavenaghi 62)


UEFA Cup last 32 other scores:

AEK Athens 1-1 Getafe
Galatasaray 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen
PSV 2-0 Helsingborgs
Rangers 0-0 Panathinaikos
SK Brann 0-2 Everton
Sporting 2-0 Basle
Werder Bremen 3-0 Braga
Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 Villarreal



Hopefully Bordeaux will turn it round at home - at least they have an away goal. L'OM still looking very impressive.

BB Bob
15-02-2008, 04:16 PM
It's a classique weekend! With all due respect to PSG fans, I hope Marseille kick their Parisian butts in a Caen styleee....



Live preview: Marseille v PSG
One of the most eagerly-awaited fixtures on the Ligue 1 calendar takes place on Sunday night as Marseille look to continue their remarkable climb towards the top three while PSG are attempting to move into the top-half of the table.
Ligue 1, Matchday 25
Marseille v PSG, Stade Velodrome
Sunday, February 17, 2008 (7.55pm kick-off UK Time)

This Marseille v PSG clash may not have quite the impact it did in times gone by when the Big Two of French football were battling it out for Ligue 1 titles in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but it remains a huge draw for players and public alike.

The intense rivalry guarantees massive attention on the game from France and abroad, but while Paul Le Guen got a taste of the atmosphere as boss when PSG drew 1-1 at Stade Velodrome last season as well as playing in a number of high-profile clashes as a PSG defender and midfielder during the 1990s, OM's increasingly impressive boss Eric Gerets will experience the occasion for the first time. The Belgian has done a tremendous job since taking over on the south coast last September, leading the French football giants from the threat of a relegation battle to fifth place. Marseille now have a genuine chance of challenging for a Champions League place – and have a formidable home record, having won six and drawn one of seven Ligue 1 games under Gerets' leadership.

That's why the game's so vital for Marseille – but PSG have every reason to be motivated as they're looking to climb from 12th into the top-half of the table. And the match promises to be a huge event for a handful of players who have turned out for both teams - none more so than Lorik Cana. The Albania international has become a Marseille legend since being handed the captaincy and his all-action style of utter commitment to OM's cause makes it difficult to remember that he actually emerged through the ranks at PSG and made 69 Ligue 1 appearances in midfield before switching to Marseille three years ago. Modeste M'Bami, likely to start on the bench, is another midfielder who has made the same journey – the Cameroon international made 83 appearances for PSG from 2003 to 2006 but then moved south and has played 42 times for his new employers.

In the PSG ranks centre-half Zoumana Camara has plenty to prove – he never really settled at Marseille and played just 42 times for them in Ligue 1 before moving on to Lens midway through the 2001-02 season. The former St Etienne defender earned his dream move to his boyhood idols PSG last summer when he left les Verts for 6m euros so, as a PSG supporter, he will be hugely motivated to put one over on his old club.

And up front Peguy Luyindula will be keen to get on the scoresheet because he may feel he didn't get a fair crack of the whip at Marseille. He scored 10 goals in 35 Ligue 1 appearances during 2004-05 but made just two appearances at the start of the following campaign before being deemed surplus to requirements and sold to Auxerre. Now settled in Paris and having struck up a fruitful partnership with Amara Diane over the past couple of months, Luyindula will look to add to his tally of four league goals for the season.

With so many battles and reasons for revenge all over the pitch, this promises a typically spicy OM-PSG affair. Tune in and catch the action.

BB Bob
15-02-2008, 04:33 PM
Some other interesting matches this weekend

17:10 Le Mans Lyon
20:00 Auxerre Toulouse
20:00 Lens Nice
20:00 Lille Rennes
20:00 Lorient Strasbourg
20:00 Metz Valenciennes
20:00 Saint Etienne Nancy
20:00 Sochaux Caen
Matchday 25 - Sunday, February 17, 2008
18:00 Monaco Bordeaux
20:55 Marseille Paris SG


Lyons have got to get their away form together and I don't think it will be that easy at Le Mans. Never glamorous, they are a hard team to break down. A dodgy draw!?!

Auxerre v Toulouse. 3 points needed by both times. A real relegation 6 pointer. Toulouse have the quality but Ellie Baup is looking a bit...fragile? Draw?

Lens v Nice. Nice solid away from home, Lens on a roll. Home win, I reckon.

Lille v Rennes. Lille just can't seem to score a the moment. Rennes have got some good players and now tha Guy Lacombe is at the helm, I can see them finishing strongly. Away win

Lorient v Stasbourg. Don't really have a view. Home win, Vahirua to score, cue Hawaii 5-0 celebrations!

St Etienne v Nancy. Les verts are very far from formidable this season. A lot of pressure on them at home too. Pablo Correa looked seriously delighted at Nancy's goal last week. So I'm going for an away win.

Metz v Valenciennes. Metz couldn't beat an egg at the moment. Got to say away win.

Sochaux v Caen. I think Caen will claim a moral victory if they don't ship in three goals this week. Sochaux in trouble and needing three may suit Caen's couterattacking style, but I reckon they will be keener on a clean sheet. Bore draw.

Monaco v Bordeaux. Ricardo facing les Girondins again, but I don't reckon he's going to get much change. Away win.

Marseille v PSG. See above. Home win.


I should add there is a very, very good reason why I don't bet on football! You'll see why by Sunday night.

Enjoy the games.

GodstoneEagle
15-02-2008, 04:41 PM
caen are doing well. is costil amazing?

BB Bob
15-02-2008, 06:53 PM
Caen have done really well this year, but it is a really competitive league this year. They are 7pts from Champions League and 7pt from relegation!

BB Bob
17-02-2008, 08:42 AM
I told you I was good!




Matchday 25: Saturday round-up
St Etienne striker Bafetimbi Gomis (pictured) scores twice in his team's 4-0 win over Nancy while Patrick Kluivert grabs a brace, as Lille beat Rennes 3-1. Lyon crash to defeat while Metz record their first home victory of the season.
Ligue 1, Matchday 25



Le Mans 1
De Melo 70

Lyon 0

Match Stats

Lyon's hopes of retaining their Ligue 1 title took a further blow when they suffered a shock 1-0 defeat against Le Mans at Stade Leon-Bollee.

The champions paid the price for resting three key players with one eye on next week's Champions League last 16 first-leg clash with Manchester United. Fabio Grosso, Jeremy Toulalan and Karim Benzema all started the game on the bench and Alain Perrin's side were particularly missing a focal point up front as the hosts claimed all three points.

Le Mans welcomed back Ibrahima Camara, Romaric and Gervinho after missing five matches because of the Africa Cup of Nations – but it was Tulio De Melo, returning after three weeks of injury, who grabbed the all-important winner.

The goal came 20 minutes from time when Camara's cross found Hassan Yebda, whose headed flick-on found De Melo. The Brazilian reached the ball ahead of Lyon's new centre-half Jean-Alain Boumsong and found the net for his 11th goal of the season.

The first-half was devoid of chances as Le Mans sat back and Lyon lacked the imagination or quality to pose the home defence problems. It was remarkable to see how rarely the visitors troubled Yohann Pele's goal after the break, too, with Perrin's men looking utterly preoccupied by the Red Devils' visit to Stade de Gerland next Wednesday.

This defeat hands Bordeaux the opportunity to move to within one point of leaders Lyon should they beat Monaco at Stade Louis II tomorrow. With this win Le Mans climb to fifth and are celebrating their second win over Lyon this season after knocking them out of the Coupe de la Ligue in the quarter-finals last month.



St Etienne 4
Perrin 18, Gomis 42, 71, Feindouno 70 (pen)

Nancy 0

Match Stats

After a run of just one win in seven that has seen les Verts drop to within four points of the relegation zone, St Etienne reignited their season with an emphatic win against high-flying Nancy at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

Following a slow start, captain Loic Perrin made the crucial breakthrough. Helping Bafetimbi Gomis near the right-hand corner, the 22-year-old picked up the ball and lifted it over the stranded midfielder Issiar Dia before thrashing a left-foot shot past the helpless Gennaro Bracigliano in the Nancy goal. The villain didn't have to wait too long to turn hero, but having got on the end of a deep free kick, Dia planted his header against the post instead of the back of the net. Minutes later, he was at it again, firing in a great shot that Jody Viviani did well to save.

The missed opportunity soon proved decisive as St Etienne doubled their lead just minutes before the break. A brilliant piece of improvisation from Guinea midfielder Pascal Feindouno created just enough room to feed the ball through to Gomis, who fired in his eighth goal of the season. In the second half it was more of the same as Feindouno got on the scoresheet himself, converting a penalty after Dimitri Payet had been hauled down in the box by Bracigliano. Seconds later, Gomis grabbed his second of the game, dribbling into the box and sending the helpless goalkeeper the wrong way.



Lens 0

Nice 0

Match Stats

After losing their unbeaten home record last week, Nice's challenge for a Champions League spot next season was further upset by a goalless draw against Lens at the Stade Bollaert.

But given the fact the Jean-Pierre Papin's fast-improving Lens side came into the match unbeaten in five after four wins and a draw while Nice had not won in three, perhaps parity was not so unexpected.

Ultimately, the match was decided on two incidents towards the end of each period where both sides were denied a goal only by the woodwork. First it was the turn of Nice, with Bakari Kone and Anthony Modeste linking up well inside the box only for the latter to strike his shot against the foot of the post with Vedran Runje beaten.

Having survived that scare, Lens pressed on in the second half, only to find that Nice's luck was in at the other end. With just two minutes of the game remaining a corner from Nadir Belhadj found the head of Toifilou Maoulida, but sadly for the home fans his header found the bar instead of the back of the net and both sides were forced to settle for a point.



Metz 2
Gueye 51, Martinez own goal 66

Valenciennes 1
Belmadi 42

Match Stats

Rock-bottom Metz proved they may be down but not out by coming from behind to earn their first home win of the season with a 2-1 triumph over Valenciennes.

Metz have played much better football since Yvon Pouliquen took over as coach in December and they showed reserves of mental strength to mount a second-half fightback against a Valenciennes side challenging for a European place.

The visitors sprung a surprise by leaving top scorer and talismanic striker Steve Savidan on the bench but it didn't seem to matter when they took a 42nd-minute lead through Djamel Belmadi. Johan Audel and Sebastien Roudet combined on the left before Belmadi met the cross to score at the far post.

But the hosts refused to be demoralised and quickly got back into the game after the restart when Babacar Gueye equalised. And what a great finish it was, too, as the Senegal international latched on to Daniel Gygax's long pass, slipped past Abdeslam Ouaddou and beat Valenciennes goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau with a cool finish.

Outstanding teenage talent Miralem Pjanic hit the bar on the hour mark as the home side pinned Valenciennes back and then they forced the winner on 66 minutes. Pjanic swung a corner into the box and Valenciennes' recent signing Williams Martinez could only turn the ball into his own net under pressure from Gueye.

It would still take a miracle for Metz to climb out of trouble as they lie 18pts from safety, whereas Valenciennes fall to ninth.



Sochaux 1
Maurice-Belay 41

Caen 1
Gouffran 55

Match Stats

Sochaux missed a glorious chance to claim three precious points in their relegation battle when they could only draw at home to Caen.

On the face of it a draw is not a disastrous result against top-half visitors – but Sochaux missed a penalty on 49 minutes when they were 1-0 up. Caen equalised through Yoan Gouffran six minutes later so Sochaux were left to rue the fact that they will have few better chances to claim three points at home.

The hosts dominated the first-half against visitors who looked short of confidence, which is hardly surprising when you consider that Caen had lost 6-1 at Marseille and 4-1 at home to Lens in their last two Ligue 1 outings. A goal for Francis Gillot's side looked more and more likely as the half wore on and they eventually broke the deadlock when Fabrice Pancrate and Romain Pitau both saw shots blocked but Nicolas Maurice-Belay followed up to score his first Ligue 1 goal of the season.

Stephane Dalmat's the man who will have a sleepless night after missing from the spot just four minutes after the restart. Caen midfielder Remi Gomis felled Sochaux striker Sebastien Grax in the box but former Marseille and PSG midfielder Dalmat shot straight at Caen goalkeeper Vincente Plante, who gratefully pushed away.

Then came the equaliser as Gouffran struck a magnificent drive from the edge of the penalty to add to his growing reputation. It was his sixth Ligue 1 goal of the campaign and Plante did the rest, saving from Mickael Isabey in a frantic final 10 minutes to ensure the visitors a share of the spoils. Sochaux remain in 19th spot, six points from safety.



Lorient 1
Le Pen 45

Strasbourg 0

Match Stats

Lorient bounced back from the last week's disappointing 3-0 defeat at Valenciennes with a hard-fought win over Strasbourg at Stade du Moustoir. A superb goal from veteran midfielder Ulrich Le Pen was enough to earn all three points and lift the home side up to sixth in the table.

After a 0-0 draw at Strasbourg earlier in the season, few would have expected anything but a tight game. And with Strasbourg unbeaten four and Lorient looking for a fifth straight home win, it was clear that a moment of madness or brilliance would be the difference. It was the latter.

Despite having dominated the opening exchanges, Lorient were unable to find a way past Strasbourg goalkeeper Stephane Cassard, with the veteran goalkeeper making a series of saves to keep his side in the game. But even he was powerless to prevent the goal which came in first-half injury time. Latching onto a precise pass from Yohan Hautcoeur, Le Pen controlled, turned and shot in one seamless movement to claim only his second goal of the season and give Lorient a deserved lead.

Strasbourg fought hard in the second half, with Wason Renteria and Eric Mouloungui brought into the attack, but it was to no avail as Lorient held on for three crucial points.



Lille 3
Kluivert 42 (pen), 48, Bastos 55

Rennes 1
Pagis 88

Match Stats

Patrick Kluivert scored twice to take his tally for the season to four as Lille ran out comfortable winners over Rennes.

The result is a massive boost for Claude Puel's men in their battle against relegation, but sends Guy Lacombe's disappointing visitors plunging towards the drop zone.

The visitors had most of the possession in the first-half but Lille went ahead when Rennes defender John Mensah, back from the Africa Cup of Nations, misjudged the movement of the ball and controlled with his arm. Kluivert stepped up and converted from the penalty spot.

Lille doubled their advantage just three minutes after the restart when a rejuvenated Kluivert supplied a sumptuous finish, sweeping Ludovic Obraniak's cross into the net with the outside of his foot. At 2-0 Rennes' heads went down and the game turned definitively in Lille's favour when Brazilian Michel Bastos sent a 25-yard free-kick crashing into the net with his left foot on 55 minutes.

After that it was plain sailing for Lille until Mickael Pagis profited from a poor clearance by Lille captain Gregory Tafforeau to grab a late consolation goal. But that will be no comfort to Lacombe, whose club have fallen to 17th and are just three points from the bottom three.



Auxerre 1
Niculae 52

Toulouse 0

Match Stats

Auxerre claimed all three points in a basement battle against fellow strugglers Toulouse at the Stade Abbe-Deschamps. A Daniel Niculae goal just after half-time proved sufficient to lift Jean Fernandez's side towards the safety of mid-table.

The first half was one of few opportunities, as both sets of players struggled on a very difficult playing surface. Perhaps predictably, the best route to goal appeared an aerial one, with Toulouse captain Dominique Arribage almost giving the visitors a shock lead on eight minutes. The veteran defender, now in his 10th season at the club, rose highest in the box to get his head to a corner from Salim Arrache only to see the ball crash against the bar and rebound to safety.

Having safely negotiated that scare, Auxerre looked comfortable until half-time, when manager Jean Fernandez must have read the players the riot act. Whatever he said clearly had the desired effect as the home side emerged from the tunnel with greater intent. Seven minutes after the restart they had taken the lead through a magnificent team effort. A cross from Dennis Oliech was cunningly backheeled by Kamel Chafni and Daniel Niculae was on hand to convert. His ninth goal of the season proved decisive as the home side claimed all three points.

BB Bob
17-02-2008, 06:12 PM
Flaming heck! That should cause Perrin at Lyon a bit of a start!

MONACO 0 - 6 BORDEAUX
( 0 - 0 )

Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 6:00:00 PM
STADE LOUIS II
- 8.0°
Scorers
51 ' CAVENAGHI
60 ' MICOUD
64 ' CAVENAGHI
81 ' CHAMAKH
87 ' MICOUD
90 '+1 OBERTAN

Abjekt
17-02-2008, 09:36 PM
Amazing result for us that, hard to believe it was 0-0 at half-time!

If there's ever a time to catch Lyon and overhaul them, it's gotta be now!

BB Bob
18-02-2008, 10:39 AM
It's twitchy bottom time for M. Perrin at the moment....

Monaco 0

Bordeaux 6
Cavenaghi 50, 64, Micoud 59, 87, Chamakh 81, Obertan 90


>> Match Stats



Bordeaux moved to within one point of league leaders Lyon with a resounding 6-0 win away at Monaco. The victory signalled Bordeaux's biggest ever league away success.

Fernando Cavenaghi (2), Johan Micoud (2), Marouane Chamakh and Gabriel Obertan grabbed the goals in a destructive second-half to ensure the three points as Les Girondins took full advantage of Lyon's slip on Saturday at Le Mans. Monaco ended the game with ten men after Diego Perez's 70th minute sending-off.

The home side nearly got off to a great start with French international Frédéric Piquionne shooting narrowly wide after 18 minutes.

Bordeaux were slow out of the traps and their first real chance of the game came with seven minutes of the half left. A second corner in succession led to Alou Diarra forcing Flavio Roma into a smart reflex save.

The second period began as the first did with neither side offering much in the way of goalmouth action. That all changed however ten minutes in as some superb play between Wendel and his South American counterpart Cavenaghi led to the latter shooting past Roma for 1-0.

Nine minutes later it was two as Micoud got in on the act with a smashing effort which went in off the crossbar. The third came the way of the league's on-form striker as once again Cavenaghi struck. With the Monaco defence stood static crying for offside, the Argentine coolly lifted the ball over Roma for his 8th league goal of the season after a defence-splitting pass from David Bellion.

Monaco's frustration at losing a third goal in 14 minutes led to Perez lashing out at Bellion. With the principality team reduced to ten men Bordeaux went for the kill and a further three goals followed with Micoud getting his second on the evening after the substitute Chamakh had pounced for his team's fourth.

Obertan rounded things off with a sixth in injury-time to seal the club record and heap embarrassment onto the rapidly departing home fans.

BB Bob
18-02-2008, 10:40 AM
Meanwhile l'OM are flying.



Marseille 2
Taiwo 37, Niang 45

PSG 1
Rothen 30 (pen)


>> Match Stats



Marseille moved up into fourth with a 2-1 win over PSG in a fast and frenetic 'Clasico' at the Velodrome.

OM fought back from a goal behind to register their fourth successive win. PSG, by contrast, looked to have been sucked back into the relegation battle at the foot of the table.

Nigerian defender Taye Taiwo began the fightback with a towering header after Jérôme Rothen had put PSG ahead from the spot. And just prior to half-time Mamadou Niang hit the winner to leave Marseille three points off third.

PSG started the encounter well and could have gone ahead through Sylvain Armand early on, the defender forcing a terrific save from on-form Steve Mandanda.

The sides traded ineffectual blows before PSG were awarded a generous penalty for a tackle on Amara Diané by Laurent Bonnart. The challenge seemed to be genuine, as well as being a yard outside the box. Nevertheless, Rothen kept his cool to put PSG ahead on the second attempt after the referee ordered a retake following encroachment.

The unlikely lead lasted only seven minutes as Taiwo earned a free-kick on the far left and then sauntered into the box to finish off Samir Nasri's set-piece. As Marseille looked for as second Cheyrou put a rasping shot wide and then Niang nearly found Landreau napping as the PSG 'keeper fumbled a Mathieu Valbuena effort.

It was coming though and moments later, Niang, played through by the electric Valbuena, unleashed a shot beyond Landreau for a 2-1 lead. It was the Senegal striker's fourth successive league goal in as many games.

The second period saw no goals but chances galore as PSG failed to capitalise on some opportunities in front of goal. Substitute Pauleta came close but again the nimble Mandanda was too quick for the capital's front line.

Djibril Cissé failed to put the game beyond PSG's reach with a terrible miss two minutes from time but by then the damage had already been done.

Eleven points off Lyon, Marseille's recent excellent run of form has catapulted them into the upper echelons of the table. Had it not been for their awful start to the season – OM won just two of their first 13 games – the south coast flyers would be knocking on the champion's door. For PSG, their equally woeful beginning to the season (four wins in their first 13) has been exacerbated by their continuing bad fortune. Seemingly safe in 11th position, Paul Le Guen's side lie just three points from 18th and the relegation zone.

BB Bob
18-02-2008, 10:49 AM
Latest Table

1 Lyon 25 15 4 6 +24 49
2 Bordeaux 25 14 6 5 +17 48
3 Nancy 25 10 11 4 +10 41
4 Marseille 25 10 8 7 +8 38
5 Nice 25 9 11 5 +5 38
6 Le Mans 25 11 4 10 -3 37
7 Lorient 25 9 9 7 -2 36
8 Valenciennes 25 10 5 10 +6 35
9 Monaco 25 10 5 10 +1 35
10 Caen 25 9 8 8 -4 35
11 Strasbourg 25 8 8 9 +1 32
12 Saint Etienne 25 9 5 11 0 32
13 Auxerre 25 9 5 11 -10 32
14 Lille 24 6 13 5 +4 31
15 Lens 24 8 7 9 -1 31
16 Paris SG 25 7 9 9 0 30
17 Rennes 25 8 6 11 -8 30
18 Toulouse 25 6 9 10 -7 27
19 Sochaux 25 5 9 11 -11 24
20 Metz 25 2 6 17 -30 12

Don't feel too sorry for Metz. Apparently there was some horrible racist abuse of the Valencienne's player Ouaddou.

BB Bob
20-02-2008, 07:01 PM
Lyon starting well against Manure. In the meantime, a good article on Cissé

Feature: Cisse on comeback trail
The Marseille player is scoring goals again, and has Euro 2008 - as well as a Champions League place - in his sights. We profile the rebirth of one of France's premier marksmen.


The phrase "from hero to zero" has been applied to a number of footballers down the years, but is valid in reverse for Djibril Cisse right now. The Marseille and France striker's career is on an upward curve after a difficult start to 2007-08.

Marseille were tipped to be Lyon's fiercest title rivals before this campaign began and Franck Ribery's close-season departure for Bayern Munich over the summer left Cisse as the highest-profile player in the OM squad. After turning his loan move from Liverpool into a permanent one, and having whetted fans' appetite at the end of last season with four goals in the final six Ligue 1 matches of 2006-07 as well as a brace in the French Cup final against Sochaux at the Stade de France last May (Marseille eventually lost 5-4 on penalties), expectations were high that Cisse would score the goals to help Albert Emon's side keep pace with les lyonnais at the top of the table this term.

On the bench

How wrong those predictions proved. Marseille made a disastrous start to the campaign, with Cisse as below-par as his underperforming team-mates. He (along with sacked manager Emon) became a scapegoat for fans as Marseille fell as low as 19th in October and November, with Cisse's individual stats telling a sorry story: he managed just two goals in his opening 17 Ligue 1 appearances of the season. New Marseille boss Eric Gerets relegated him to the bench during the final two months of 2007.

Therefore it was perhaps no surprise that there was talk of Cisse leaving the club during the January transfer window, but Marseille decided to keep hold of the striker, knowing that fellow front man Mamadou Niang – who had enjoyed a much more fruitful first-half of 2007-08 – would be away for the whole of January on international duty with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations. Cisse probably realised that Niang's absence would present him with an ideal, and possibly final opportunity to prove his credentials in a Marseille shirt.

And the striker has responded magnificently, scoring nine goals in his last nine appearances. After misfiring earlier in the season, now Cisse is full of confidence, thanks to a run of goals that has included strikes against Rennes (1-3) and Nice (2-0) in Ligue 1, Beauvais (2-0) and Monaco (3-1) in the French Cup, a brace against Valenciennes (3-1) in the league and, most tellingly, his first hat-trick for OM in their swashbuckling Ligue 1 victory over Caen (6-1) at the Velodrome on January 26.

Euro 2008 dream

It is unlikely that Cisse will reach the pre-season target he set himself – 20 Ligue 1 goals – but he may well reach that tally in all competitions. The striker has managed a highly respectable total of 13 in 34 appearances so far, and with Marseille looking to progress in the UEFA Cup and French Cup in the weeks ahead, there should be plenty more opportunities for him to find the net. Like every striker, Cisse still has the occasional off-day – he missed a couple of great chances in Marseille's 2-1 win over PSG last Sunday night – but he is full of verve and running at the moment.

With the player's importance to Marseille no longer in doubt, the next question is: will Cisse re-establish himself in the France squad before Euro 2008? Not surprisingly, he fell down the pecking order during his patchy spell earlier this season, with Nicolas Anelka taking advantage to become an integral part of les Bleus set-up once again and Karim Benzema moving clearly ahead of his Marseille rival in France coach Raymond Domenech's plans. But France seem certain to take four strikers to Austria and Switzerland, which means Cisse is likely to battle it out with Manchester United's Louis Saha for the final berth behind France's all-time top scorer, Thierry Henry, as well as Benzema and Anelka. So Saha or Cisse - who will get the nod? On current form, you wouldn't bet against Marseille's master marksman.

Djibril Cisse FACT FILE
Born: 12 August 1981
Height: 182cm (6ft)
Weight: 78kg (12st 4lb)
Former clubs: Auxerre, Liverpool
Ligue 1 debut: 20 March 1999 v PSG (0-1)
France debut: 18 May 2002 v Belgium (1-2)
Caps: 35 (9 goals)
Honours: Confederations Cup 2003, Champions League 2005, French Cup 2003, FA Cup 2006, Ligue 1 top scorer 2002, 2004

League record:
1998-99: 1 app, 0 goals
1999-00: 2 apps, 0 goals
2000-01: 25 apps, 8 goals
2001-02: 29 apps, 22 goals
2002-03: 33 apps, 14 goals
2003-04: 38 apps, 26 goals
2004-05: 15 apps, 4 goals
2005-06: 33 apps, 9 goals
2006-07: 21 apps, 8 goals
2007-08: 23 apps, 9 goals
Total: 220 apps, 100 goals

Correct up to 19th February 2008

kabbott
22-02-2008, 09:54 AM
A mixed bag in Europe as far as French teams are concerned.
Lyon put on quite a good show against Man U and almost scraped a victory. Benzema showed why he is already world class at only 20 years of age. Both teams started with defensive formations with Anderson in for Tevez and François Clerc in for Ben Arfa, but the substitutions made by Sir Alex paid off. The Lyon players looked tired in the last 10-15 minutes and it was no surprise Man U equalised. Lyon are still in it though. Man U won't sit back and play for a 0:0 so Lyon have always got a chance of scoring one or two on the break with Benzema, Govou and Ben Arfa who is sure to play the return leg.
Marseille lost but still qualified. They seemed to be controlling the match in the first half until conceding a goal just before half-time. With six minutes remaining, they let in a second goal meaning a jittery last few minutes to hold on.
Bordeaux, however, totally fluffed it. Laurent Blanc made some changes to his team, but these changes didn't pay off. Micoud, the star against Monaco last weekend (0:6) was rested, Jussiê was injured, so Chamakh was the playmaker, and the young and talented Ducasse played in front of the defence but had a poor game. Anderlecht's physical game got to Bordeaux who finished with 9 men.
So this weekend's league matches should be very interesting. How will these three teams have recuperated from their European exertions?
On paper Lyon's match against Metz (the Derby of the French league!) should be a walkover. But this is a potential banana skin, the kind of match in which the Metz keeper will play a blinder. Alain Perrin also has a dilemma with Bordeaux breathing down Lyon's necks. Can he afford to rest certain players? I can see him playing Fred (rather than Benzema), Keita and Ben Arfa up front. Bodmer, a good player, might be given his chance in the middle of the park, and Cris might also be back in the centre of the defence alongside Boumsong who, believe it or not, actually had a good game against Man U on Wednesday.
On Sunday afternoon, Marseille are away to Toulouse who are unbelievably in the relegation places. If Elmander plays, he'll be a threat to the Marseille defence.
On Sunday enening, Bordeaux are home to Lille. Not as easy as it looks, this. Lille are only 15th but they've actually lost less matches than Lyon. (6 wins, 13 draws and only 5 defeats)

BB Bob
22-02-2008, 01:12 PM
I am in Nice at the moment, sop I got to watch the marseille game live before going to dinner. It was flaming cold, -8 accoprding to the paper, which didn't suite l'OM at all. They certainly had some pretty silly headwear, apart form cisse qho is obvoiously hard as nails after his time at liverpool.

I watched some of the FC Nurnberg v benfica game too. The germans were one down from the first leg and 2-0 up with 5 mins to go, before throwing it away and drawing 2-2. Show lyon that it can be done. If man u have a weakness it is at the back.

There's a good article in aujourd'hui today. Yes, I know it's a rag, but it has good sports pages, honest, even if it does go on and on about PSG. It highlights the number of leaders that lyon have lost over the last few years - abidal, tiago, malouda) and losing cris and coupet just finished the job. Hopefully, cris coming back0 and coupet getting his match fitness back will all help the return game.
As for the league, these are tough games. Lille look like they are getting a bit of form back and I fancy them for a point. Ellie baup really looks like his losing the plot (not to mention the team) at toulouse. Being honest I can't see metz stopping lyon, even though I am sure they will be up for it.

What are the odds of another change of manager at OL in the off season?

kabbott
22-02-2008, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
I am in Nice at the moment, sop I got to watch the marseille game live before going to dinner. It was flaming cold, -8 accoprding to the paper, which didn't suite l'OM at all. They certainly had some pretty silly headwear, apart form cisse qho is obvoiously hard as nails after his time at liverpool.

I watched some of the FC Nurnberg v benfica game too. The germans were one down from the first leg and 2-0 up with 5 mins to go, before throwing it away and drawing 2-2. Show lyon that it can be done. If man u have a weakness it is at the back.

There's a good article in aujourd'hui today. Yes, I know it's a rag, but it has good sports pages, honest, even if it does go on and on about PSG. It highlights the number of leaders that lyon have lost over the last few years - abidal, tiago, malouda) and losing cris and coupet just finished the job. Hopefully, cris coming back0 and coupet getting his match fitness back will all help the return game.
As for the league, these are tough games. Lille look like they are getting a bit of form back and I fancy them for a point. Ellie baup really looks like his losing the plot (not to mention the team) at toulouse. Being honest I can't see metz stopping lyon, even though I am sure they will be up for it.

What are the odds of another change of manager at OL in the off season?

Aujourd'hui? I hope you've been buying every knowledgeable Frenchman's bible L'Equipe while you're over. Personally I don't reckon Perrin will make it through to the end of the season. A good spanking by Man U (though I hope not) followed by some poor league results will see him fired or he'll walk out. Reasons later. A table!

BB Bob
25-02-2008, 01:50 PM
A good weekend for Lyon all round. Steve Mandanda was man of the match as Marseille draw 0-0 at Toulouse and Lille held Bordeaux to the same scoreline. Not great for a feast of TV football, but pretty good for M. Perrin!

That powerhouse of French football, Le Mans, in fourth place and on for Europe?!?!? I mean, really.....

Matchday 26 - Saturday, February 23, 2008
17:10 Caen 1 - 3 Saint Etienne
20:00 Lyon 2 - 0 Metz
20:00 Nancy 2 - 1 Lens
20:00 Nice 1 - 2 Auxerre
20:00 Paris SG 1 - 1 Monaco
20:00 Rennes 2 - 0 Lorient
20:00 Strasbourg 0 - 2 Sochaux
20:00 Valenciennes 1 - 2 Le Mans
Matchday 26 - Sunday, February 24, 2008
19:00 Toulouse 0 - 0 Marseille
20:55 Bordeaux 0 - 0 Lille

Table:-

P W D L GD Pts
1 Lyon 26 16 4 6 +26 52
2 Bordeaux 26 14 7 5 +17 49
3 Nancy 26 11 11 4 +11 44
4 Le Mans 26 12 4 10 -2 40
5 Marseille 26 10 9 7 +8 39
6 Nice 26 9 11 6 +4 38
7 Monaco 26 10 6 10 +1 36
8 Lorient 26 9 9 8 -4 36
9 Valenciennes 26 10 5 11 +5 35
10 Saint Etienne 26 10 5 11 +2 35
11 Caen 26 9 8 9 -6 35
12 Auxerre 26 10 5 11 -9 35
13 Rennes 26 9 6 11 -6 33
14 Lille 25 6 14 5 +4 32
15 Strasbourg 26 8 8 10 -1 32
16 Paris SG 26 7 10 9 0 31
17 Lens 25 8 7 10 -2 31
18 Toulouse 26 6 10 10 -7 28
19 Sochaux 26 6 9 11 -9 27
20 Metz 26 2 6 18 -32 12

BB Bob
25-02-2008, 02:00 PM
Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away....Ligue 2.

Live game every Monday and every Monday it's Nantes who got relegated after a dreadful season last year. To put it in perspective for those that don't know and care (which is probably a pretty small minority), Nantes were the last team not called Lyon to win le Championnat!

P W D L GD Pts
1 Le Havre 25 15 8 2 +22 53
2 Nantes 24 14 6 4 +18 48
3 Troyes 25 13 8 4 +13 47
4 Bastia 24 12 6 6 +12 41
5 Clermont 25 9 12 4 +9 39
6 Grenoble 25 10 8 7 +7 38
7 Montpellier 25 9 9 7 +7 36
8 Sedan 24 9 9 6 +3 36
9 Angers 25 9 9 7 +2 36
10 Ajaccio 25 9 8 8 -3 35
11 Brest 25 8 7 10 -9 31
12 Guingamp 25 7 9 9 -1 30
13 Amiens 25 7 8 10 -2 29
14 Châteauroux 25 7 8 10 -4 29
15 Reims 24 8 5 11 -10 29
16 Boulogne 25 7 6 12 -9 27
17 Niort 25 6 5 14 -9 23
18 Dijon 25 4 11 10 -17 23
19 Libourne St Seurin 25 4 8 13 -14 20
20 Gueugnon 25 2 8 15 -15 14

Top three go up. Nantes, Troyes and Sedan went down last year. Bastia (from Corsica) are likely to get docked points after fans held up a racist banner on National anti-Racism weekend in the league. Doh!

BB Bob
27-02-2008, 09:25 PM
Tonight in the other semi, lagtest score Le Mans 4 Lens 4. Extra time being played!

Elsewhere, hurrumph hurrumph, PSG (connards) look like getting the chance at another dodgy euro spot...


Home comfort as PSG make final
PSG book a place in the French League Cup Final with a 3-2 win over Auxerre at the Parc des Princes. The capital side led throughout and will now play in their 13th domestic final.
League Cup, Semi-Final
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Parc des Princes



PSG 3
Yepes 31, Pauleta 44, Mendy 79

Auxerre 2
Landreau 74 (og), Quercia 90

>> Match Stats

PSG qualified for their fourth League Cup Final in 14 years with a 3-2 win over Auxerre in the first semi-final.

Goals from Mario Yepes, Pauleta and Bernard Mendy ensured a place in the final after AJA could only manage a late Julien Quercia effort and a helping hand from PSG 'keeper Mickael Landreau.

The capital side will now face either Le Mans or Lens and can look forward to a first domestic cup final since 2006 when they beat bitter rivals Marseille 2-1 in the French Cup final at the Stade de France.

Paul Le Guen's side dominated the game's opening half an hour giving no indication of their league position, four points and four places below AJA. And Yepes sent PSG on their way in the 31st minute with a header after the visitors had failed to clear their lines from a corner.

Kenyan Dennis Oliech whizzed a shot wide of Landreau's post as Auxerre attempted a reply but PSG extended their lead with ease four minutes before half-time with Pauleta latching on to a simple Grégory Bourillon cross. It was the Portuguese striker's 23rd cup goal in 24 matches, a fine and unrivalled statistic.

With five goals in their last three league games, Auxerre were always capable of posing a threat in front of goal but it took them until the 71st minute to worry Landreau with the Romanian Daniel Niculae thrashing a shot which the 'keeper saved well.

If the former Nantes guardian covered himself in glory with that stop he will want to look away when the highlights are replayed as from a corner taken shortly after the French 'B' 'keeper contrived to palm the ball into his own net.

The freak goal gave Auxerre a lifeline but PSG did well to save Landreau's blushes by restoring their two goal advantage within five minutes, Mendy confusing Grichting on the edge of the box before shooting past Riou for number three.

Quercia handed the scoreline some respectability with a smart scissor-kick in the 90th minute but it was too little to late by Jean Fernandez's men.

The Parc de Princes exploded with joy at the final whistle and although the supporters know that their side hang perilously near the drop zone in Ligue 1, a date at the Stade de France and a chance to win some precious silverware awaits…

GodstoneEagle
28-02-2008, 12:39 AM
who has mandanda signed for?

i know grandin has signed for marseille but is costil still at caen? i like him

BB Bob
28-02-2008, 08:11 AM
Steve Mandanda is at marseille on a full time deal (at least I think so!) and having a fairly good season. I'm not sure he's the finished article yet, though.

I've not seen Costil play at all - maybe kabbot has? Looking at the stats, it doesn't look as though he has played much this year. Still at Caen, though.

Grandin signed for l'OM in January, but hasn't done much so far. Played three and not scored yet.

BB Bob
28-02-2008, 08:13 AM
Lens take the other place in the final after what sounds like a corker

Lens win nine-goal thriller
Jean-Pierre Papin's side will face PSG in the Stade de France showdown after clinching a remarkable 5-4 triumph over Rudi Garcia's Le Mans in one of the competition's greatest-ever games.
League Cup, Semi-Final


Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Stade Leon-Bollee




Le Mans 4
Gervinho 22, Yebda 45, Matsui 66, De Melo 67

Lens 5
De Melo own goal 36, Remy 45, Dindane 53, Pele own goal 64, Keita 117

>> Match Stats

Lens clinched their place in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue following a thrilling 5-4 victory away to Le Mans earned during 120 minutes of the most spectacular football seen in France this season.


It was an astonishing match, with both sides producing thrilling attacking football and fans at the Stade Leon-Bollee feasting on nine goals, even though the outcome was a huge disappointment for home supporters.

The pattern of play was set from the start as both sides attacked on a sodden pitch. Rudi Garcia's side opened the scoring through the outstanding Gervinho on 22 minutes, only for Lens to equalise through an unlikely source. Le Mans' leading scorer Tulio De Melo sent the ball past his own goalkeeper Yohann Pele to earn the Sang et Or an unlikely route back into the match.

Le Mans must have thought they would go in ahead at the break when some brilliant individual play by Gervinho created an opening for Hassan Yebda, who finished smartly just a minute before the interval to give his side a 2-1 lead. But remarkably Lens equalised before the break, with two of their recent signings combining. Full-back Nadir Belhadj, who produced a breathtaking performance, crossed and striker Loic Remy finished with a tremendous volley.

It was all-square at the interval but Lens took the initiative following the restart when Aruna Dindane scored on 53 minutes and then Pele unluckily put the ball into his own goal on 64 minutes when he diverted Olivier Monterrubio's spectacular flying volley across the line. At 4-2 ahead, Lens must have felt the game was over – but the hosts came roaring back with two goals in two minutes midway through the half as first Japanese midfielder Daisuke Matsui and then De Melo, this time scoring at the right end, found the target.

Neither side was able to find the decisive finish before the end of 90 minutes so extra-time ensued and penalties looked almost certain before Lens substitute Sidi Keita contributed decisively by slamming a 30-yard shot home with just three minutes to go. A deflated Le Mans couldn't summon the energy to mount yet another comeback – so Lens held on for one of the most remarkable victories in the competition's history.

kabbott
28-02-2008, 10:46 AM
Two great League Cup semi-finals. I totally forgot about the PSG- Auxerre match. According to newspaper reports, this was by far PSG's best performance of the season as the scoreline does not suggest! PSG were cruising it when M.Landreau, France's second choice keeper, committed his third howler in as many games by palming/mispunching? a cross into his own goal. The ball wasn't actually going in ... Landreau has now made 8 howlers since the start of the season but coach Paul Le Guen keeps faith in him and he'll most probably be in the line-up to face Bordeaux in le big match on Sunday evening.
As for the second semi-final, it's a candidate for match of the season. After a rather quiet first quarter of an hour things kicked off after about 20 minutes with the first goal and it was literally end-to-end stuff for the rest of the match, including extra time. I can't say the managers were too happy with their respective defences judging by the scoreline, but the goals were more as a result of good attacking play than by sloppy defending.
Since the winter break Lens have been a tranformed team. They brought back former coach Daniel Leclerq, known as the Druid, to help Jean-Pierre Papin with coaching etc. and their transfer dealings in the January window seem to be paying off. They bought Loic Remy, a young pacy forward, and Belhadj, an attacking left-back, from Lyon and they have both settled in very well. Lens also have a player called Olivier Monterrubio who plays wide on the left and has an excellent left peg. I reckon he was unlucky not to have been selected for the national team a few years back when he was playing for F.C.Nantes. He seems to be coming back into form. Lens also have Aruna Dindane in a centre forward role who, like many African forwards in the French league, can be lethal one day and absolute crap the next. To finish, Lens brought on near the end a young player called Monnet-Paquet, who they think highly of. It looks like he can play a little bit.
Le Mans, then, deserved just as much to have qualified. They must have a good scouting system there because they've got some very good and relatively unknown players such as the Japanese Matsui, the Brazilians De Melo and Gervinho and their best player last night was a midfielder by the name of Sessegnon. I'll have to find out some more about him.

kabbott
28-02-2008, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Steve Mandanda is at marseille on a full time deal (at least I think so!) and having a fairly good season. I'm not sure he's the finished article yet, though.

I've not seen Costil play at all - maybe kabbot has? Looking at the stats, it doesn't look as though he has played much this year. Still at Caen, though.

Grandin signed for l'OM in January, but hasn't done much so far. Played three and not scored yet.

Actually Steve Mandanda is on a season-long deal from Le Havre. Marseille have an option to sign him permanently at the end of the season. He was actually signed as reserve keeper to Cedric Carusso who consequently got injured right at the start of the season (ligaments, I think). Marseille wondered if Mandanda would be good enough to stand in long term. Mandanda has shown that they were right to put their faith in him. Many a good player has gone to Marseille and never performed because of the very 'ambiance' that surrounds the club, very much like PSG in that respect. Mind you, it only needs one poor performance and he'll be slagged off just like others have in the past. In the meantime, Carusso, I think, has recovered from injury, but it doesn't look like he'll be walking back into the first team quite yet.

BB Bob
28-02-2008, 11:15 AM
Didn't Le Mans' manager leave at the end of the season to join Sochaux and replace Reggie Perrin? If so, the current guy has done even better!

kabbott
29-02-2008, 10:16 AM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Didn't Le Mans' manager leave at the end of the season to join Sochaux and replace Reggie Perrin? If so, the current guy has done even better!

He did. However Frédéric Hantz is no longer the coach of Sochaux, having been sacked during the winter break. He was replaced by Rudi Garcia, former coach of Dijon (Ligue 2) and, before that, St. Etienne.
Sochaux's current coach is none other than François Gillet, former player and coach of F.C.Lens, who was replaced by Jean-Pierre Papin, ex coach of F.C.Strasbourg, who replaced ...

BB Bob
29-02-2008, 10:33 AM
Francois Gillet was the one who always looked like he slept rough! On another note, why is the Lille v Lyon game taking place in Paris?

GodstoneEagle
29-02-2008, 10:44 AM
is he related to nicolas gillet? the defender?

kabbott
29-02-2008, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by GodstoneEagle
is he related to nicolas gillet? the defender?

My mistake. I don't think this is the first time I've mixed them up either. They aren't related simply because it's François Gillot and not François Gillet.
Nicolas Gillet, by the way, is bringing his experience to Ligue 2 table-toppers Le Havre this season. Le Havre are a bit like the Palace, the yo-yo team, and, like Palace, have been more down than up of late.

BB Bob
29-02-2008, 07:33 PM
A couple of quick previews. I really liked Bodmer last season - it's a shame he hasn't had a good run this year.

Live preview: Lille v Lyon
Lyon's Mathieu Bodmer (pictured) will face former club Lille in an historic occasion as the two sides clash in front of a record crowd at Stade de France.
Ligue 1, Matchday 27
Lille v Lyon, Stade de France
Saturday, March 1, 2008 (4.10pm kick-off UK Time)

No matter who wins when Lille face Lyon in a crucial match for both teams, this game will go down in history because it will attract the biggest-ever crowd for a Ligue 1 fixture - as it's being played at Stade de France.

Around 75,000 fans are expected to turn out at France's national stadium for this record-breaking occasion, which will leave the previous best-attendance mark a distant second. A crowd of 57,609 saw Marseille draw 1-1 with Lyon at Stade Velodrome in August 2005 – but with almost 20,000 more fans travelling to the north of Paris for this one, this games promises to be a memorable occasion.

Lille are facing the Ligue 1 leaders here just a week after taking on second-placed Bordeaux – and LOSC coach Claude Puel could be forgiven for thinking he's done something to antagonise the fixture organisers.

But if last Sunday's performance is anything to go by - Lille earned a creditable 1-1 draw against Laurent Blanc's Bordeaux is - then Lille have nothing to fear here. Also ,they can fall back on one of the best head-to-head records against Lyon of any side in the division.

Remarkably, Lille have won five of their last six home games against the six-times champions, although the defeat (2-1) came last season. They triumphed 4-0 in 2005-06, 2-1 in 2004-05, 1-0 in 2003-04, 2-1 in 2002-03 and 2-0 in 2001-02. Survivors of some of those games are still in the Lille ranks (goalkeeper Tony Sylva, captain Gregory Tafforeau and centre-half Nicolas Plestan being among them) so the home side will be far more confident than most about hosting the Ligue 1 leaders, even though the fact this match is being played at Stade de France may mean Lille lose some of their home advantage.

Then there's the matter of Lyon's Champions League last 16 second-leg clash against Manchester United next week. Following an excellent display in the first leg les Lyonnais were a little unlucky to emerge with only a 1-1 draw after Carlos Tevez grabbed a late equaliser for the Premier League champions. But Lyon will not have written off the tie yet – which is why they may be vulnerable here. We have seen them lose twice in Ligue 1 before important European fixtures this season – 1-0 at Caen in December before they went on to secure a thrilling 3-0 victory over Rangers in Glasgow, and 1-0 at Le Mans a fortnight ago before the draw with United.

So Lille have everything to play for, and need the points. They are one of a dozen clubs who are embroiled in the most open relegation battle for years and would love to move up before their game in hand against local rivals Lens at Stade Felix-Bollaert on March 11. They are 14th on 32pts but have only a four-point cushion over Toulouse, who occupy the highest relegation position. A win here could be enough for Puel's men to climb as high as ninth if other games go in their favour. And the boost of a victory over Alain Perrin's side would be the perfect way to launch their season run-in.

It's a big game for Mathieu Bodmer and Kader Keita in particular. The pair transferred from Lille to Lyon last summer after some swashbuckling performances for the northern outfit in Ligue 1 and Europe. Neither has enjoyed an automatic place in Lyon's star-studded team this season but Bodmer recently produced his best performance since his move, scoring twice in Lyon's 4-1 win over Sochaux three weeks ago. Lyon haven't seen the best of flying winger Keita yet – but this could be the ideal match for him to ignite his season if Lyon coach Perrin rotates his squad before the United showdown

BB Bob
29-02-2008, 07:34 PM
Live preview: Bordeaux v PSG
Paul Le Guen (pictured) takes PSG, embroiled in a relegation battle, to Stade Chaban-Delmas. Will Pauleta be the headline act on an emotional occasion for the veteran striker?
Ligue 1, Matchday 27
Bordeaux v PSG, Stade Chaban-Delmas
Sunday, March 2, 2008 (7.55pm kick-off UK Time)

Bordeaux face PSG in the Sunday night clash this weekend with a question playing on supporters' minds: was last week's 0-0 draw v Lille a minor setback in their title challenge or a sign that les Girondins are not yet ready to challenge for the Ligue 1 prize?

The goalless stalemate was Bordeaux's most disappointing home performance of the year and brought to an end a run of six straight victories at Stade Chaban-Delmas. The home players look tired, perhaps not surprising given they had faced Anderlecht in an unsuccessful Uefa Cup clash just three nights earlier.

Lyon's 2-0 win over Metz last Saturday means the gap between the title-chasers now stands at three points, and with Bordeaux yet to travel to Lyon to face the champions it's imperative they pick up maximum points in their home games. That's why coach Laurent Blanc will have spent the week ensuring his players are fully rested and recuperated before the visit of PSG, which is always a massive encounter.

The capital outfit enjoyed a welcome break from the travails of Ligue 1 action when they took on Auxerre in the Coupe de la Ligue semi-final at Parc des Princes on Tuesday night. Their 3-2 triumph – thanks to goals from Mario Yepes, Pauleta and Bernard Mendy – means Paul Le Guen's side have booked their place in the final against Lens at Stade de France on March 29. But now it's back to the important business of staying outside the relegation zone, and PSG still have plenty of work to do.

Following a brief burst of impressive form in January PSG have suffered a downturn in fortunes since, going four games without a win and picking up just two points from a possible 12. That disappointing run of results has left them in 16th place on 31pts, just three points above the relegation zone.

One player who would dearly love to start the match here is Pauleta. The 34-year-old former Portugal international has been relegated to the sidelines for many games this season (although he started v Monaco last weekend) but this will be a major occasion for him if he plays as it pitches together the two clubs he's represented in France. Pauleta joined Bordeaux from Deportivo La Coruna in 1997 and scored 65 goals in 98 league appearances there before switching to PSG in 2000. His tally of 73 goals in 158 Ligue 1 games for his current club means he has averaged a goal every 1.86 goals in Ligue 1, a remarkable record. The man who holds the record as Portugal's all-time highest scorer is set to retire at the end of the season so his will the last opportunity for him to show what he can do against his former employers. Expect it to be an emotional game for one of France's greatest-ever foreign players.

BB Bob
29-02-2008, 07:36 PM
At the moment, St Etienne are hot and Nice are not!!! They'll do well to keep it close, but I can't see Nice scoring, particularly not now that Ederson has got one eye on next season.



Live preview: St Etienne v Nice
Can St Etienne make it three wins in a row as Bafetimbi Gomis (pictured), Pascal Feindouno and Geoffrey Dernis look to inspire the hosts to victory over a Nice side struggling for form?
Ligue 1, Matchday 27
St Etienne v Nice, Stade Geoffrey-Guichard
Sunday 2 March, 2008, 5pm kick-off (UK Time)

The French have a saying, "never one and two without three" – will it come true for St Etienne against Nice in this clash?

Les Verts have enjoyed a scintillating and unexpected upturn in fortunes over the past couple of weeks. First they thrashed Nancy 4-0 at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, making light of the visitors' best defensive record in the division. They followed up by beating Caen 3-1 last weekend – only their second away win of the season – and did so with some style, racing into a 3-0 half-time lead to leave the hosts shellshocked.

So what's the key to the St Etienne revival? Firstly, Pascal Feindouno's return from the Africa Cup of Nations has been a massive boost. The 27-year-old Guinea playmaker has been in wonderful form – he was the architect behind the 4-0 win over Nancy, providing two assists and scoring a penalty himself. He was also impressive at Caen last weekend.

Alongside him Geoffrey Dernis is probably St Etienne's most improved player. The midfield dynamo has a wonderful left foot and exhibited his skills to positive effect last weekend, scoring two long-range strikes against Franck Dumas' side and hitting the bar with a third thunderbolt effort in the second-half to nearly complete a hat-trick. Dernis has become the engine room of the St Etienne midfield.

Up front Bafetimbi Gomis is enjoying the freedom of playing as a lone striker. Having been paired unsuccessfully with Brazilian Ilan for much of the season, the 21-year-old French striker has operated alone in a 4-2-3-1 system in their last two outings – and the new formation appears to suit him. He has notched three goals in those two games, taking his tally to 10 Ligue 1 goals for the season. Gomis' devastating mix of pace, power, direct running and finishing makes him one of Ligue 1's most potent strikers at the moment.

So Nice will have their work cut out here – and having gone six games without a win this looks hardly the ideal occasion for them to get their season back on track. They have fallen from fourth to sixth over the past couple of weeks and home defeats against Marseille (0-2) and Auxerre (1-2) appear to have dented confidence. But their own livewire striker, Bakari Kone, has been unlucky not to score since his return from the Africa Cup of Nations, having produced a couple of exciting displays where only his finishing has let him down. Nice's nine-goal top scorer looks ready to get back on the goals trail so will be the visitors' main danger man in what promises to be a fantastic Sunday afternoon clash.

BB Bob
29-02-2008, 07:46 PM
The other fixtures are:-

20:00 Le Mans Strasbourg

Le Mans may well be knackered after their midweek game. Strasbourg scrapping for points. Draw

20:00 Lens Toulouse

Les Ch'tis playing better, but probably knackered too. Toulouse unlucky last week. Going for the draw again

20:00 Lorient Nancy

Nancy need to get back on track, but, like last season, look to be fading. I'm sounding like a stuck record, but draw again.

20:00 Marseille Auxerre

Auxerre are good defensively, but l'OM look to have the bit between their teeth. Home win

20:00 Metz Caen

Can Caen keep the score down. I'd say yes and away win (but Metz are awful)

20:00 Monaco Valenciennes

Tough call. Can't decide between them, really, so I'll go draw


20:00 Sochaux Rennes

Jimmy Briand had a good game last week. If he can get firing for the last bit of the season, Rennes could go places. Away win.

Mights as well do the others, I guess

Matchday 27 - Sunday, March 02, 2008


18:00 Saint Etienne Nice


Home win

20:55 Bordeaux Paris SG

Home win (but I could be biased)

Sat Lille v Lyon (in Paris)

Tricky match for Lyon. I think Lyon will be preoccupied with the midweek game and, after Bordeaux's slip last week, can take a chance. Still, Lille are fairly tough to break down, so I'm going draw.



That's my take on the weekend ahead - enjoy the games!

kabbott
29-02-2008, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Francois Gillet was the one who always looked like he slept rough! On another note, why is the Lille v Lyon game taking place in Paris?

Your're right François Gillot is a bit of a scruffy g*t!
As for the Lille v Lyon game, Lille have actually been without a ground for two or three seasons now. Their stadium called Grimonprez-Jooris (or something like that) was demolished and a new stadium was to be built on the same site. They then came across problems with the town/city council concerning rebuilding permission - I don't know if the reasons are financial or political etc. So Lille are actually playing in a small stadium at Villeneuve d'Ascq (near Lille) for the time being. I think French footballing laws also make it possible in certain circumstances for teams to play their home games at other grounds. This has also happened in the French rugby union league when the Parisian team Stade Français played Toulouse at the Stade de France in front of something like 80,000 spectators, thus breaking the record for the highest attendance for a club rugby match. I think Stade Français now play at least one match at the Stade de France each season. If my memory serves me correctly I think there was even a European Cup game between Stade Français and maybe Leicester a year or two back.
Apparently Lille have already sold 75,000 tickets for the match (I don't know if this is going to be a record-breaking attendance for a Ligue 1 match. According to press reports, various groups of supporters from both Lille and Lyon are boycotting the match because of the obvious mercantile interests Lille have in staging the match in Paris. But then Lille only have an average of maybe 12,000-15,000 for their home games and Lyon at the most will bring 1,000-2,000. So does that mean there are going to be 70,000 Parisians who are at last going to be able to watch a decent footy match?
The kick-off time coincides with the second-half against Preston so it's going to be another busy afternoon.

kabbott
29-02-2008, 08:48 PM
Can't say much about Benoît Costil. according to statistics, he's only played two league games this season conceding six goals. He is highly thought of over here along with Hugo Lloris of Nice. They are two French U21 international keepers. The other keeper I like is Steven Pélé (great name). Although he let in five against Lens on wednesday, he is one of the reasons why Le Mans have been doing so well this season. He's solder than the other two, 26 I think, and is reaching maturity. His nickname, apparently, is 'The albatross'. Fancy having an albatross playing for the Eagles!?

kabbott
29-02-2008, 08:58 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Steve Mandanda is at marseille on a full time deal (at least I think so!) and having a fairly good season. I'm not sure he's the finished article yet, though.

I've not seen Costil play at all - maybe kabbot has? Looking at the stats, it doesn't look as though he has played much this year. Still at Caen, though.

Grandin signed for l'OM in January, but hasn't done much so far. Played three and not scored yet.

Elliot Grandin played his first game for Marseille in the last 16 of the French Cup and immediately became the fans' favourite, which isn't easy, n'est-ce pas Mr. Cissé?) by setting up Valbuena for a goal and then scoring himself with an audacious overhead kick. He looked pretty good that night. He has the reputation of being a very good player but also a bit of a partygoer too. A young man with a fiery temperament. By choosing to go to Marseille (and its big squad), he's obviously taking a risk. We'll see if it pays off ...

BB Bob
01-03-2008, 08:01 AM
The Lille move completely passed me by! Didn't they used to play in a lovely little stadium on an island just outside the town? I got hopelessly lost walking round it a few years ago and just stumbled across the ground after a couple of hours!

kabbott
01-03-2008, 11:35 AM
I know no more about the old Lille stadium. Concerning the plans for the new one, it will also be at Villeneuve d'Ascq (I'm not sure if it'll be where they're actually playing their home games). It will have a capacity of 50,000 places, will be finished by 2012 and will cost 700,000,000 Euros.
Lyon also have plans for a new stadium. If the project is accepted it will be at Décines (a few kilometres to the east of Lyon), there will be 60,000 places and the cost will be around 450,000,000 Euros. For the Lyon project there are one or two problems. Lyon don't just want to build a stadium but they also want their training facilities there just like they have at Gerland at the moment, and they also want to build an OL Land made up of a leisure complex, hotels and office blocks. The final problem is that only 7,000 parking spaces have been envisaged and public transport would have to be seriously improved. No final decision has yet been made.

kabbott
01-03-2008, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by kabbott
Can't say much about Benoît Costil. according to statistics, he's only played two league games this season conceding six goals. He is highly thought of over here along with Hugo Lloris of Nice. They are two French U21 international keepers. The other keeper I like is Steven Pélé (great name). Although he let in five against Lens on wednesday, he is one of the reasons why Le Mans have been doing so well this season. He's solder than the other two, 26 I think, and is reaching maturity. His nickname, apparently, is 'The albatross'. Fancy having an albatross playing for the Eagles!?

Correction! I meant, of course, Yohann Pélé and not Steven Pélé who is actually his brother who plays for E.A.Guingamp (Ligue 2).

kabbott
01-03-2008, 11:40 AM
This afternoon's Lille v Lyon game will break the record for the highest attendance for a league game, the current record being for a Marseille v Lyon game on the 30th April 1999 when 57,740 spectators turned up, final score 0:0.
The other question is will they beat the attendance for the rugby match between Stade Français on 27th January 2007 when 79,741 spectators were present.
Of the 75,000-80,000 fans expected, 35,000 will come from the Lille region.
Grosso is rested for the Man.U game and replaced by Anthony Réveillère. Will it be Ben Arfa of Fred up front with Benzema and will Bodmer and Keita get a run-out against their old club?

BB Bob
01-03-2008, 03:37 PM
http://www.lfp.fr/images/logoClub/jpg/500080.jpg



Sorry...trying out putting images in!http://www.lfp.fr/images/logoClub/jpg/500208.jpg

Ha ha! Now we're cooking!

kabbott
01-03-2008, 05:20 PM
Game over. Very poor game in front of around 77,000 fans. 1:0 to Lyon with a goal from Fred. Very little action. Benzema was very quiet and subbed after 60 minutes. Ben Arfa came on and showed touches of real class. MOM probably Bodmer. He was very active in the middle of the park. Other than that, nothing much. At least no injuries. Oh and Cris came through 90 minutes unscathed, but then he was only up against Kluivert. Will they risk him against Man.U? That's another question.

BB Bob
02-03-2008, 08:05 AM
Matchday 27: Saturday round-up
Fred (pictured) scored the winner for Lyon over Lille in an historic encounter at the Stade de France, while Djibril Cisse was on target against his former club as Marseille saw of Auxerre 2-1.
Saturday, March 01, 2008

http://www.lfp.fr/images/logoClub/25/500054.gif

>> Match Stats
Lille 0

Lyon 1
Fred 31

Lyon took all three points on an historic occasion against Lille in front of the biggest-ever crowd in Ligue 1 at the Stade de France.

A record-breaking 77,850 fans turned up to celebrate the 10th anniversary of France's national stadium and saw Fred's 31st-minute strike ensure the champions' title defence stayed on course before their Champions League last 16 second-leg clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford next Tuesday.

It was the Brazil international's third goal in two games and his inclusion for a second game running meant Lyon's 16-goal top scprer Karim Benzema started on the left wing in Lyon's 4-3-3 formation. Yet Claude Puel's Lille side, nominally at home, did pose problems for Alain Perrin's visitors. The best chances for the hosts fell to former Lyon striker Pierre-Alain Frau after the break – his first was cleared off the line by Cris, who successfully made his return to Ligue 1 action after six months on the sidelines, and Frau came even closer on 56 minutes when his shot from the edge of the penalty area came back off the crossbar. In injury time Brazilian winger Michel Bastos had a glorious opportunity to equalise when he found himself one-on-one against Lyon goalkeeper Gregory Coupet but somehow shot wide.

Fred's goal came when Lyon right-back Francois Clerc burst down the flank and crossed for the striker to turn the ball neatly past Lille goalkeeper Tony Sylva from close range. Lyon had few other chances to score, the best falling to substitute Hatem Ben Arfa in the second-half but Sylva made a tremendous save.




>> Match Stats
Lorient 0

Nancy 0

Nancy missed the chance to close the gap on Bordeaux after a goalless draw at Lorient, but given the home side's excellent recent form and Nancy's own troubles on the road, manager Pablo Correa could certainly consider it a point gained.

Having failed to win a league game in December and January, Nancy returned to winning ways in February with a couple of much-needed victories. But the 4-0 humbling at St Etienne on Matchday 25 made this visit to Stade du Moustoir a daunting prospect.

Lorient went into the match having won their last five home games, and with Rafik Saifi and Marama Vahirua spearheading the attack fans at the Moustoir rightly expected a decent showing from their side. But in a tight game it was third-placed Nancy that carried the greater goalscoring threat. Their mercurial Brazilian Kim was in top form, creating a series of chances that would have earned all three points for the visitors had they been taken.

The pick of the bunch came just after half-time when Kim picked up the ball on the right-hand side and fired in a perfect cross for Landry N'Guemo to volley goalwards. Only a spectacular full-length save from goalkeeper Fabien Audard kept the score at 0-0. Both sides pressed hard for a winner but it was not to be and a draw was a fair result.




>> Match Stats
Marseille 2
Cana 8, Cisse 22

Auxerre 1
Pedretti 88

Marseille made it seven home wins from seven with a 2-1 victory over Auxerre that maintains their challenge for a top-three place.

First-half goals from captain Lorik Cana and Djibril Cisse, against his former club, were enough to seal the points for Eric Gerets' side as they moved to within three points of third-placed Nancy.

It was a particularly comfortable triumph because Marseille went 2-0 up within the first 25 minutes to virtually kill off the match. First Cana found the target when he capitalised on the normally reliable Auxerre defender Sammy Traore's poor clearance to finish from close range. Then Cisse doubled the hosts' advantage on 22 minutes when his powerful header flew high into the net following a Benoit Cheyrou corner. That goal took the France international's tally to 10 in Ligue 1 this season.

Between those two strikes Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda made a fantastic save from Jean-Pascal Mignot's header, but otherwise Marseille controlled the game from the start until the final five minutes. Jean Fernandez's visitors deserve credit, though, for never giving up and they grabbed a consolation goal two minutes from time when former Marseille midfielder Benoit Pedretti struck a left-foot drive following Dennis Oliech's assist, leaving Mandanda no chance.





>> Match Stats


Le Mans 0

Strasbourg 1
Renteria 22

Tulio De Melo's last-minute penalty miss meant Le Mans suffered their fourth home defeat of the season as Strasbourg picked up a vital win in their relegation battle.

Colombia striker Wason Renteria scored the only goal as Strasbourg's well-organised ranks defended in numbers having taken the lead. Eric Mouloungui, outstanding throughout for the visitors, set up the goal with a cross from the left and Renteria headed home at the far post.

Mouloungui had chances to increase Strasbourg's lead either side of half-time but Yohann Pele came to the rescue in goal on both occasions, making two excellent saves. Le Mans' best chance before their penalty fell to Gervinho nine minutes from time, but Pele's opposite number Stephane Cassard was equal to the challenge.

Then came the potentially vital moment for the hosts, when Strasbourg defender Pierre Ducrocq brought down home midfielder Stephane Sessegnon in the box. De Melo – who is Le Mans' Ligue 1 top scorer with 11 goals this season – stepped up but Cassard dived the right way and brilliantly pushed the ball round the post.

As a result Le Mans fall to fifth while Strasbourg climb to 11th.




>> Match Stats
Monaco 0

Valenciennes 0

This stalemate at the Stade Louis II did little to help the European ambitions of both Monaco and Valenciennes.

Despite the abundance of attacking talent contained within the ranks of the two sides, it was a game virtually bereft of clear-cut goalscoring chances. Indeed, it is an indictment of the match itself that the best opportunity for either side came in the dying moments as both sides threw caution to the wind and finally went in search of a goal that would have surely secured all three points.

With just three minutes left, Monaco were awarded a corner that Djamel Bakar swung in. Forwards and defenders alike attacked the ball, but it somehow eluded everyone, crashed against Nicolas Penneteau's right-hand post and rebounded to safety. It was the closest either side came to scoring, but would have been harsh on Valenciennes who defended stoutly for their point.




>> Match Stats
Metz 2
Diop 38, B Gueye 84 (pen)

Caen 1
Jemaa 82

Metz claimed their third win of the season when Babacar Gueye's late penalty proved enough to earn them three fully-deserved points over fellow promoted side Caen.

The hosts allowed Caen to get back into the match late on but pushed forward for the winner and got what they merited. Their performance over 90 minutes proved that even though they remain Ligue 1's bottom club they have improved dramatically since Yvon Pouliquen took over as manager last December.

Miralem Pjanic set up Metz's opener with a free-kick that Pascal Delhommeau and Babacar Gueye touched on for big centre-half Pape Malik Diop to knock across the line. And for much of the rest of the game it seemed sure to be enough against visitors lacking inspiration. Metz's Switzerland international midfielder Daniel Gygax forced a save from Caen goalkeeper Vincent Plante before half-time and after the break the hosts became more and more confident as Franck Dumas' visitors struggled to find a way through Metz's well-organised defence.

Yoann Gouffran, their six-goal top scorer, was isolated up front but striker Issam Jemaa's arrival 14 minutes from time changed everything as firstly he forced a save from Christophe Marichez with a header and then he equalised moments later after Gouffran pulled the ball back for him to finish. But Metz won a penalty six minutes from time when Reynald Lemaitre brought down Gueye and the Senegal international stepped up to score from the spot.




>> Match Stats
Sochaux 0

Rennes 0

He might have been surplus to requirements at Anfield, but former Liverpool goalkeeper Patrice Luzi was the toast of Rennes after his heroics secured a point at Sochaux.

Brought to Liverpool by Gerard Houllier, Luzi played just one game during his three-year spell in England, but having returned to France after languishing in the Belgian league for two seaons, Luzi is enjoying a new lease of life having deposed regular goalkeeper Simon Pouplin, temporarily at least.

He was called into action early, tipping away a powerful header from striker Sebastien Grax and comfortably dealing with a speculative effort from Michael Isabey. He might have played only a handful of games this season, but it certainly didn't show as Luzi dominated his penalty area at corners and free kicks and made a string of impressive saves.

With Luzi providing a solid foundation, Rennes eventually weathered the Sochaux storm and as the match drew to a close, his attacking colleagues finally fashioned a chance worthy of the name. Set clear by a brilliant ball from Jimmy Briand, Olivier Thomert seemed certain to score but the shot was not good enough to beat Luzi's opposite number Teddy Richert and both sides were forced to settle for a point.




>> Match Stats

Lens 1
Remy 10

Toulouse 1
Emana 74

After the highs of Wednesday's epic 5-4 Coupe de la Ligue semi-final win over Le Mans, Jean-Pierre Papin's Lens side was brought back down to earth by a gutsy performance from struggling Toulouse.

Having also become a grandfather this week, 44-year-old Papin might have been hoping for a third piece of good news, and when Lens scored after just 10 minutes, it looked as though the former France striker might just get his wish. A long crossfield ball from Serbia defender Milan Bisevac caught the Toulouse defence napping and young striker Loic Remy pounced, controlling the ball with his left and planting a right-foot shot past the exposed Toulouse goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez.

With confidence high, Lens went in search of a second goal to kill off a side that hadn't won in the league since mid-December. They almost managed it, with both Olivier Monterrubio and Aruna Dindane letting the visitors off the hook in the first half.

But having been granted a reprieve, it was perhaps inevitable that Toulouse would eventually make their hosts pay for such profligacy. With 15 minutes remaining, the equaliser arrived. And it was simplicity itself, with Paulo Cesar's perfect cross presenting Achille Emana with the easiest of finishes. Having hauled themselves back into the game, Toulouse made life unnecessarily difficult when Nicolas Dieuze was red-carded for a horror tackle on Lens substitute Sidi Keita, but they hung on for a point that was probably deserved.

BB Bob
02-03-2008, 08:06 AM
My guesstimations weren't too far of the mark this week!

BB Bob
02-03-2008, 09:14 PM
http://www.frenchleague.com/photo/moyenFormat/uk0708_Lloris_Nice_R_art.jpg

Meet the next Lyon/PSG/ another top team's next GK!

Nice goalkeper Hugo Lloris produces a man-of-the-match performance in a 0-0 draw with Saint-Etienne at Le Chaudron.
Ligue 1, Matchday 27
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard



Saint-Etienne 0


Nice 0


>> Match Stats



Nice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris produced a string of fine saves to win a point for the south-coast team in a 0-0 draw against Saint-Etienne on Sunday evening.


The French Under-21 guardian was on top form throughout to deny les Verts a healthy win and dent their hopes for a European place come May.

Laurent Roussey's side have been in sparkling form of late and were looking to lift themselves into sixth, level with Nice. Les Aiglons though were never likely to be a pushover and knew that three points of their own would see them challenge Marseille in fourth.

Nice's line-up underwent a last minute change before kick-off with the replacement of Cyril Rool for Gérald Cid - the former taking ill with a stomach problem.

The reshuffle unnerved the Nice defence as within three minutes of the start Bafetimbi Gomis moved into space and thrashed a shot just wide of Lloris' post.

Just five minutes later Landrin went close with a diverted effort before Geoffrey Dernis, Siaka Tiéné and Pascal Feindouno all forced the young stopper into action as Saint-Etienne dominated the early exchanges.

Nice emerged from their stupor halfway through the first period but the best they could manage in front of goal was a wayward effort from Hellebuyck.

The lack of intensity from the visitors forced coach Frédéric Antonetti to make a change at half-time with Anthony Modeste making way for Habib Bamogo and the switch had the desired effect as on 48 minutes the Brazilian Ederson forced his way through the Saint-Etienne defence and tested Viviani.

But before too long Lloris though was called back into action with two fine stops from Dernis.

Despite their strong start to the second-half Nice failed to trouble their hosts much more and had to count on Lloris in a frantic last few minutes to keep them in the game, Malick Faye denied at the death with yet another match-saving stop from the 21-year-old.

BB Bob
02-03-2008, 09:17 PM
http://www.frenchleague.com/photo/grandFormat/uk_0708_wendel_bordeaux_mono.jpg

Bordeaux really keeping the pressure on with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over PSG (huzzah!)

Wonderful Wendel
A Wendel hat-trick blasts PSG away as Bordeaux hang on to the heels of Lyon at the top of Ligue 1.
Ligue 1, Matchday 27, 2008
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Stade Chaban Delmas
Bordeaux 3
Wendel 33, 49, 51

PSG 0

Match Stats

Bordeaux closed the gap on leaders Lyon with a comfortable win over PSG courtesy of a hat-trick from the Brazilian Wendel.

Fresh from qualifying for the League Cup final and with the league’s second-best away record, PSG were expected to test Bordeaux’s title credentials but instead les Girondins swept aside the capital club along with the doubters who expressed concern with their championship aspirations after last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Lille.

Wendel’s goals came in a 21 minute spell either side of half-time with PSG unable to formulate a suitable response.

The home side started slowly but soon had PSG’s goal in their sights with Fernando Cavenaghi shooting into Mickael Landreau’s side-netting.

The chance served as a warning to the visitors and less than two minutes later Wendel opened his account with a fine shot Landreau could do nothing about.

Two weekends ago Bordeaux scored six without reply in the second-half against Monaco and a similar rout seemed on the cards when within three minutes of the restart Wendel made it 2-0 with a smart volley which crept in off the post.

Three minutes later and it was three with the 25-year-old powering a header past the stranded Landreau.

Ramé saved well at the other end to prevent PSG from grabbing a consolation but Bordeaux always looked like ending up with another two or three. Cavenaghi missed a chance for his team’s fourth before the referee blew his final whistle and ended PSG’s misery.

The defeat leaves the capital club bordering on the ‘zone rouge’, a position which they have occupied for much of the season. Ahead of Toulouse by two points and Sochaux by three Paul Le Guen’s side are well aware of the importance of the month ahead. A League Cup win would alleviate some of the pressure on the former Lyon and Glasgow Rangers boss but Ligue 1 survival remains a trophy in its own right.

By contrast, Bordeaux go from strength to strength and with a visit to the Stade Gerland next weekend, Laurent Blanc will know that a win at the champions will blow the title race wide open…



Looks like being a cracker next weekend......

BB Bob
03-03-2008, 06:29 AM
Results and table for Ligue 1

17:10 Lille 0 - 1 Lyon
20:00 Le Mans 0 - 1 Strasbourg
20:00 Lens 1 - 1 Toulouse
20:00 Lorient 0 - 0 Nancy
20:00 Marseille 2 - 1 Auxerre
20:00 Metz 2 - 1 Caen
20:00 Monaco 0 - 0 Valenciennes
20:00 Sochaux 0 - 0 Rennes
Matchday 27 - Sunday, March 02, 2008
18:00 Saint Etienne 0 - 0 Nice
20:55 Bordeaux 3 - 0 Paris SG

and table

1 Lyon 27 17 4 6 +27 55
2 Bordeaux 27 15 7 5 +20 52
3 Nancy 27 11 12 4 +11 45
4 Marseille 27 11 9 7 +9 42
5 Le Mans 27 12 4 11 -3 40
6 Nice 27 9 12 6 +4 39
7 Monaco 27 10 7 10 +1 37
8 Lorient 27 9 10 8 -4 37
9 Valenciennes 27 10 6 11 +5 36
10 Saint Etienne 27 10 6 11 +2 36
11 Strasbourg 27 9 8 10 0 35
12 Caen 27 9 8 10 -7 35
13 Auxerre 27 10 5 12 -10 35
14 Rennes 27 9 7 11 -6 34
15 Lille 26 6 14 6 +3 32
16 Lens 26 8 8 10 -2 32
17 Paris SG 27 7 10 10 -3 31
18 Toulouse 27 6 11 10 -7 29
19 Sochaux 27 6 10 11 -9 28
20 Metz 27 3 6 18 -31 15


What a huge week ahead for Lyon. Away at Man U and then home to Bordeaux next weekend. It's twitchy bottom time...

BB Bob
04-03-2008, 08:34 AM
Ligue 2 review for you diehard fans....

Troyes halt Le Havre charge
Troyes come back to beat Le Havre 4-1 to move within six points of the Ligue 2 leaders.
Ligue 2 frontrunners Le Havre were dealt a blow to their promotion aspirations on Monday with a 4-1 defeat away to challengers Troyes.
Having taken the lead inside 23 minutes through Guillaume Horarau, the leaders seemed set for their 16th win of the season. However, four quick fire goals in the last 24 minutes ensured Troyes a deserved victory.

On Friday, Nantes failed to take top spot with a 2-2 draw against Libourne-Saint-Seurin. The Ligue 2 minnows, in 19th place, took the league twice before an 88th minute equaliser from Filip Djordjevic saved a point for les Canaris.

Bastia lost the chance to close the gap on the top three with a 1-0 defeat at home to Grenoble, a win which allows the Japanese-owned club to move level with the Corsican outfit in fifth.

Bottom club Gueugnon lost their fifth match on the spin – 1-0 at home to Brest – while third from last Dijon won handsomely, 3-1, over Clermont.

Matchday 26 - Friday, February 29, 2008
20:00 Ajaccio 0 - 0 Reims
20:00 Boulogne 2 - 1 Amiens
20:00 Dijon 3 - 1 Clermont
20:00 Gueugnon 0 - 1 Brest
20:00 Guingamp 2 - 1 Sedan
20:00 Montpellier 1 - 0 Angers
20:00 Nantes 2 - 2 Libourne-St Seurin
20:00 Niort 2 - 1 Châteauroux
20:30 Grenoble 1 - 0 Bastia
Matchday 26 - Monday, March 03, 2008
20:30 Troyes 4 - 1 Le Havre


Ligue 2 Orange P W D L GD Pts
1 Le Havre 26 15 8 3 +19 53
2 Nantes 26 15 7 4 +19 52
3 Troyes 26 14 8 4 +16 50
4 Bastia 25 12 6 7 +11 41
5 Grenoble 26 11 8 7 +8 41
6 Montpellier 26 10 9 7 +8 39
7 Clermont 26 9 12 5 +7 39
8 Sedan 26 9 9 8 +1 36
9 Angers 26 9 9 8 +1 36
10 Ajaccio 26 9 9 8 -3 36
11 Brest 26 9 7 10 -8 34
12 Guingamp 26 8 9 9 0 33
13 Boulogne 26 8 6 12 -8 30
14 Reims 25 8 6 11 -10 30
15 Amiens 26 7 8 11 -3 29
16 Châteauroux 26 7 8 11 -5 29
17 Niort 26 7 5 14 -8 26
18 Dijon 26 5 11 10 -15 26
19 Libourne St Seurin 26 4 9 13 -14 21
20 Gueugnon 26 2 8 16 -16 14

BB Bob
05-03-2008, 12:50 PM
A good article from the Guardian web-site. suddenly things start to make sense....

Win in Paris cannot hide Perrin's problems
Dressing-room unrest and impending Champions League elimination is piling the pressure of Alain Perrin at Lyon
Ben LyttletonMarch 4, 2008 11:11 AM
The next six days could determine the future of Alain Perrin as Lyon coach. The French champions are not expected to beat Manchester United in tonight's Champions League second leg tie but a heavy defeat will certainly increase the pressure before next weekend's top-of-the-table clash against Bordeaux. And the omens do not look good: this weekend, Lyon put in another laboured performance as they beat Lille 1-0 at the Stade de France, while Bordeaux remain three points off the pace with an impressive 3-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain (well done Mr Wendel, superb hat-trick - especially number three, this spectacular header from outside the area).

Perrin did himself no favours on Saturday night and even managed to upset two players who could trouble United. Ligue 1's top scorer (and best player) Karim Benzema started the game on the left wing while Hatem Ben Arfa, who normally plays there, was on the bench. Benzema made his displeasure clear when he was subbed off, running straight down the tunnel without acknowledging the oncoming Ben Arfa. "I think I have done enough by now to show the coach what my best position is," sniffled Benzema, not unreasonably.

Ben Arfa, meanwhile, was surprised that he started the first leg against United on the bench. Perrin said the player was tired "and needs to learn to be more of a team player". "I'm 20 years old and I know I have faults in my game, I can't be perfect," Ben Arfa responded. "I was upset [about being benched] but I got over it." The relationship between Ben Arfa and the coach - and indeed, with Benzema, with whom he famously does not get on - has been strained since Perrin asked for a left-winger at the start of the season as he didn't rate Ben Arfa. The youngster's performances since have not helped Perrin's status.

It was Fred, another player who has caused Perrin problems this season - he wanted to leave, he wanted more money, he spent an extra month in Brazil without the club's permission - who scored the only goal of the game, which hardly did justice to the special venue, the Stade de France marking its 10th birthday, and providing a record 77,850 crowd for a Ligue 1 match.

The two main charges against Perrin concern his man-management skills and his tactics in big matches. Juninho, the captain, criticised both after Lyon's dismal 3-0 defeat - a score that flattered them - to Barcelona on Champions League Matchday One. Even president Jean-Michel Aulas questioned the team, with two left-backs in it, picked by Perrin. That, and last weekend's strange selection - coupled with Perrin's continued failure to tell Fabio Grosso he is a left-back and not a left-winger - have left fans fearing the worst.

Perrin's critics have also brought up his last Champions League experience, as Marseille coach. "I have a new tactical plan that will make things very difficult for the opposition," he said before taking Marseille to Real Madrid in September 2003. Marseille took the lead but were 2-1 down at half-time, at which point Perrin laid into two of his players (Habib Beye and Vedran Runje) so much that it turned the rest of the squad against him - for the rest of the season. Oh, and Real Madrid won 4-2. "Perrin would sometimes speak to us badly as a team and little by little the dressing-room was completely destabilised," remembered Mido, who played in that game. Perrin eventually lost so much support that he told the players to manage themselves at half-time against Nice - they did and won 2-1.

The situation is nowhere near as critical at Lyon although all eyes will be on Perrin's big decisions at Old Trafford. Selection-wise, he has three calls to make: one, whether to play Mathieu Bodmer (technical but slow) or Kim Kallstrom (more physical, and a slightly more defensive choice) in midfield; two, whether to keep Fred (three goals in two games) in the side and risk upsetting the balance of the normal 4-3-3 - which I don't expect to happen; three, crucially, whether to start with Cris. The Brazilian is a talismanic figure at centre-back, but played his first game for six months at the weekend and might not be ready for such a big match. "We will see how he has recovered from the Lille game," said Perrin, who knows full well that he will be damned whatever decisions he makes if the result goes against them.

There are some people at the club who welcome the pressure on Perrin. "Either he goes or I go this summer," physio Robert Duverne was recently quoted as telling Aulas. The pair have not resolved their issues since Perrin questioned Duverne's pre-season preparations within weeks of arriving at the club, and it might not be as easy a decision as it looks: Duverne has been at the club since 1991, was France's physio at the last World Cup ("we would not have got to the final were it not for Robert," Raymond Domenech has said) and is a popular figure with Lyon's senior players. Which, at the moment, is more than can be said for the coach.

Aulas has let it be known that he is disappointed Lyon are stumbling towards the title and are not dominating opponents as they did in previous seasons. Bordeaux, not Lyon, now play the most attractive football in the league, while the team remains reliant on Benzema, who along with Juninho's free-kicks, represent Lyon's best chance of an away goal tonight.

Aulas's nose may have grown after he recently denied reports that he made an approach to Jose Mourinho last September. He may be reaching for his contacts book again if Lyon are beaten twice this week.

Results: Lille 0-1 Lyon, Lorient 0-0 Nancy, Le Mans 0-1 Strasbourg, Marseille 2-1 Auxerre (Marseille now up to fourth and looking good for a podium finish), Monaco 0-0 Valenciennes, Metz 2-1 Caen, Sochaux 0-0 Rennes, Lens 1-1 Toulouse, Saint-Etienne 0-0 Nice, Bordeaux 3-0 PSG ("We're in danger," admits Paul le Guen as they slip to 17th)

kabbott
05-03-2008, 01:00 PM
Right, that's the Champions' League out of the way for Lyon. I think Sunday's match is going to be all or nothing against Bordeaux. Either they'll brush Bordeaux aside and re-establish themselves as favourites to win the Championship again, or Bordeaux will defeat a mentally and phsically diminished Lyon side. Will Perrin make changes? Govou hasn't looked too good since coming back from injury. Will Ben Arfa be sanctioned again for not doing the business? Will Keita be given a chance to justify his transfer fee? Bodmer, unlucky not to have been selected against Man U, may be given a game too. The atmosphere in the changing room between players is said to be not too good and Perrin hasn't fully convinced President Aulas. This could be the beginning of the end for Lyon!

BB Bob
05-03-2008, 01:20 PM
I don't know if it was a question of Manure being tactically on the money or what, but Lyon never really seemed to play with the passion or desire to win the game last night. Ben Arfa is still young and playing in that kind of stadium and that kind of crowd looked to have got to him yesterday. Benzema was well shackled for most of the game and had a fairly frustrating night. On the plus side, Cris came through the game and that can only help at the weekend.

As you say, it is all set up for a fantastic night on Sunday! I don't think that Lyon realistically expected to get through last night (I think the probability is something like 23% of teams having drawn at home and conceded make it through?) and they didn't get stuffed. Now, all you need is a canny manager who can motivate the team and come up with a tactical masterstroke to swipe aside the cocky upstarts......oh dear!

kabbott
05-03-2008, 03:37 PM
The Guardian article is spot on. President Aulas is not an easy man to get on with. Fair play to him, though. When he became President, Lyon were, I think, a Ligue 2 outfit, or, at best, a modest Ligue 1 side. (I'll have to check that out!) To get them where they are today is down to his shrewd presidency. But you still have to wonder why Paul le Guen, after taking over from Jacques Santini, was off after three titles - he said he didn't want to do 'la saison de trop'. And Gérard Houllier, a man with stacks of experience and respect, didn't fancy hanging around for too long either. Too much for his heart, maybe. So Reggie Perrin is on a hiding to nothing. If things go pear-shaped in the Ligue, he'll be off sooner rather than later, and at the most if they win the title again at the end of the season he'll be off anyway. Then the question will be: Qui pour le remplacer? My money will/would be on Claude Puel, the current Lille coach. Anyway, we'll see what happens on Sunday evening first ...

BB Bob
06-03-2008, 09:29 AM
Claude Puel? I can't put my hand on my heart and say that Lille are the most attractive of teams to watch. It's all a bit George Graham, if you know what I mean.

There is a scarcity of decent candidates though, particularly French ones! Mourinho would have been interesting, but far too small a pool for the chosen one to swim in. Maybe he'll go for Antoinetti from Nice :p

BB Bob
06-03-2008, 07:32 PM
Good piece in l'equipe today about M. 'Dead Man Walking' perrin. One name put up is Remy Garde. I know the name, but I am sitting on a train at the moment and can't place it. Is it a good shout?

It also points out that even if he wins the league, Perrin will probably still go. Give him a double with the Coupe de France, however, and it starts to get a bit murkier. And with lowly Sochaux (perrin's ex-club) waiting in the next round and the plot thickens...

Meanwhile OM are the last man standing, playing Zenith St Petersburg (managed by Dick advocaat) in the uefa cup tonight. They almost managed to throw a 3 goal lead away in moscow in the last round, so who knows this time. I would guess that 3rd place in the Ligue is more important to them.

Honestly, how can you not love football a la francais!

kabbott
06-03-2008, 07:58 PM
There was the obvious post mortem in l'Equipe this morning. Nothing new that we didn't already know. No passion, no pride, almost as if they were happy not to get spanked. Govou and Ben Arfa had to play deep to thwart the Man U attacks. Ben Arfa ver deep because Grosso just can't defend. Look at the Man U goal again. Grosso was hopelessly out of position. At half time it didn't really matter that they were losing, they just didn't/couldn't? throw caution to the wind in the second half. TV ratings were poor too which suggests even the French public didn't believe too much in a Lyon victory.
One thing that wasn't mentioned in the Guardian article is the role played by Bernard Lacombe. Don't know if you've heard of this guy. One of the highest goalscorers in the history of the French Championnat, he played for both Lyon and Bordeaux in the 70s and 80s. He also scored the French goal in the World Cup Final group stages against England in 1978 or 1982 (I'm not sure which one) when Bryan Robson scored after about 30 seconds. I'm not sure if he managed Lyon or not about 10 or so years ago, but he has been President Aulas's 'special adviser' at least for that long. I'm pretty convinced he's a sh*t stirrer within the club. When he gave his 'expert' comments on the Lyon matches on local TV he was always moaning about everything. (this is my personal opinion, so I could be wrong!)
What was mentioned in L'Equipe was the name of a possible successor to Reggie Perrin whenever: Rémi Garde (ex Lyon and the first of the French Connection to arrive at Arsenal). His job this season is spying on Lyon's opposition in France and abroad. It's quite possible he is being groomed to be the next Lyon manager.

kabbott
06-03-2008, 08:06 PM
Oh! Well played BB Bob! You beat me to it! I actually started typing this about an hour ago but had to do a little bedtime reading in the meantime. Now I'm off to see if there's footy on TV tonight. I've just seen thet Munich have put 5 past Anderlecht with a goal from Ribéry.

kabbott
06-03-2008, 08:11 PM
Marseille 3:0 up after an hour's play (2 from Cissé and 1 from Niang). It's true they're shakier away from home so the 2nd leg might still be fun unless they score a few more!

BB Bob
06-03-2008, 08:24 PM
I can't believe it will be as cold next time marseille play in Russia! That looked absolutely freezing last time

mik59
06-03-2008, 08:40 PM
Good ol' Lyon. Just hope that all said above doesn't destabilise them. Sorry to hear Lyon are moving from the Gerland as I rather liked it (apart from having to leave all one's water etc outside despite me being unable to throw anywhere near the ptich!) and that Lille no longer have a proper stadium as I hoped to see a game there on my next trip. Also glad Caen are safe as have a mate from there and told me last year they could get relegated. Typical pessimistic Frenchman!

BB Bob
06-03-2008, 08:54 PM
Caen aren't really safe. They had a great first half of the season, but have been awful since. Shipping in goals and even losing to Metz last week - they need to get their act together soon.

You could always go to see Lens instead! I might even join you if I can co-ordinate the dates. I've been promising my son that I'll take him for a while!

mik59
06-03-2008, 08:57 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Caen aren't really safe. They had a great first half of the season, but have been awful since. Shipping in goals and even losing to Metz last week - they need to get their act together soon.

You could always go to see Lens instead! I might even join you if I can co-ordinate the dates. I've been promising my son that I'll take him for a while! Oh, on Caen, and oooh! on Lens. SteveK and I have a mate who's a fan. This could be an idea.

mik59
06-03-2008, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
You could always go to see Lens instead! I might even join you if I can co-ordinate the dates. I've been promising my son that I'll take him for a while! Looked at fixtures and given time I may need to get act together, will probably have to be an April-June game. What do you fancy?

05/04/2008 : Lens - Metz
19/04/2008 : Lens - Sochaux
03/05/2008 : Lens - Monaco
10/05/2008 : Lille - Lens [included in case is played within reach]
17/05/2008 : Lens - Bordeaux

Fancy Metz game as could be a doozy and won't do our Stoke game. But then any of last 3 are doable.

kabbott
06-03-2008, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by mik59
Good ol' Lyon. Just hope that all said above doesn't destabilise them. Sorry to hear Lyon are moving from the Gerland as I rather liked it (apart from having to leave all one's water etc outside despite me being unable to throw anywhere near the ptich!) and that Lille no longer have a proper stadium as I hoped to see a game there on my next trip. Also glad Caen are safe as have a mate from there and told me last year they could get relegated. Typical pessimistic Frenchman!

It's true Caen are in freefall at the moment. Losing to Metz was not too clever. Manager Franck Dumas seems to be putting it down to bad luck. So at least he's remaining untypically optimistic!
The Gerland stadium is nice too. It's a listed building, having been designed, I believe by a famous architect, so they can't actually make it any bigger. The last two improvements were made prior to the European Nations' Cup in 1984 (I remember having a good night out with a load of Danes after one of their games in Lyon) and then again just before the Word Cup in 1998.
I was lucky enough to have a guided tour of the stadium and its installations a few months back. Going into the changing rooms, walking down the tunnel and gracing the 'hallowed' turf were pretty good. Still not as good as going into Anfield for that 3rd round F.A.Cup match in '77 (I think) as a young teen or doing Old Trafford for our first season back in the first division in '79 (i think, again -1:1 goal from Swindlehurst.

BB Bob
08-03-2008, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by mik59
Looked at fixtures and given time I may need to get act together, will probably have to be an April-June game. What do you fancy?

05/04/2008 : Lens - Metz
19/04/2008 : Lens - Sochaux
03/05/2008 : Lens - Monaco
10/05/2008 : Lille - Lens [included in case is played within reach]
17/05/2008 : Lens - Bordeaux

Fancy Metz game as could be a doozy and won't do our Stoke game. But then any of last 3 are doable.

I'll have to check with diary, ex-wife and current wife! The first two, I know that my son is in Australia. I'll come back to you on the others...

BB Bob
08-03-2008, 12:52 PM
http://www.frenchleague.com/photo/grandFormat/uk0708_Fred_Lyon_mono.jpg

Weekend preview (a bit late!)

The pressure is on Alain Perrin's hosts as Laurent Blanc takes Bordeaux to face the champons on their own patch intent on drawing level at the top.
Ligue 1, Matchday 28
Lyon v Bordeaux
Stade de Gerland
Sunday, March 9, 2008 (7.55pm kick-off UK time)

At last! A genuine title decider. Lyon have dominated Ligue 1 to such an extent over the past six seasons that it's a long time since two clubs have gone head-to-head in a game, in the second-half of a season, that could decide where the Ligue 1 crown will end up. But that's exactly the situation here as Lyon take on second-placed Bordeaux, who will run out in front of a sell-out Stade de Gerland crowd full of confidence.

Lyon are top of Ligue 1 on 55pts while Bordeaux – who looked mightily impressve in beating PSG 3-0 last weekend - are just three points behind on 52pts. Laurent Blanc's visitors have produced a series of phenomenal displays to claw back the deficit since the turn of the year and the pressure is on Lyon to defend their prize against the up-and-coming Girondins.

Where will the match be won? Hard to say, but what's not in doubt is that both teams look better going forward than defending. Lyon have been more vulnerable at the back this season than during previous terms even though the return of their main centre-half and talisman Cris after seven months on the sidelines ought to give them added security. Full-backs Francois Clerc and Fabio Grosso are both better attacking than defending and will need to be careful not to get caught out of position here.

Further forward, there's no doubting Lyon's talents. Juninho remains the world's best free-kick taker while 20-year-old striker Karim Benzema is Ligue 1's 16-goal top scorer. But to add to Lyon coach Alain Perrin's options, Brazil international Fred has returned to full fitness and form in the past few weeks, notching three goals in his last two Ligue 1 outings to provide competition for places and give Bordeaux something else to worry about.

Yet the visitors have their very own Brazilian magician. Left-sided midfielder Wendel struck a sublime hat-trick – his second of the season – against PSG last weekend to give Lyon warning about his ability. He is one of the most technically gifted players in the French game, with his left foot a fantastic weapon from long range or set-pieces. And he's not the only Brazilian who can do damage, either – central midfielder Fernando recently returned from injury and is a box-to-box player who will be pivotal to Bordeaux's chances.

But the man Lyon really need to watch out for is Argentine Fernando Cavenaghi. The 24-year-old has been in tremendous form since the turn of the year. Having finally pinned down a first-team spot he's rewarded Blanc's faith in him by scoring 11 in 13 appearances in all competitions to become the most feared front man in France at the moment. A player with a natural eye for goal and comfortable with either foot, Cavenaghi is as dangerous for Bordeaux and Benzema as Fred are for the hosts.

With so much at stake and potential match-winners all over the pitch, this promises to be the most exciting and important Ligue 1 match of the season. Don't miss it – tune in to catch the action.

BB Bob
08-03-2008, 12:54 PM
http://www.frenchleague.com/photo/moyenFormat/uk_0708_Pauleta_PSG_2_art.jpg

Live preview: Rennes v PSG
Pauleta is likely to start the match for PSG as the capital outfit seek their first win in six games to ease relegation worries against a Rennes side far from out of danger themselves.
Ligue 1, Matchday 28
Rennes v PSG
Stade de la Route de Lorient
Saturday, March 8, 2008 (4.10pm kick-off UK time)

Guy Lacombe will be looking for revenge as he leads Rennes into battle against PSG, the club he left 14 months ago.

Lacombe parted company with the capital outfit because of disappointing Ligue 1 results despite leading the club to their Coupe de France triumph over Marseille at the Stade de France in May 2006, which was one of the most memorable moments in the club's recent history. After spending some time out of the game he was appointed Rennes coach last December by the club's sporting director Pierre Dreossi, who had held the dual positions of coach and sporting director himself but decided to split the positions between himself and Lacombe so he could concentrate solely on working upstars.

Now Lacombe and Dreossi are working together to mastermind Rennes' escape from relegation – and this match against PSG could prove vital to their chances of staying up. Rennes are 14th on 34pts while PSG have slipped to 17th on 31pts, but with much bunching going on at the bottom of the Ligue 1 table, positions are changing from one week to the next.

Rennes earned a valuable point with a 0-0 draw away to 19th-placed Sochaux last weekend having beaten Brittany rivals Lorient 2-0 in the derby clash the week before, so it's been a good fortnight for Lacombe and his players. The same cannot be said of PSG, however – they drew 1-1 at home to Monaco two weeks ago before losing 3-0 to title chasers Bordeaux last Sunday. Paul Le Guen's side have now gone five games without a win, which is why they're struggling near the foot.

One man PSG will have to watch is their mercurial former midfielder Jerome Leroy. Rennes, his latest club in a nomadic career, have benefited from his vision and guile this season – he's produced some excellent performances down the right-hand side in Rennes' 4-2-3-1 formation and linked well with fellow veteran attacker Mickael Pagis as well as centre-forward Jimmy Briand. Indeed, such has been Leroy's impact since his arrival from Sochaux last summer, he's become Rennes' major creative force, which is one of the reasons why Sylvain Wiltord finds himself on the bench at the moment.

PSG have a pedigree veteran striker of their own in Pauleta, who is likely to start as Peguy Luyindula is injured. Portugal's all-time leading goalscorer will be motivated every time he plays because he is retiring at the end of the season and would love to add to his remarkable tally of 138 Ligue 1 goals in order to help PSG avoid the drop. Veterans could well be to the fore here – tune in and enjoy their skills.

BB Bob
08-03-2008, 12:55 PM
http://www.frenchleague.com/photo/moyenFormat/uk0708_Cisse_Marseille_3_ar.jpg

Live preview: Marseille v St Etienne
Djibril Cisse will be a key figure for Marseille yet again as they look to make it eight straight wins on home soil in Ligue 1 with a victory over a St Etienne who have improved in recent weeks.
Ligue 1, Matchday 28
Marseille v St Etienne
Stade Velodrome
Sunday, March 9, 2008 (5pm kick-off UK time)

Lyon may be the current kings of French football – but no two clubs have won more titles than Marseille and St Etienne.

Les Verts remain slightly ahead of their rivals with 10 Ligue 1 crowns but Marseille, who enjoyed their period of dominance in the late 1980s and early 1990s after also collecting titles in the early 1970s, are only slightly behind with eight triumphs to their name. And while neither will add to that tally this season, there are genuine signs of progress for both, particularly Marseille.

L'OM go into this game on a run of seven straight home league wins and added to their burgeoning reputation with a terrific 3-1 victory over Zenit St Petersburg in the Uefa Cup last 16 first-leg clash against the Russian champions at Stade Velodrome on Thursday night. Confidence is high at the moment, with Marseille playing the sort of exciting, free-flowing football their fanatical fans last enjoyed during the club's heyday.

Djibril Cisse scored twice on Thursday with strike partner Mamadou Niang adding another to underline their credentials as probably the most formidable duo up front anywhere in France right now. The pair have notched a remarkable 26 goals - 13 each - in Marseille's last 27 matches in all competitions. That tally is even more impressive if you recall that Niang spent time away on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Senegal in January and February. Twin playmakers Mathieu Valbuena and France international Samir Nasri continue to pull the strings to great effect behind the front two, and with the danger coming from all four players Marseille are difficult to stop.

One man who will be keen to measure himself against Cisse and Niang is Bafetimbi Gomis. The 21-year-old striker is one of the rising stars of French football and has found the target consistently this season even though St Etienne have blown hot and cold. He has 10 goals in Ligue 1 and may count himself a little unlucky not to have received a call-up to the France squad, particularly since national team coach Raymond Domenech named an enlarged group of 36 players for France's full international v Spain and B international v Congo last month. But with his pace, directness and frighteningly powerful shooting ability, Gomis' time will surely come.

Marseille have climbed from 19th last November to fourth place now and are bearing down on a Champions League spot, which is why every game is so vital for them. St Etienne have taken seven points from a possible nine to move up to 10th and have not given up hope of claiming a European place themselves. With so much at stake, this promises to be an tense and exciting encouner between two of Ligue 1's most attack-minded sides.


This one is on Setanta tomorow pm

BB Bob
08-03-2008, 03:16 PM
Time for some more naff predictions:-

Matchday 28 - Saturday, March 08, 2008

17:10 Rennes Paris SG

Thinks are getting serious at PSG now. No doubt the refs will start to favour them as usual before the end of the season, but I am going for Guy Lacombe to add more misery to Paul le Guen and a home win.

20:00 Auxerre Lens

A tricky call. Auxerre sound defensively and Len needing the points. A draw, but could go either way

20:00 Caen Lorient

Now I really want Caen to turn it around here and it is about time. Lorient have only won one away all season, so maybe tonights the night. Home win

20:00 Nancy Monaco

Things getting ugly on the coast for Ricardo, with Piquionne openly questioning his tactics. Nancy fading fast though, but should have enough to get past ASM

20:00 Nice Le Mans

Nice were fantastic at home until recently and they have struggled over the last few weeks. Didn't create much against St Ettienne last week and look to be fading. Lloris is playing well, though, so I'm going for the draw.

20:00 Strasbourg Metz

The Metz train to come off the rails again. Home win.

20:00 Toulouse Sochaux

Relegation dogfight. Neither side can afford to lose, but I like Elie Baup and his rather dodgy headware. Toulouse were unlucky last week but I think they'll do it tonight. Home win.

20:00 Valenciennes Lille

Lille have drawn 7 of their 11 away games and I reckon will do so again today. Draw

Matchday 28 - Sunday, March 09, 2008
18:00 Marseille Saint Etienne

You can't bet against Marseille in the Stade Velodrome at the moment. Home win, but could be a corker

20:55 Lyon Bordeaux

Ah. The tricky one. Lyon back from a disappointing Euro exit. Bordeaux on fire. Wendel's goals last week were fantastic and Cavenaghi looks good. Bordeaux have the best away record in the league. Lyon have the best home record. My water tells me this could be a difficult night for kabbott and an away win (but that might just be something I drank!)


Enjoy the weekend (and let's hope Palace can turn some of their domination into some goals in the second half!)

Rob

kabbott
08-03-2008, 05:18 PM
Well played BB Bob. Rennes have just beaten PSG 2:0. Although I respect Paul Le Guen a lot, I'd love to see PSG in Ligue 2 next season, taking on the likes of Chateauroux.
Time is short, so here is my Loto Sportif:
Auxerre v Lens : Draw
Caen v Lorient : Draw
Nancy v Monaco : Draw
Nice v Le Mans : Home win
Strasbourg v Metz : Home win
Toulouse v Sochaux : Home win (and PSG drop into the relegation zone!)
Valenciennes v Lille : Draw

Marseille v St. Etienne : Draw

Lyon v Bordeaux : emphatic home win (Is this my head or my heart talking? Lyon could be knackered physically and psychologically, but I think they'll be up for this. I reckon Reggie will stick to the same team and say to them,''Prove you're still the best in France, boys!'') .Blinders from Benzema, Ben Arfa and a stunning free kick from Juni to put the proverbial 'cerise sur le gâteau'. If that's not the kiss of death ... Bon match! A plus!

Must get a post going on the up and coming Paris-Nice cycling race.

BB Bob
09-03-2008, 08:39 AM
Originally posted by kabbott

Must get a post going on the up and coming Paris-Nice cycling race.

PM me when you do! I've got into the cycling a bit and the Paris -Nice race is the last big one before le Tour, isn't it?

Just realised it's not! Is it the first of the season?

BB Bob
09-03-2008, 08:41 AM
Matchday 28: Saturday round-up
Youssouf Hadji (pictured) grabbed one of Nancy's goals in their 2-0 win over Monaco while Metz produced a stunning comeback to beat Strasbourg 3-2 in a bottom-half battle.


Ligue 1, Matchday 28


Nancy 2
Modesto own goal 5, Hadji 20

Monaco 0

Match Stats

Nancy maintained their unbeaten home run while also staying on the heels of the leading pair Lyon and Bordeaux with a comfortable 2-0 win against Monaco. A first-half own goal from François-Joseph Modesto coupled with a header from Youssouf Hadji secured the victory with the help of some missed chances from the principality team.

The home side took the lead after only four minutes, when Modesto directed a Michaël Chrétien free-kick past his own goalkeeper, Stephane Ruffier. It was a terrible start for Ricardo's outfit.

Monaco pushed forward in search of an equaliser and when Frédéric Biancalani felled Djamel Bakar in the box they were handed an immediate chance to pull level. Serge Gakpé stepped up to take the spot kick but Gennaro Bracigliano dived superbly to his left to thwart the youngster.

It was a costly miss, because soon after Nancy extended their lead with a second, decisive, goal from Hadji, the Moroccan heading a Marc-Antoine Fortuné cross past Ruffier.

The win puts Nancy four points behind Bordeaux who play champions Lyon on Sunday.



Nice 0

Le Mans 0

Match Stats

Nice and Le Mans had to settle for a share of the spoils as the two top-six outfits drew 0-0 at Stade du Ray.

Nice had marginally the better of affairs but came up against a well-organised Le Mans defence that refused to buckle even though Nice set out with three strikers – Joseph-Desire Job, Bakari Kone and Anthony Modeste – and playmaker Ederson.

It was Le Mans who had the first chance when Stephane Sessegnon hit a post with a wonderful volley as Nice struggled during a dour first-half. Ederson came close with a header after the break but Le Mans continued to look dangerous on the counter-attack, none more so than Gervinho, whose dipping shot flew just over the bar shortly before the hour.

The pace dropped considerable late on as defenders got the upper hand, and even when Le Mans' top scorer Tulio De Melo came on after 64 minutes, goals didn't seem more likely. Both teams stay where they were in the table before kick-off – Le Mans fifth, Nice sixth – but their chances of catching fourth-placed Marseille will reduce considerably if l'OM beat St Etienne on Sunday night.



Caen 0

Lorient 0

Match Stats

Lorient earned a solitary point at Caen with a 0-0 draw, a result which keeps alive les Merlus' hopes of finishing in the top five.

In truth, while the visitors will have been happy with the point, neither team will have been content with their performances as both sides failed to create any real chances throughout the entire 90 minutes.

Caen 's Reynauld Lemaître sent a shot into the hands of Fabien Audard in the first period while Lorient could only respond with a second-half Marama Vahirua effort that failed to seriously trouble Vincent Planté.

Audard saved well from Jérémy Sorbon late on but neither side could muster the energy to seriously test the opposition.



Valenciennes 0

Lille 0

Match Stats

Valenciennes got a point in this northern derby and although they were the home side they'll be more pleased with the outcome after finishing the game with 10 men.

In a match of few chances neither side did enough to claim all three points and Antoine Kombouare's hosts were left hanging on at the end after Jose Saez was sent off for a lunging foul on Adil Rami just after the hour mark.

The first-half was full of running and energy from both sides but chances were few and far between as both defences played well. The first real opportunity to score actually came after the sending off when Valenciennes midfielder Geoffrey Doumeng sent a free-kick whizzing just wide of the post. Sensing a chance to take advantage of numerical superiority Lille pushed hard late on but Valenciennes actually had better chances to score, Steve Savidan twice shooting just off target on the counter-attack.

The result does little to ease Lille's relegation fears – they lie 15th on 33pts, two points above the bottom three – while Valenciennes remain comfortable in eighth place.



Auxerre 0

Lens 0

Match Stats

Auxerre and Lens played out a tactical 0-0 draw at the Stade l'Abbé-Deschamps in a game of few chances.

The home side were looking for a win following their reverse at the hands of Marseille last weekend while Lens knew that three points would help them in their quest to stay out of the relegation zone.

In a tepid first-half the closest either side came to a goal was when AJA nearly benefited from some confusion in the Lens defence. It was a half-chance but nothing came of it. Home captain Benoît Pedretti limped off just prior to the break and Lens tried to use the playmaker's substitution as a springboard in the second-half with Loïc Rémy the visitors' best player by far.

Unfortunately, though, the game never really ignited and both sides had to content themselves with a goalless draw, a point which does neither side any favours.



Strasbourg 2
Diop own goal 37, Santos (pen) 82

Metz 3
B Gueye 56, Barbosa 75, N'Diaye 89

Match Stats

Metz's remarkable revival continued with their third win in four matches as they saw off Strasbourg 3-2 thanks to a fantastic performance in a topsy-turvy second-half.

Babacar Gueye, Cedric Barbosa and substitute Momar N'Diaye netted three goals for Metz after the break as Yvon Pouliquen's side stunned Jean-Marc Furlan's hosts and recorded their second victory over this opposition at the same venue this year after beating Strasbourg 3-0 at Stade de la Meinau in the French Cup in January.

Everything seemed to be going as planned for the Alsatians when Pape Malick Diop diverted a Rodrigo header into his own net on 37 minutes. But the Metz fightback started when Babacar Gueye netted just 11 minutes after the break and then Barbosa put the visitors ahead with a tremendous shot after Laurent Agouazi found him with a terrific pass. Strasbourg came out seeking an equaliser and the impressive Kevin Gameiro came close with a spectacular volley before Metz goalkeeper Christophe Marichez was adjudged to have brought down Strasbourg striker Wason Renteria in the box and the hosts got a penalty. Alvaro Santos made no mistake from the spot to make the score 2-2.

Things got worse for Metz when defender Eric Cubilier was sent off for a second bookable offence just two minutes later – but rather than sitting back with 10 men Metz went for victory and got it. N'Diaye, who had come on only moments earlier, broke free of the Strasbourg defence thanks to another through ball from Agouazi and finished coolly to earn his side all three points.



Toulouse 1
Emana 82

Sochaux 2
Erding 5, 20

Match Stats

A Mevlut Erding double in the first-half gave Sochaux a hugely important victory over Toulouse that saw the two clubs swap places in the relegation zone.

The hosts went into the match in 18th place on 29pts but now lie 19th as Sochaux's triumph here has lifted them on to 31pts. Francis Gillot's visitors are now level on points with PSG and must really believe they can escape the drop.

Turkish striker Erding inflicted the damage early on, netting his first on five minutes when he met Mickael Isabey's cross to give Toulouse goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez no chance. He doubled Sochaux's lead 15 minutes later – this time former Spurs and Marseille midfielder Stephane Dalmat was the supplier and Erding headed home to take his tally to eight Ligue 1 goals for the season.

The second goal left Toulouse shellshocked, but they fought back when Pantxi Sirieix's drive hit the Sochaux post on 30 minutes. Clearly home coach Elie Baup had a word with his players at half-time because they came out even more determined after the break but Sochaux were really well-organised and restricted chances to a minimum. Toulouse had some late hope when Achille Emana's free-kick took a deflection to trick Sochaux goalkeeper Teddy Richert – but it was too little, too late for Toulouse. They are now two points from safety while the Sochaux revival continues.

BB Bob
09-03-2008, 08:53 AM
Matchday 28 - Saturday, March 08, 2008
17:10 Rennes 2 - 0 Paris SG
20:00 Auxerre 0 - 0 Lens
20:00 Caen 0 - 0 Lorient
20:00 Nancy 2 - 0 Monaco
20:00 Nice 0 - 0 Le Mans
20:00 Strasbourg 2 - 3 Metz
20:00 Toulouse 1 - 2 Sochaux
20:00 Valenciennes 0 - 0 Lille

1 Lyon 27 17 4 6 +27 55
2 Bordeaux 27 15 7 5 +20 52
3 Nancy 28 12 12 4 +13 48
4 Marseille 27 11 9 7 +9 42
5 Le Mans 28 12 5 11 -3 41
6 Nice 28 9 13 6 +4 40
7 Lorient 28 9 11 8 -4 38
8 Valenciennes 28 10 7 11 +5 37
9 Monaco 28 10 7 11 -1 37
10 Rennes 28 10 7 11 -4 37
11 Saint Etienne 27 10 6 11 +2 36
12 Caen 28 9 9 10 -7 36
13 Auxerre 28 10 6 12 -10 36
14 Strasbourg 28 9 8 11 -1 35
15 Lille 27 6 15 6 +3 33
16 Lens 27 8 9 10 -2 33
17 Paris SG 28 7 10 11 -5 31
18 Sochaux 28 7 10 11 -8 31
19 Toulouse 28 6 11 11 -8 29
20 Metz 28 4 6 18 -30 18

Big win for Nancy puts the pressure back on Marseille. My word, it's tight down the bottom (pfnar pfnar). Poor old PSG...




http://www.lequipe.fr/Xml/Football/Dossiers/Media/0803_polet.jpg

"Où est mon equipe?"

http://www.lequipe.fr/Xml/Football/Dossiers/Media/0803_pssg.JPG


And a last one for you, kabbott

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From the 2001/2 season. back where it all started.

LYON-LENS (3-1), SAISON 2001/2002 : LA "VÉRITABLE". Du jamais vu dans l'histoire du championnat de France : le titre se joue lors de la dernière journée entre les deux équipes les mieux placées. Le scénario est incroyable... Lens, leader avec un point d'avance sur Lyon juste avant cette ultime journée, finit par céder face à des Lyonnais survoltés par l'idée de décrocher à domicile leur premier titre de champion. Les hommes du président Aulas réussissent l'exploit de reprendre dix points aux Sang et Or entre la 24e et la 38e journées ! Sur la photo, Anderson et Govou fêtent leur premier titre. (Photo L'Equipe)11 photos

kabbott
09-03-2008, 12:43 PM
Thanks BB Bob. What a match that was! Sydney Govou, Grégory Coupet nd Juni were all there at the start of the adventure. We'll be needing some of those emotions tonight. If Lyon happen to lose, I reckon it could be Reggie's last game, but they won't, will they? As I said in a previous post, I'm pretty sure Lyon will do the business tonight.

kabbott
09-03-2008, 05:10 PM
Two hours until kick-off. A little pastis maybe to calm the nerves, the bottom's getting twitchy. Marseille 0:0 at HT.

kabbott
09-03-2008, 06:13 PM
Oh dear! Team selection: I hope Reggie's got this right. Fred playing centre forward, so Benzema exiled to the left flank (he won't like that one bit!) and Keita down the right flank instead of Govou. Maybe changes after 60 minutes when it's money time, for example: Fred off, Benzema down the middle, Ben Arfa down the left and Govou down the right. Allez l'O.L! Bodmer might be in for Kallstrom, but I'm not sure of that. Oh and Marseille won 2:0 with goals from Valbuena and Taiwo.

BB Bob
09-03-2008, 07:02 PM
The tinkerman strikes again! L'OM were poor in the first half (at least what I saw), but l'ASSE hit the self destruct in the 2nd half. Looked like a deserved victory from what I saw.

Bonne chance ce soir!

BB Bob
09-03-2008, 07:24 PM
Oh la la la la! What a start! Bodmer after 11. Bodmer after 23. Les girondins have had their wings clipped! Lyon 2 Bordeaux 0

BB Bob
09-03-2008, 07:43 PM
Wendel free kick. 2-1.

kabbott
09-03-2008, 07:51 PM
Bordeaux are actually playing better football than Lyon. Lyon almost made it 3:0 before Wendel's free kick. Brilliant second from Bodmer. This match is far from over.

kabbott
09-03-2008, 07:53 PM
Is the match being shown live in the UK?

BB Bob
09-03-2008, 07:56 PM
I don't think so. What a joke - Setanta show the early Sunday game, not the late one so we miss the game of the season! I'm "watching" the game on the l'equipe website!

BB Bob
09-03-2008, 07:57 PM
Kallstrom was linked in a UK paper today with a premiership move, but with Bodmer in the background, I wouldn't be too alarmed. About time he had a run in the team - he scored some great goals at Lille (I think!)

BB Bob
09-03-2008, 08:27 PM
Blimey. Benzema 3-1. Cavanaghi 3-2.

Living up to it's billing by the sound of it!

mik59
09-03-2008, 08:45 PM
Eek! Makes a change from the first bunch of 0-0 draws you listed. Wish I was there!

kabbott
09-03-2008, 08:59 PM
They think it's all over - it is now! Phew! Twitchy bottoms and a sweaty crotch.4:2 Keita in the 94th. Well, the idea is to score more goals than the opposition. Lyon did that, but le Championnat is far from over. Bordeaux played some pretty football under Laurent Blanc, that's not surprising. Benzema's third was a good move too, just after Lyon should have been awarded a penalty for a handball following a Juni free kick. One sour note - a horrific tackle by Réveillère on Wendel ( memories of da Silva flooding back). Apparently nothing broken which is a miracle in itself. Réveillère got a yellow for it; the ref was considering changing it to a red when he saw the agony Wendel was in.
All in all an exciting game.

BB Bob
10-03-2008, 07:31 AM
A review of last nights game


Bodmer brace helps Lyon beat Bordeaux
Lyon beat Bordeaux 4-2 to put space between themselves and the pretenders to their crown in a pulsating match at the Stade Gerland. Two early goals by Mathieu Bodmer (left) set them on their way.
Ligue 1, Matchday 28
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Stade Gerland, Lyon


Lyon 4
Bodmer 11, 24, Benzema 50, Keita 90

Bordeaux 2
Wendel 35, Cavenaghi 60 (pen)

>> Match Stats


Lyon extended their lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table with a 4-2 win over nearest challengers Bordeaux. The champions now hold a six point lead over les Girondins with ten games to go.

In a fast and frantic game, Lyon sped to a two goal lead courtesy of a Mathieu Bodmer brace before Bordeaux pulled one back through Wendel. Goal machine Karim Benzema made it 3-1 early in the second-half before a penalty from Fernando Cavenaghi gave hope to the visitors. A simple finish from Kader Keita in the 90th minute made sure of all three points.

Lyon took the lead with Bodmer finishing off a sweeping move which tore Bordeaux apart. Switching from right to left the ball found Fabien Grosso who thundered the ball into the area for Bodmer to score from close range.

The attacking midfielder made it two shortly after with a stunning effort. The 25-year-old was never expected to be a serious goal threat for Lyon but when he shimmied past Diawara and slammed home a sumptuous volley for the second, Bordeaux looked down and out.

Insipid up the half-hour point, the visitors never looked like being able to pierce the stern Lyon defence. But when Coupet let a Wendel free-kick wrong-foot him on 34 minutes, the visitors sensed a chink of light.

Coupet soon redeemed himself with a terrific save from the Brazilian as Bordeaux drove forward looking for an equaliser before half-time.

Three minutes into the second-half though and Lyon sent a shot across the Bordeaux bows with Juninho sending a trademark free-kick deflecting over the wall and Benzema cracking a header onto the bar.

The visitors failed to heed the warning as Benzema made sure Bodmer wouldn't steal the limelight with a goal of his own, a sweeping shot past Ramé following a clever one-two with Fred.

Once more Bordeaux seemed dead and buried but once more they came fighting back, this time through a penalty as a result of Jérémy Toulalan taking down a nimble-footed Mathieu Chalmé in the box. Cavenaghi beat Coupet from the spot to bring his side within one goal of Lyon.

The match seemed set for more goals only for Coupet to save magnificently from Alou Diarra shortly after. In a last throw of the dice, Bordeuax coach Laurent Blanc threw on three more strikers but neither Gabriel Obertan, David Bellion or Marouane Chamakh were able to make the difference.

In the end Lyon added a fourth to the delight of the packed Gerland with Keita slotting home a Hatem Ben Arfa pass. A defining win for the champions, Lyon now have one hand on the Ligue 1 trophy…

BB Bob
10-03-2008, 09:07 PM
Some bits from last night for your further entertainment!

http://img.lequipe.fr/Xml/Media/100308_benzea.jpg

Benzema getting the arseache at being substituted. The crowd booed (according to l'equipe) but Reggie had the last laugh

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But Fred had a good game, by all accounts

http://www.lequipe.fr/Xml/Football/Dossiers/Media/090308_bodmer_buuuuuuuuuttttttttt.jpg

The fabulously named file called 090308_bodmer_buuuuuuuuuttttttttt.jpg. Couldn't put it better myself.

http://www.lequipe.fr/Xml/Football/Titres/Media/100308_Blanc.jpg

This one should probably be called merde.jpg. It's not, unfortunately.

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L'equipe had the great observation that, apart from the four goals and a Benzema header off the bar/post he had a quiet evening!!!

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Dead man smirking. Go on, fire me now!

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Meanwhile, down on the coast, Valbuena uses his famous Nipple Radio to tune into the game.

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And OM keep the pressure on, Now if only they can learn to play for a whole season...

BB Bob
11-03-2008, 07:16 AM
Tales from Ligue 2

-› Friday, March 07, 2008
20:00 Amiens 2 - 0 Angers
20:00 Bastia 2 - 2 Niort
20:00 Brest 0 - 0 Dijon
20:00 Châteauroux 0 - 0 Guingamp
20:00 Le Havre 2 - 0 Ajaccio
20:00 Libourne-St Seurin 2 - 0 Gueugnon
20:00 Reims 4 - 1 Boulogne
20:00 Sedan 3 - 1 Montpellier
20:30 Clermont 1 - 2 Troyes
-› Monday, March 10, 2008
20:30 Nantes 1 - 0 Grenoble

Ligue 2 Orange P W D L GD Pts
1 Le Havre 27 16 8 3 +21 56
2 Nantes 27 16 7 4 +20 55
3 Troyes 27 15 8 4 +17 53
4 Bastia 26 12 7 7 +11 42
5 Grenoble 27 11 8 8 +7 41
6 Clermont 27 9 12 6 +6 39
7 Montpellier 27 10 9 8 +6 39
8 Sedan 27 10 9 8 +3 39
9 Angers 27 9 9 9 -1 36
10 Ajaccio 27 9 9 9 -5 36
11 Brest 27 9 8 10 -8 35
12 Guingamp 27 8 10 9 0 34
13 Reims 26 9 6 11 -7 33
14 Amiens 27 8 8 11 -1 32
15 Châteauroux 27 7 9 11 -5 30
16 Boulogne 27 8 6 13 -11 30
17 Niort 27 7 6 14 -8 27
18 Dijon 27 5 12 10 -15 27
19 Libourne St Seurin 27 5 9 13 -12 24
20 Gueugnon 27 2 8 17 -18 14


I could do the National too, if you want......

(I know, I really should get out more)

Abjekt
11-03-2008, 02:32 PM
Gutted on losing to Lyon, but it doesn't sound as though it was that clear cut of a match...

BB Bob
12-03-2008, 07:25 AM
Chez les Ch'tiis

Last night the outstanding (but probably not in the footballing sense) game was played. Wierd rules on eligibility too!


Lille are kings of the North
In the Derby of the North, re-arranged from Matchday 19, Lille produced one of their best performances of the season to ease their relegation fears with a thrilling 2-1 win at Lens.
Matchday 19 (Re-arranged) - Stade Felix Bollaert, Lens


Tuesday 11 March, 2008




Lens 1 (Hilton)


Lille 2 (Bastos, Béria)


>> Match Stats



Jean-Pierre Papin's Lens side may be in the League Cup final, but suddenly they face a serious fight to preserve their Ligue 1 status. They sit perilously just two points above third bottom Sochaux, while Lille breathe a little easier with a jump of four places up to 11th.


Because it was a re-arranged fixture, the teams had to field only players who were on their books at the time of the postponement. So neither side were able to field their January signings, and Lens were particularly affected by the loss of two of these, Loic Remy and Tiofilou Maoulida, who had impressed in recent matches.


It was a tense battle from the start, with Lille soon making clear they were there to win. Both Michel Bastos and Ludovic Obraniak hada gone close before Bastos fired Lille into the lead after 17 minutes with a fierce cross-shot.


Lens' best chances fell to their Senegal midfielder Kader Mangane who missed a headed chance just before the interval and then, with the clock ticking down, sent another header inches wide of the target.


It proved a costly miss. With 83 minutes gone, and Lens pushing forward in increasing numbers to look for an equaliser, Lille broke out down the left. Their Belgian winger, Kevin Mirallas raced clear and squared the ball for Franck Béria (pictured above) to tap into the net.


To their credit, Lille still managed to give the game a sting in the tail, setting up a grandstand finish, their Brazilian skipper Vitorino Hilton heading in powerfully from Yohan Demont's 86th minute corner.


It was enough to set the always-vociferous Lens crowd alight and to give Lille fans the jitters, but Claude Puel's men hung on grimly for a memorable - and possibly priceless - victory.


Lens coach Papin remained upbeat. He said: "It's certainly bad to have lost three points, but there are positives - it's not the end of the world. We played well at times, but we did not take our chances. I think we have the ability to get out of this situation."


Lille defender, Stephan Lichtsteiner, said: "I am very proud of our team tonight. We were clearly in control of the first half especially. It was always a tough game, but then it was a true derby and we had to battle so hard in the second half. Franck Béria's goal came at just the right moment.


"But we will not rest on this result. We know there are still difficult times ahead, and already we are concentrating on our next game at home to Caen on Saturday."


Puts a lot of pressure on JPP at Lens now. Which one of the big boys is going to get relegated?

BB Bob
12-03-2008, 10:13 AM
You asked for it - well you didn't, but you're going to get it anyway. The forgotten world of the French National.

Latest results

vendredi 7 mars 2008
20h00 Tours FC (3) 4-0 Cannes (14)
Laval (5) 1-1 Entente SSG (8)
Istres (6) 0-0 Arles (13)
Créteil (12) 0-2 Rodez (15)
samedi 8 mars 2008
18h00 Martigues (17) 3-0 Romorantin (16)
à Villemomble (93) Villemomble (19) 0-1 Pau (20)
19h00 Louhans-Cuiseaux (18) 0-1 Paris FC (9)
19h30 Vannes OC (1) 1-0 Cherbourg (4)
20h00 Sète (2) 0-0 Calais (11)
Nîmes (7) 3-1 Beauvais (10)

and League standings (3 up and 4 down I think):-

Equipe Pts J. G. N. P. p. c. Diff.
1 Vannes OC 52 27 16 4 7 37 24 13
2 Tours FC 45 27 13 6 8 34 21 13
3 Sète 44 27 11 11 5 31 15 16

4 Nîmes 43 27 11 10 6 31 26 5
5 Laval 42 27 10 12 5 37 21 16
6 Cherbourg 42 27 12 6 9 29 26 3
- Istres 42 27 11 9 7 29 26 3
8 Paris FC 40 27 10 10 7 38 35 3
9 Entente SSG 39 27 12 3 12 35 37 -2
10 Beauvais 35 27 9 8 10 31 34 -3
11 Rodez 35 27 10 5 12 27 31 -4
12 Calais 34 27 7 13 7 33 28 5
13 Arles 34 27 7 13 7 21 23 -2
14 Créteil 33 27 7 12 8 25 22 3
15 Cannes 32 27 8 11 8 30 32 -2
16 Romorantin 29 27 7 8 12 27 36 -9

17 Martigues 28 27 6 10 11 26 32 -6
18 Louhans-Cuiseaux 25 27 6 7 14 31 50 -19
19 Pau 24 27 7 3 17 25 46 -21
20 Villemomble 23 27 4 11 12 18 30 -12


Pénalités :
Cannes : -3 points

I have no idea what Cannes got penalised three points for (but I do know they sacked their management team after a 4-0 thumping at Tours at the weekend). Calais were newly promoted last year and, for what it's worth, I always keep half an eye on Les Crocodiles - Nîmes - for the rather shallow reason that I went there once!

kabbott
12-03-2008, 05:01 PM
Originally posted by Abjekt
Gutted on losing to Lyon, but it doesn't sound as though it was that clear cut of a match...

They're still in with a shout. I still think at times Bordeaux played the better football. According to the pundits over here, Lyon won because they have more experience in this type of crunch match. But if Réveillère had been given a straight red for his foul on Wendel, we could have been watching a totally different match at the end. Lyon have to start picking up points in their away games. What is also interesting is that both Lyon and Bordeaux have to take on Marseille before the end of the season.
One thing's for sure, I wouldn't mind Laurent Blanc becoming Lyon's manager next season.

kabbott
12-03-2008, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
You asked for it - well you didn't, but you're going to get it anyway. The forgotten world of the French National.

Latest results

vendredi 7 mars 2008
20h00 Tours FC (3) 4-0 Cannes (14)
Laval (5) 1-1 Entente SSG (8)
Istres (6) 0-0 Arles (13)
Créteil (12) 0-2 Rodez (15)
samedi 8 mars 2008
18h00 Martigues (17) 3-0 Romorantin (16)
à Villemomble (93) Villemomble (19) 0-1 Pau (20)
19h00 Louhans-Cuiseaux (18) 0-1 Paris FC (9)
19h30 Vannes OC (1) 1-0 Cherbourg (4)
20h00 Sète (2) 0-0 Calais (11)
Nîmes (7) 3-1 Beauvais (10)

and League standings (3 up and 4 down I think):-

Equipe Pts J. G. N. P. p. c. Diff.
1 Vannes OC 52 27 16 4 7 37 24 13
2 Tours FC 45 27 13 6 8 34 21 13
3 Sète 44 27 11 11 5 31 15 16

4 Nîmes 43 27 11 10 6 31 26 5
5 Laval 42 27 10 12 5 37 21 16
6 Cherbourg 42 27 12 6 9 29 26 3
- Istres 42 27 11 9 7 29 26 3
8 Paris FC 40 27 10 10 7 38 35 3
9 Entente SSG 39 27 12 3 12 35 37 -2
10 Beauvais 35 27 9 8 10 31 34 -3
11 Rodez 35 27 10 5 12 27 31 -4
12 Calais 34 27 7 13 7 33 28 5
13 Arles 34 27 7 13 7 21 23 -2
14 Créteil 33 27 7 12 8 25 22 3
15 Cannes 32 27 8 11 8 30 32 -2
16 Romorantin 29 27 7 8 12 27 36 -9

17 Martigues 28 27 6 10 11 26 32 -6
18 Louhans-Cuiseaux 25 27 6 7 14 31 50 -19
19 Pau 24 27 7 3 17 25 46 -21
20 Villemomble 23 27 4 11 12 18 30 -12


Pénalités :
Cannes : -3 points

I have no idea what Cannes got penalised three points for (but I do know they sacked their management team after a 4-0 thumping at Tours at the weekend). Calais were newly promoted last year and, for what it's worth, I always keep half an eye on Les Crocodiles - Nîmes - for the rather shallow reason that I went there once!

Blimey! You're keen. Not even your average French football fan (whatever that means) could name half the teams 'en National'. Then try asking them to locate them on a map of France. Admittedly there are one or two clubs which used to be in Ligue 1 a few years back, like Nîmes, Laval and Cannes. But FFS, where's Villemoble par exemple? The crowds they get in that league are ridiculous, too. I think it was in last week's Equipe magazine, there was an article about the die-had supporters of some of these clubs. It was actually quite moving reading about Le Kop of Romorantin, made up of 3 fans travelling all over France to watch their idols.

Cannes, by the way, were docked three points for insults and objects aimed at the ref during a match in January against Nîmes, so a sort of local derby.
After their humiliating defeat 4:0 against FC Tours, their manager Stéphane Paille was fired. Stéphane Paille played up front in the French Under-21 team alongside Eric Cantona that knocked England out of The European U-21 Championships some 20 odd years ago. They played really well together, but Paille obviously never fulfilled his potential as much as Cantona. Paille was a bit of a head-case too. Rumour has it, he liked a little drink from time to time and even the odd spliff too. I think he finished his footballing career in Scotland, probably not the best place to go if you want to go on the wagon. He's coached a few minor clubs, but without success. The deputy coach, William Prunier, ( didn't he go to Man U for about a week?) resigned as sign of solidarity towards Paille. They're probably drinking partners!

BB Bob
13-03-2008, 09:23 AM
I like the National as a lot of the smaller teams are from places that I have got some connection withe. Maybe I've been there, maybe I know someone from there. And don't forget, Valbuena was National player of the year when he was at at Louhans-Cuiseaux - and before you ask I haven't got a scooby doo where that is! €80,000 is looking like a good price now, though.

I mentioned Nîmes, but there is also Sète and Pau. And of course not forgetting that jewel of the Channel, Calais.

Since you asked, Villemomble is a suburb of Paris - sort of like the Leyton Orient of french football! See, following the National is good for your geography! It can be a bit difficult getting hold of the results though......

BB Bob
13-03-2008, 12:33 PM
....and then there were none.

I thought when, despite dominating at home and going 3-0 up, Marseille would regret conceding a late away goal.
________________________________

Marseille crash out of Europe
Eric Gerets' side lose 2-0 in Russia against Zenit St Petersburg and are eliminated from the competition on away goals at the last 16 stage.
Wednesday March 12, 2008
UEFA Cup, last 16, second leg

Zenit St Petersburg 2
Pogrebnyak 39, 78

Marseille 0

Aggregate score 3-3 (Zenit St Petersburg win on away goals)

France's last representatives in European competition saw their interest in the UEFA Cup ended by a goal 12 minutes from time that earned Zenit St Petersburg a 2-0 win over Marseille in Russia.

Eric Gerets' visitors went into the game 3-1 up from the first leg last week but the Russians, in freezing conditions, did enough to qualify for the last eight on away goals.

The result is a major disappointment for l'OM, who reached the final of the competition in 1999 and 2004 and had high hopes of progressing to the latter stages of the competition. But they owe their elimination more to their performance in the first leg, when they had chances to win by a much bigger margin but eventually paid the price for conceding a late Zenit strike.

The first-half here was a cagey affair, with Samir Nasri having Marseille's best chance when he forced a save from home goalkeeper Viatcheslav Malafeev on 17 minutes. Zenit didn't attack consistently but looked dangerous when they moved forward and broke the deadlock five minutes before half-time when their most dangerous player Andriy Arshavin headed into the path of strike partner Pavel Pogrebnyak, who beat Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda with a neat finish.

Marseille realised that another goal would eliminate them but knew that netting one of their own would leave Zenit needing two. Djibril Cisse missed a wonderful opportunity just two minutes after Zenit took the lead when Malafeev won his one-on-one duel with the Marseille striker so the hosts went in ahead at the interval.

After the break both teams looked nervous, knowing how much was at stake, but Mamadou Niang tried his luck from long-range on 71 minutes, his shot flying just wide. Then came the decisive moment, on 78 minutes, when substitute Fatih Tekke found Pogrebnyak with a superb backheel and the striker made no mistake to net his second goal.

Marseille threw men forward in the final 12 minutes but were unable to prise an opening and the hosts held on for a deserved win on the night.

kabbott
13-03-2008, 08:46 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
I like the National as a lot of the smaller teams are from places that I have got some connection withe. Maybe I've been there, maybe I know someone from there. And don't forget, Valbuena was National player of the year when he was at at Louhans-Cuiseaux - and before you ask I haven't got a scooby doo where that is! €80,000 is looking like a good price now, though.

I mentioned Nîmes, but there is also Sète and Pau. And of course not forgetting that jewel of the Channel, Calais.

Since you asked, Villemomble is a suburb of Paris - sort of like the Leyton Orient of french football! See, following the National is good for your geography! It can be a bit difficult getting hold of the results though......

You certainly know your stuff BB Bob. Are you sure you're not French?
However, one little rectification needs to be made. Valbuena was a National player, not for Louhans-Cuiseaux (great name that!), but for Libourne St. Seurin, somewhere in the Aquitaine region. That's where he got his National player of the season award. Libourne St. Seurin have also produced other players who have made the grade. ( I'll post them another day). Just too finish, Bordeaux must be kicking themselves because they had him on their books as a youngser but didn't offer him professional terms because of his size. Serves them right, I say. Muscle and size don't replace real talent, and he's got plenty of that. He's in the mould of other pocket-size Gallic talent like Alain Giresse and more recently Ludovic Giuly and also Steed Malbranque.
Btw, Louhans-Cuiseaux is, I think, about 100 km to the north of Lyon, i.e. in the middle of nowhere. Again, not sure about this, I think Alou Diarra, ex Liverpool, ex Lens, ex Lyon and currently at Bordeaux, began his career at Louhans-Cuiseaux. Salut.

BB Bob
14-03-2008, 10:48 AM
I knew that it was one of those double/triple names and that I had no idea where it was!

Preview time!

Preview: Monaco v Lyon
Camel Meriem (pictured) and his fellow Monaco attackers will have to produce a vastly improved performance here - but facing Ligue 1 leaders Lyon may bring out the best in them.


Ligue 1, Matchday 29
Monaco v Lyon, Stade Louis II
Saturday, March 15, 2008 (3pm kick-off UK time)

So is the title already won? Lyon travel to Monaco this weekend mightily relieved to have extended the lead at the top of Ligue 1 to six points thanks to their 4-2 victory over closest challengers Bordeaux last Sunday.

Alain Perrin and his players went into the match under immense pressure. Having been knocked out of the Champions League by Manchester United just five days earlier, the game had taken on greater importance because winning a seventh consecutive league crown had become the club's clear priority. But the team called on years of experience to produce an excellent performance and run out comfortable winners.

Now they look to maintain their lead against Monaco, who are playing poorly at the moment. The Principality outfit lost 2-0 at Nancy last weekend, conceding two early goals and proving incapable of fighting back. That result leaves them ninth, with diminishing hopes of qualifying for Europe.

Monaco's problem is that, despite having talented individuals in their squad, their best players, particularly up front, have failed to gel. The likes of Camel Meriem and Nene – both potentially outstanding playmakers – and strikers Frederic Piquionne, Serge Gakpe and Jeremy Menez have failed to strike up an understanding and that has reduced their scoring opportunities. At the back, former Lyon centre-half Sylvain Monsoreau's absence has weakened the side.

That's why it would be a major achievement for Monaco to get anything out of the game, particularly given that only three weeks have passed since Monaco's 6-0 humiliation at home to Bordeaux. Lyon will have no desire to emulate that scoreline but will be determined to come away with three points, since Perrin said last week he feels away results will ultimately determine who wins the title. Lyon have six away games left, to Bordeaux's five, so this is a chance for the champions to ram home their current points advantage.

BB Bob
14-03-2008, 10:49 AM
Preview: Bordeaux v Strasbourg
Strasbourg manager Jean-Marc Furlan (pictured) is looking to cause an upset by beating the club he represented as a player - but do the visitors stand any chance?


Ligue 1, Matchday 29
Bordeaux v Strasbourg (Stade Chaban-Delmas)
Sunday, March 16, 2008 (5pm kick-off UK time)

When Bordeaux travel to Strasbourg will the visitors be looking up or down? A 4-2 defeat against title rivals Lyon last Sunday evening has left les Girondins six points off the pace at the top and Nancy – in third place – are only four points behind.

That's why every point still counts for Laurent Blanc's side, even if genuine hopes of winning the title are extremely small. Second place is synonymous with an automatic slot in the group stages of next season's Champions League, and the club would love to avoid the early return to pre-season training and extra fixtures that come with having to negotiate the final qualifying round of Europe's premier competition.

The signs are that Bordeaux will be difficult to stop here, because they go into the match with outstanding home form. They have won seven and drawn two of nine fixtures at Stade Chaban-Delmas, remaining unbeaten since a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Lyon on October 7. That five-month run without a loss is the principle reason why they have climbed so high in the table and ought to pose problems for visitors who have lost six of eight games away to side higher than them in the table, failing even to score in those defeats.

One player who will be definitely missing is Wendel. The Bordeaux midfielder took his Ligue 1 goals tally to 10 for the season with a 25-yard free-kick against Lyon last weekend but was later stretchered off following a late tackle by Anthony Reveillere. The 25-year-old Brazilian, in outstanding form, will be a big loss for the hosts.

In his absence goalscoring responsibility will fall almost entirely to Fernando Cavenaghi. Not that the Argentinian seems to mind. The penalty he scored against Lyon last week meant he has netted nine goals in 15 Ligue 1 outings. That sort of form suggests that if Bordeaux win, as looks likely, he will be among the scorers.

This match will be a particularly special occasion for Strasbourg manager Jean-Marc Furlan. The 50-year-old Strasbourg coach was born in Gironde and played as a defender for Bordeaux from 1973 to 1979. Some reports suggest he was offered the Bordeaux job last summer before Laurent Blanc took over, but that he refused because he had already given his word to Strasbourg that he would take the position there after leaving Troyes. There will be no split loyalties from Furlan here, but it was be an emotional game all the same.

BB Bob
14-03-2008, 10:50 AM
Preview: Lens v Marseille
Karim Ziani (pictured) could take part if coach Eric Gerets rotates his squad - but will l'OM be fresh enough against a Lens side who have had an extra day to prepare?


Ligue 1, Matchday 29
Lens v Marseille (Stade Felix-Bollaert)
Sunday, March 16, 2008 (7.55pm kick-off UK time)

There's no question who will be the main man when Lens meet Marseille at Stade Felix Bollaert – Jean-Pierre Papin.

The Lens coach is a former Marseille legend who finished as Ligue 1 top scorer five seasons in a row in Marseille colours from 1987 to 1992. He saw Lens lose 1-0 when the clubs met at Stade Velodrome in October and will be determined to reverse that defeat here as Lens continue to battle against relegation.

But do the home team stand any chance against a Marseille side in rampant form? L'OM have won 11, drawn five and lost just three of 19 matches under Eric Gerets since he replaced Albert Emon as coach last September – that's form that would have made Marseille genuine title contender had they produced it from the start of the season. And Marseille's motivation levels will be high here because they are chasing third spot, which would earn them Champions League qualification for next season. At the moment they lie three points behind Nancy.

Points are equally important for Lens, who have been unable to pull away from the relegation battle that involves half the table. They lie 16th on 31pts, just two points above PSG and Sochaux, who are in 17th and 18th places respectively.

A major factor here is which of the two sides recovers better from midweek exertions. Lens lost their northern derby against Lille 2-1 on Tuesday night, with defender Hilton scoring a late goal that wasn't enough to haul the Sang et Or back into the match. Marseille lost the second leg of their Uefa Cup last 16 clash away to Zenit St Petersburg on Wednesday night and crashed out of the competition so their morale has taken a blow. Gerets has rotated his squad in recent games, with the likes of Karim Ziani and Charles Kabore getting more midfield pitch time than they might have otherwise expected, and the same may happen here.

When the teams met for the first time this season it was another player who's been a peripheral figure for Marseille, Boudewijn Zenden, who scored the winner, striking a powerful 25-yard drive 17 minutes from time to send a home crowd of around 50,000 fans at the Velodrome into raptures. Former Marseille goalkeeper Vedran Runje, who now keeps goal for Lens, was one of the busiest men on the pitch – and it would be no surprise to see him having to earn his money again as Marseille go chasing third place.

BB Bob
14-03-2008, 11:16 AM
..and predictions

Matchday 29 - Saturday, March 15, 2008
16:00 Monaco Lyon

Can't bet for Monaco, can't bet against Lyon at the moment. Away win.

20:00 Le Mans Rennes

Rod Fanni broke his ankle this week which is a blow for Rennes. They beat PSG last week, but I think Le Mans will be an altogether tougher egg. Home win

20:00 Lille Caen

The draw kings against a sloppy, sloppy defense. LOSC had a morale boosting win in the week and I fancy them to carry that on this weekend. Home win.

20:00 Lorient Auxerre

Tough one. Auxerre are quite good away though and could snatch a win, but I suspect it will be a draw.

20:00 Metz Nice

Nice couldn't score in a brothel at the moment and Metz are on an unbeliveable run of form. Antoinetti, apart from being mad as a fruitbat, is a canny old fox, though, so maybe it's time for le Gym to get a win again (if they remember how!). Away win.

20:00 Paris SG Valenciennes

When, oh when, will PSG get a win again. Well, it could be this weekend. Valenciennes looked poor in the week and, as long as PSG can handle the pressure of playing at home, should have too much in the tank, Home win (otherwise they are in real trouble!)

20:00 Saint Etienne Toulouse

Speaking of winning, things are grim for les Violets. Losing at home to Sochaux last week piles on the pressure and I'm not sure they are going to get much change here. Home win.

20:00 Sochaux Nancy

Is this a derby? Sort of, I suppose, but not a very passionate one. The bookies probably fancy Nancy - who need to keep their noses in front of a rampant Marseille, but maybe tonights he night they crack a bit. Draw.

Matchday 29 - Sunday, March 16, 2008
18:00 Bordeaux Strasbourg

Les GIrondins must get a result here, even if they are missing Wendel. They should be good enough for 3 points - Home win

20:55 Lens Marseille

Never an easy place to go and, with relegation fears themselves, Lens will be up for this. Papin will try to get the best out of Lens, but I think the only people who can hurt l'OM here are l'OM themselves. Disappointing in Russia in the week, they could be mantally and physically tired. Cissé got 3.5 out of 10 from l'equipe and many of the other "stars" didn't really turn up. Still Gerets is a good coach and, frankly, Lens aren't all that. Away win.


Enjoy the games

BB Bob
15-03-2008, 08:20 AM
Some good news for kabbott (and other Lyon fans), at least for a couple of years (maybe)(unless he changes his mind)(or Aulas receives an offer too good to turn down) etc. etc.

.http://www.frenchleague.com/photo/grandFormat/uk0708_Benzema_Lyon_mono.jpg

Sorry Man U - Karim stays at Lyon!
French football has received a massive boost with news that Karim Benzema of Lyon, currently one of the hottest properties in world football, has signed a contract with his present club, Lyon until 2013.
That leaves a trail of disappointed elite clubs, led by Manchester United, along with other giants from Spain and Italy.


Benzema already had a deal running until 2012, but he has added a further year to that, with what the club call "a moral agreement" to stay until 2014 - currently clubs can only sign a player to a maximum five-year deal.


Local boy Benzema has had a fantastic season with Lyon. He is the runaway leading scorer in Ligue1 Orange with 17 goals, and scored four more in Lyon's UEFA Champions League campaign, including a spectacular goal (pictured on our main page) in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United at the Stade Gerland.


At the age of 20 Karim already has nine caps for France and has helped Lyon to three of their six consecutive titles. He had already extended his contract by two years last August.


There remains a very strong chance that if he retains his present form, another club will come in with a massive bid for him before his contract is up - but for now, and next season at the very least, Benzema says he is extremely happy where he is.


He told the OL website: "It's a very good contract, but money is not all that matters. I can't say how many years I'm going to stay - maybe two or three. In my head I want to continue learning at Lyon where everyone has confidence in me, continue to progress and not to exile myself in England, Spain or Italy.


"Maybe the moment will come, but I will decide that together with the president. There are still a lot of things to do here, more titles to win, notably the French Cup and league double this season - and maybe one day the Champions League with Lyon.


"I'm happy in Lyon. I was born here, I live here, I want to continue learning at Olympique Lyonnais.


Club president Jean-Michel Aulas said: "We did what we thought we should so that Karim need not be embarrassed by comparisons with what happens abroad.


"We did the best we could, he fully deserves it. It's necessary that he not only feels good at Lyon but that he can find the financial framework to fit his immense talent."


It is not only in the top clubs that Karim Benzema has admirers - UEFA president Michel Platini speaks of him in glowing terms.


Platini, himself one of the modern day legends of French football, said: "He (Benzema) scores more with his intelligence than his physical qualities and I like that.


"People compare him to Ronaldo, but I would say he is more of an old style centre-forward. He's Lyon's best player and came through the club's training programme - that should give many people something to think about."


Benzema, Lyon's only ever-present player this season, will take his place this weekend on Matchday 29 at Monaco on Saturday, with a French Cup first ko round date at home to Sochaux on Tuesday.

kabbott
15-03-2008, 04:02 PM
More good news for Lyon fans. They've just beaten Monaco away 0:3 with two from Keita and one from Fred. Just got in from one of my two Saturdays at work per year and realised I'd forgotten to record the match. Acccording to the Equipe site, it was a stroll.

BB Bob
15-03-2008, 09:00 PM
http://www.frenchleague.com/photo/grandFormat/0708_psg_montpellier_cdl_pauleta_mono.jpg

Matchday 29: Saturday round-up
Fred (pictured) was among the scorers in Lyon's 3-0 win at Monaco while PSG grabbed a late goal to share the points at home to Valenciennes and Lille crushed Caen 5-0.
Ligue 1, Matchday 29


Monaco 0

Lyon 3
Keita 20, 38, Fred 35

Match Stats

Two goals from Kader Keita and another from Fred helped Lyon to a convincing 3-0 victory over Monaco at Stade Louis II.

All three of the goals came in the first-half as the champions built on last weekend's 4-2 win over Bordeaux to make no mistake and extend their lead at the top, temporarily at least.

Keita's impressive performance as a substitute in the match billed as a title decider last week meant he kept his place – and he rewarded coach Alain Perrin's faith with an excellent display throughout.

The Ivory Coast winger opened the scoring on 20 minutes when Benzema sent him clear and, after getting a lucky deflection off defender Vincent Muratori, Keita finished coolly past Monaco's stand-in goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier. Scorer then turned provider as Keita latched on to a superb Mathieu Bodmer pass and crossed for Fred to net his fourth goal in four games. Lyon added a third before half-time when Bodmer played another superb through ball and Keita lobbed over Ruffier.

At 3-0, the result was not in doubt and Lyon moved down a couple of gears in the second-half. Monaco proved totally incapable of putting the visiting defence under any pressure – if anything, Lyon were more likely to extend their advantage. Benzema missed a glorious chance to grab his 18th Ligue 1 goal of the season 15 minutes from time when he played a perfect one-two with Fred and rounded Ruffier with a wonderful feint but took too long to find the net and allowed Ruffier to claw back the ball.

This was another impressive Lyon display but Monaco, desperately short of ideas, have fallen to 12th.



Sochaux 1
Erding 52

Nancy 1
Zerka 80

Match Stats

Substitute Moncef Zerka grabbed a late equaliser for Nancy to earn them a share of the spoils against Sochaux.

The hosts looked on course to score an invaluable victory in their battle against relegation but Morocco international Zerka silenced the home crowd when he turned home a Gaston Curbelo flick-on 10 minutes from time.

Up until that point Francis Gillot's hosts were good value for their lead. Mevlut Erding had opened the scoring on 52 minutes when he latched on to Stephane Dalmat's superb through pass to lob Nancy goalkeeper Gennaro Bracigliano. It was highly-rated Erding's ninth Ligue 1 goal of the season.

There were few chances during a nervy first-half as both sides were content to defend in numbers. Dalmat came closest to making the breakthrough when his rasping drive tested Bracigliano's hands, but it was no surprise that the sides went in level at half-time.

After falling behind Nancy sent on Curbelo and Zerka to freshen things up but had few chances until the equaliser. Having drawn level they reverted to defending and ran down the clock with little difficulty.

The result leaves Sochaux in the relegation zone in 18th place on 32pts while Nancy remain third but Marseille can reduce the gap to one point with a win at Lens on Sunday.



Le Mans 1
De Melo 49

Rennes 1
Thomert 41

Match Stats

Le Mans and Rennes both missed the chance to improve their league positions after a score draw in driving rain at the Stade Leon-Bollee.

Having left both Sylvain Wiltord and Mickael Pagis on the bench, Rennes initially looked unlikely to end their run of six away games without a win. But after having the better of the opening 45 minutes, it was little surprise to see Olivier Thomert score late in the half and give Guy Lacombe's side some reward for their early dominance. Cameroon midfielder Stephane M'Bia crossed from the right, putting the ball virtually on the penalty spot for Thomert to ram home his fourth goal of the campaign.

Whatever Le Mans coach Rudi Garcia said at half-time seemed to work, because the visitors made a storming start to the second half. With just four minutes on the clock, Tulio De Melo let fly from outside the box with a powerful shot that Patrice Luzi should have dealt with. Sadly for the visitors, the goalkeeper somehow allowed the ball to squirm through his hands and into the net to present Le Mans with a point that keeps them in touch with Nice.



Metz 1
Pjanic (pen) 47

Nice 2
Bamogo 42, Ederson (pen) 56

Match Stats

Nice earned their first win in eight matches with a 2-1 victory over Metz that keeps them on course for a top-six finish.

Habib Bamogo and 22-year-old playmaker Ederson were the scorers as Frederic Antonetti's visitors claimed all three points despite Metz's best efforts to build on their run of three wins in four matches.

Yet it was remarkable that Nice went in ahead at the break given Metz's first-half dominance. Visiting goalkeeper Hugo Lloris showed why he's one of the most highly-rated number ones in France when he produced a miraculous save to deny Laurent Agouazi's header and shortly afterwards Ederson, of all people, got back to clear an Agouazi shot off the line. Against the run of play Bamogo opened the scoring when Bakari Kone flicked on Cyril Rool's cross and former Marseille player Bamogo made no mistake.

But justice of sorts was done within a minute of the restart when Metz drew level. Lloris was adjudged to have brought down Babacar Gueye and responsibility fell to 17-year-old Miralem Pjanic to convert from the spot. He did so in style.

But no sooner had Metz stopped celebrating their penalty than Nice regained the lead with one of their own. Cheikh Gueye upended Bamogo in the box and Nice's Lyon-bound Brazilian Ederson stepped up to score and clinch the points.

Nice move up to fifth while Metz remain bottom and are now 15 points from safety.



Lorient
Saifi 75

Auxerre 1
Jaures 73 (pen)

Match Stats

Lorient missed a chance to press for a European place next season after being held to a draw by an Auxerre side that was battered for large parts of the game.

Lorient started the day in seventh, but so congested is the Ligue 1 table that they were only seven points above the relegation zone. Possibly spurned on by such proximity, Lorient dominated proceedings in the first half, with their prolific front pairing of Rafik Saifi and Marama Vahirua running riot. Tahitian forward Vahirua almost scored as early at the 11th minute, his fierce shot being brilliantly saved by Remy Riou in the Auxerre goal. Midway through the half, Lorient went even closer, with Saifi heading an Ulrich Le Pen cross against the bar. Incredibly, Saifi then hit the post in first-half injury time, again with a header from a pinpoint cross.

Incredibly, and perhaps inevitably, it was Auxerre that finally made the breakthrough, with Jean-Sebastien Jaures converting a late penalty after Fabien Audard felled Daniel Niculae in the box. But far from being deflated by the goal, Lorient were stung into action and hit back almost immediately. Fittingly, it was Saifi who scored, latching on to a cross from Jeremy Morel to grab a deserved equaliser. Although the home side pressed hard for a winner, they were forced to settle for just a point.



PSG 1
Pauleta 82

Valenciennes 1
Ceara 50 (own goal)

Match Stats

A late equaliser from captain Pedro Pauleta kept PSG out of the relegation zone after yet another game in which good chances were spurned by Paul Le Guen's ailing side.

Hovering precariously above the drop zone in 17th at the start of play, the home side created several good chances in the first half, but having failed to capitalise on such opportunities they were eventually forced to pay for such profligacy. Just moments after the restart Valenciennes hit them with a sucker punch when striker Steve Savidan and defender Ceara combined to convert a cross from Sebastien Roudet. Naturally, Savidan was the keener of the two to claim the goal but it was accredited as an own goal to the defender.

With the match heading towards its conclusion, Pauleta proved yet again that he is the man for the big occasion, scoring an equaliser that delighted fans at the Parc des Princes. With just 10 minutes to go, a cross from substitute Willamis Souza found the head of the Portuguese forward, and although goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau managed to block the first effort, he was powerless to stop Pauleta following up to spare PSG's blushes.



St Etienne 0

Toulouse 0

Match Stats

St Etienne were unable to make it three wins out of four as dogged visitors Toulouse ground out a point at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

Despite dominating possession les Verts were unable to break down the visitors' excellently-organised defence and purely for the quality of their defending Elie Baup's side deserved to leave with a point. To add to their misery the hosts finished the game with 10 men after centre-half Moustapha Sall was sent off four minutes from time.

Pascal Feindouno and Dimitri Payet came close for the home side but Laurent Roussey's team paid the price for playing too many long balls towards St Etienne's powerful centre-forward Bafetimbi Gomis. The striker lacked support and this helped Toulouse soak up the pressure.

The longer the game went on the more confident Toulouse became and during the last 20 minutes St Etienne looked drained. Sall got his marching orders when he made a clumsy challenge on former St Etienne left-back Herita Ilunga as the Congo international was clearing the ball.

The point definitely suits Toulouse better as it maintains their chances of avoiding the drop. They remain 19th but are only two points from safety while St Etienne move up a place to 11th.



Lille 5
Lichtsteiner 34, 90, Cabaye 44, 64 (pen), Frau 89

Caen 0

Match Stats

After a good win over Lens in midweek, Lille followed up with a comprehensive victory over Caen at the Stade Metropole that lifts them to seventh in the table.

Lille began the day separated from their opponents only by goal difference, but from the opening exchanges, it was clear that Lille were the dominant side. Having survived just moments before when Kevin Mirallas should have scored, Caen's resistance was finally broken 10 minutes before half time. A piercing free kick from Ludovic Obraniak caused chaos in the penalty area, forcing Caen goalkeeper Benoit Costil to spill the ball at the grateful feet of Stephane Lichtsteiner who duly converted.

If coach Claude Puel was happy with 1-0, he must have been delighted to go in two goals up after Yohan Cabaye rifled in an unstoppable half-volley from outside the box with only seconds of the half remaining. When Caen goalkeeper Benoit Costil felled Mirallas in the box early in the second half, the game was up for the visitors. Not only was the penalty awarded, but Costil was sent off.

Having made a triple substitution at half-time, Caen had little option but to hand striker Lilian Compan the gloves for the remaining half-hour. His first job was to pick the ball out of the net as Cabaye coolly converted, and late in the game he was at it again as both Lichtsteiner and substitute Pierre-Alain Frau helped themselves to goals in the dying moments of the game.



Caen really, really need to get their act together.

BB Bob
15-03-2008, 09:02 PM
Ligue 1 Orange Ligue 2 Orange

Matchday 29 - Saturday, March 15, 2008
16:00 Monaco 0 - 3 Lyon
20:00 Le Mans 1 - 1 Rennes
20:00 Lille 5 - 0 Caen
20:00 Lorient 1 - 1 Auxerre
20:00 Metz 1 - 2 Nice
20:00 Paris SG 1 - 1 Valenciennes
20:00 Saint Etienne 0 - 0 Toulouse
20:00 Sochaux 1 - 1 Nancy
Matchday 29 - Sunday, March 16, 2008
18:00 Bordeaux Strasbourg
20:55 Lens Marseille

1 Lyon 29 19 4 6 +32 61
2 Bordeaux 28 15 7 6 +18 52
3 Nancy 29 12 13 4 +13 49
4 Marseille 28 12 9 7 +11 45
5 Nice 29 10 13 6 +5 43
6 Le Mans 29 12 6 11 -3 42
7 Lille 29 8 15 6 +9 39
8 Lorient 29 9 12 8 -4 39
9 Valenciennes 29 10 8 11 +5 38
10 Rennes 29 10 8 11 -4 38
11 Saint Etienne 29 10 7 12 0 37
12 Monaco 29 10 7 12 -4 37
13 Auxerre 29 10 7 12 -10 37
14 Caen 29 9 9 11 -12 36
15 Strasbourg 28 9 8 11 -1 35
16 Lens 28 8 9 11 -3 33
17 Paris SG 29 7 11 11 -5 32
18 Sochaux 29 7 11 11 -8 32
19 Toulouse 29 6 12 11 -8 30
20 Metz 29 4 6 19 -31 18

mik59
15-03-2008, 10:47 PM
Should I feel almost embarrassed to be cheering Lyons? Anways, get that French Ligue game sorted Bob. SKATE wanna go now too!

Maidstoned Eagle
16-03-2008, 09:16 AM
All my teams are doing poo. :(

kabbott
16-03-2008, 06:14 PM
Change teams and choose Lyon! No, on second thoughts don't!

kabbott
16-03-2008, 09:00 PM
A Sunday afternoon stroll for Bordeaux. I presume BB Bob will be posting a match report in due time.
I've just been watching a cracker beween Lens and Marseille. Marseille were walking it at half-time 0:2. Lens came storming back with three goals themselves - the third was a good strike from Loïc Rémy (his third in nine games since his move from Lyon). And then in the final minute, Cissé levelled things with his 11th of the season. A fair result in the end. Bonne nuit!

BB Bob
17-03-2008, 12:38 PM
Another Canal plus Sunday evening cracker for you, kabbott.

A bit late on my reports for Sundays games:-
___________________________________________

Ligue 1 - 3/16/2008 | | |
Henrique heads Bordeaux to victory
Brazilian Henrique gets off the mark with two headed goals as Bordeaux beat struggling Strasbourg 3-0.
Ligue 1, Matchday 29
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Stade Chaban Delmas





Bordeaux 3
Henrique 27, 43, Cavenaghi 75

Strasbourg 0


>> Match Stats



Bordeaux strolled to an easy 3-0 victory over Strasbourg to keep in touch with Lyon at the top of the Ligue 1 table.

Brazilian defender Henrique grabbed a first-half brace before Fernando Cavenaghi added a third with fifteen minutes remaining. The Atlantic coast side are now six points behind Lyon with nine games of the season left.

Les Girondins suffered a disappointing loss away to the league leaders last weekend and with Alain Perrin's men coasting to a 3-0 win over Monaco on Saturday, Laurent Blanc knew that three points was essential.

The first period went the way of the home side and had it not been for two smart interventions from Stéphane Cassard within eight minutes of the kick-off, Bordeaux would have been celebrating an early lead.

The pressure did tell in the end as Henrique opened the scoring with a powerful header on 23 minutes. The defender made it two shortly before the break with another firm header. The goals were his first of the season.

Cassard kept Bordeaux at bay for much of the second period and while he foiled at excellent effort from Marouane Chamakh, the Frenchman could do nothing to stop Cavenaghi wrapping up the points with time to spare.
_______________________________________

Lens and Marseille play out thriller
Djibril Cissé scored a dramatic equaliser in the last minute to earn a point for Marseille after Lens had fought back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2.
Ligue 1, Matchday 29
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Stade Félix-Bollaert


Lens 3
Maoulida 55, Mangane 65, Remy 73

Marseille 3
Nasri 24, Cheyrou 27, Cissé 89

>> Match Stats


Djibril Cissé scored a last-minute equaliser to deny Lens three points in a thrilling game at the Stade Félix-Bollaert.

Lens looked as though they had done enough after they had mounted a superb second-half comeback. Down by two goals after the first 45 minutes, les Sang et Or looked down and out. However, three goals in 18 minutes put Lens on the road to victory before Cissé's late intervention rescued a point for the visitors.

The draw sees les Sang et Or stay in 16th, two points above the relegation zone while at the other end of the table Marseille now sit three points behind Nancy.

Prior to kick-off, Eric Gerets' side were unbeaten in eight league matches, a sequence of results which had elevated the south coast side to the fringes of European qualification. By contrast Lens had continued to hover nervously above the relegation zone. And with just three points from their last six games, Jean-Pierre Papin's side were looking critical.


A bright start from Lens suggested that this poor run would come to an end. However, after Steve Mandanda saved superbly from Hilton, OM found second gear and with it the opening goal with Nasri the architect and scorer.

The youngster had managed only two league goals all season but his third was a strike of great class. Picking up the ball in the middle of the half, the 20-year-old played a neat collection of passes before finishing off with a smart finish past Vedran Runje.

Before too long it was 2-0 as a poor header from Hilton found the feet of Benoit Cheyrou who unleashed a curling shot past the outstretched hand of Lens' Croatian 'keeper.

Marseille threatened to add a third but only a bad finish from Cissé saved the home side's blushes.

However, the vociferous Félix-Bollaert has a habit of hosting the unexpected and, as last season when Lens came back from 3-0 down against Saint-Etienne, the stage was set for a thrilling comeback.

Amazingly, within twenty minutes of the restart Lens were level. The Lens side that appeared for the second-half paid no resemblance to the side that had ended the first as attacking with speed and verve Lens launched at Marseille as though their Ligue 1 future depended on it.

First Toifilou Maoulida struck from close range and then Kader Mangane, making up for an shocking miss earlier on, stabbed home to bring the scores level.

OM were at sea and when Loic Remy thundered a left foot shot past Mandanda with 17 minutes to go it seemed as though it was game over. The script had been torn up by Lens and Marseille were having to content themselves by chasing shadows.

However, as with all good thrillers, there was one last exhilarating twist.

Chasing a point to keep the pressure on third place Nancy, Marseille sent Kanga Akalé, on loan at OM from Lens, down the right wing. The Ivorian sped past his marker and found Cissé with a wonderful cross who side-footed into an empty net. It was the former Liverpool striker's ninth goal in his last nine league games.

BB Bob
17-03-2008, 12:44 PM
Weekend summary

Matchday 29 - Saturday, March 15, 2008
16:00 Monaco 0 - 3 Lyon
20:00 Le Mans 1 - 1 Rennes
20:00 Lille 5 - 0 Caen
20:00 Lorient 1 - 1 Auxerre
20:00 Metz 1 - 2 Nice
20:00 Paris SG 1 - 1 Valenciennes
20:00 Saint Etienne 0 - 0 Toulouse
20:00 Sochaux 1 - 1 Nancy
Matchday 29 - Sunday, March 16, 2008
18:00 Bordeaux 3 - 0 Strasbourg
20:55 Lens 3 - 3 Marseille

Ligue 1 Orange P W D L GD Pts
1 Lyon 29 19 4 6 +32 61
2 Bordeaux 29 16 7 6 +21 55
3 Nancy 29 12 13 4 +13 49
4 Marseille 29 12 10 7 +11 46
5 Nice 29 10 13 6 +5 43
6 Le Mans 29 12 6 11 -3 42
7 Lille 29 8 15 6 +9 39
8 Lorient 29 9 12 8 -4 39
9 Valenciennes 29 10 8 11 +5 38
10 Rennes 29 10 8 11 -4 38
11 Saint Etienne 29 10 7 12 0 37
12 Monaco 29 10 7 12 -4 37
13 Auxerre 29 10 7 12 -10 37
14 Caen 29 9 9 11 -12 36
15 Strasbourg 29 9 8 12 -4 35
16 Lens 29 8 10 11 -3 34
17 Paris SG 29 7 11 11 -5 32
18 Sochaux 29 7 11 11 -8 32
19 Toulouse 29 6 12 11 -8 30
20 Metz 29 4 6 19 -31 18


So where does this leave things? Well, Lyon still need to keep focussed as Bordeaux are keeping the pressure on. Marseille need to get focussed and not let 2-0 leads slip away. Nice are, unbelievably, still on for a UEFA slot, but I don't think it's going to last. Suddenly Lille look like the team to watch - great job from Puel, who you would have thought would be a man in demand in the off season.

Down at the bottom, the Lens - OM result didn't really suit either team, as Lens are stuck in the mix. PSG have got to get themselves together if they are going to avoid the drop. Caen look "dans la merde" at the moment. Another gubbing at the weekend does them no favours. But with no team looking capable of putting a run together, pick any two from 11-19 to go down with Metz.

Bonne journée

BB Bob
17-03-2008, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by mik59
Looked at fixtures and given time I may need to get act together, will probably have to be an April-June game. What do you fancy?

05/04/2008 : Lens - Metz
19/04/2008 : Lens - Sochaux
03/05/2008 : Lens - Monaco
10/05/2008 : Lille - Lens [included in case is played within reach]
17/05/2008 : Lens - Bordeaux

Fancy Metz game as could be a doozy and won't do our Stoke game. But then any of last 3 are doable.

Sorry to be so long coming back - Time, stockmarkets, and work to blame! Unfortunately, the only date I've got a distant chance of making this season looks to be the Lens-Bordeaux game in Mid-May and that's going to be a tough one. In any event, they may well move that to Sunday for TV.

It looks as though I may need to leave it until next season :sob:

Let's keep talking about it though, as we must make it happen!

kabbott
17-03-2008, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Sorry to be so long coming back - Time, stockmarkets, and work to blame! Unfortunately, the only date I've got a distant chance of making this season looks to be the Lens-Bordeaux game in Mid-May and that's going to be a tough one. In any event, they may well move that to Sunday for TV.

It looks as though I may need to leave it until next season :sob:

Let's keep talking about it though, as we must make it happen!

Just a bit of help for your match-fixing. From experience the final matches of the season always take place on the Saturday evening, there aren't any on the Sunday. All the matches are shown on Canal+ with priority going to the top or bottom-of-the-table clashes and goals shown as they happen.

BB Bob
17-03-2008, 07:49 PM
http://img.lequipe.fr/Xml/Football/Dossiers/Media/1_OL_FRED_JOIE.jpg

One the way to the top for les Gones

http://img.lequipe.fr/Xml/Football/Dossiers/Media/5_OL_entraineur.jpg

Not sure where Ricardo is going though. Not up, is my guess.

http://img.lequipe.fr/Xml/Football/Dossiers/Media/10_PSG_DIANE_DECU.jpg

Oh please god, not again. Not at home. Again.

http://img.lequipe.fr/Xml/Football/Dossiers/Media/12_PSG_LEGUEN_CAYZAC.jpg

"F*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck......"

http://img.lequipe.fr/Xml/Football/Dossiers/Media/11_PSG_OCCASION_PAULETA.jpg

Thank god for Pauleta. But next season.....

http://img.lequipe.fr/Xml/Football/Dossiers/Media/13_LOSC_CABAYE.JPG

Lille? Goal fest? Am I drunk? No, It must be Caen!

mik59
17-03-2008, 07:57 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
It looks as though I may need to leave it until next season :sob:

Let's keep talking about it though, as we must make it happen! No worries. I'll rely on you to look at the 08-9 fixtures and lead off with suggestions.

kabbott
18-03-2008, 06:57 PM
Well strictly speaking not le championnat, but last 16 of La Coupe de France tonight and tomorrow night. In the early Eurosport kick-off a very young Paris Saint Germain overcame Bastia of Ligue 2 by 2 goals to 1. And live on France 3 in five minutes, Lyon home to Cup holders and Reggie Perrin's former club FC Sochaux. Well there's nothing better to do. Alors bon match et à plus!

kabbott
18-03-2008, 08:08 PM
Dreadful first half 0:0. Can't see Lyon doing the double at ths rate.

BB Bob
18-03-2008, 08:40 PM
Originally posted by kabbott
Well strictly speaking not le championnat, but last 16 of La Coupe de France tonight and tomorrow night. In the early Eurosport kick-off a very young Paris Saint Germain overcame Bastia of Ligue 2 by 2 goals to 1. And live on France 3 in five minutes, Lyon home to Cup holders and Reggie Perrin's former club FC Sochaux. Well there's nothing better to do. Alors bon match et à plus!

I think this has already degenerated into a general French football thread anyway! Allez Angers (well, tomorrow anyway!)

What kind of team have Lyon put out?

kabbott
18-03-2008, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
I think this has already degenerated into a general French football thread anyway! Allez Angers (well, tomorrow anyway!)

What kind of team have Lyon put out?

Well it couldn't have got worse! And it actually got quite a bit better. I was seriously considering calling it a day when Benzema got his trademark goal. Lyon shut up shop, but incredibly in the 89th minute Grégory Coupet made a most uncharacteristic mess of a shot from Traoré and Sochaux drew level. This was in fact Coupet's third howler since coming back from injury. He hasn't really got back to his old form yet, and this isn't looking good for France, what with Landreau, France's second choice, having a 'mare of a season au PSG. But just when we thought we were heading for extra-time, up popped Benzema again to put Lyon through in the 93rd! Ouf! Lyon put out a pretty strong team. Boumsong came in for Squillaci at centre back alongside Cris. Bodmer kept his place in midfield with Juninho injured, and the front three were Govou, Benzema and Keita, with Fred suspended. The two Lyon transfer recruits made interesting contributions as second-half subs. The Argentinian Delgado came on for Govou and showed some classy touches, and Crosas, on loan from Barcelona, bolstered the midfield and passed the ball about quite well. Ben Arfa seems to be out of favour for the time being but he'll be back. He's real class. Hey it's France contre Angleterre la semaine prochaine. I think I'll get a few new posts going on that thread. Bonne nuit!

BB Bob
19-03-2008, 07:27 AM
Originally posted by kabbott
Lyon shut up shop, but incredibly in the 89th minute Grégory Coupet made a most uncharacteristic mess of a shot from Traoré and Sochaux drew level. This was in fact Coupet's third howler since coming back from injury. He hasn't really got back to his old form yet, and this isn't looking good for France, what with Landreau, France's second choice, having a 'mare of a season au PSG.

I'm afraid to say that this all increases the chance of Lloris going at the end of the season - the only question is where. He's having a blinder of a season at le Gym and must be ready to move on to bigger things. Will he be happy going as an understudy to Coupet or Landreau though? And should he even be the number 2 given his form and theirs?

Either way, it doesn't bode well for next season on the Côte d'Azur. No goalie, no decent midfielder. Still, I'm sure we can drag another season out of Lilian Laslandes :rolleyes:

kabbott
19-03-2008, 04:51 PM
Bad news for you BB Bob. Angers played last night. Here are the full scores:
Lyon(L1) 2:1 Sochaux(L2)
PSG(L1 just about) 2:1 Bastia(L2)
Sedan(L2) 2:0 Angers(L2)
Dijon(L2) 3:1 Tours(National=L3)

The other four matches are on tonight with one enormous giant-killing exploit possible:
Carquefou(CFA2) v Marseille (L1)

Anything is possible here. CFA2 is the equivalent of Division 5! And Carquefou may even be relegated to the DH (Division d'Honneur) at the end of the season. Carquefou is just outside Nantes, they're playing at Nantes' stadium (which might not help them) in front of an estimated 38,000. Half of their team have been through the Nantes Academy which has a good reputation (Nantes won le championnat in 1995 with the majority of the team coming through schoolboy and junior ranks etc.
Marseiile are so unpredictable. Their coach, Gerets, is toying with the idea of resting one or two players, but can he take the risk? Valbuena, their pocket-sized playmaker hasn't fully recovered from injury, so he might start on the bench.

Other matches:
Bordeaux(L1) v Lille(L1)
Lorient(L1) v Metz(L1 but not for long)
Amiens(L2) v Arles(National=L3)

Damn! the Bordeaux match is an early kick-off. A plus!

BB Bob
19-03-2008, 08:26 PM
Oh la la la la. Quelle histoire!

Carquefou 1 Olympique Marseille 0

78 minutes played

BB Bob
19-03-2008, 08:42 PM
Merde alors! Carquefou make it through at the Beaujoire in Nantes 1-0!!!

Gotta love it - this is more like Chelsea being knocked out by Canvey Island or Tooting & Mitcham than Barnsley. And don't forget , they knocked out Nancy in the last round.

When's the draw, kabbott?

http://img.lequipe.fr/Xml/Football/Titres/Media/190308_Carquefou111.jpg

kabbott
19-03-2008, 08:45 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Oh la la la la. Quelle histoire!

Carquefou 1 Olympique Marseille 0

78 minutes played

Carquefou c'est fou. C'est énorme. Quel match! Unbelievable performance. Those players ran themselves into the ground. Incredible scenes. Shame on Marseille. Vive la Coupe!!!!!!

kabbott
19-03-2008, 09:08 PM
The draw is often on the footie programme around Sunday lunchtime. Reggie Perrin must be dreading coming up against Carquefou. I bet he'd rather a cushy tie against Bordeaux.
It was real end-to-end stuff. Their keeper played out of his skin. Some of their players were even crying minutes before the ref blew the final whistle.
Just to put it into perspective, Carquefou played their home match last week in front of 145 fans!

BB Bob
20-03-2008, 09:46 AM
All togethe now:-

A Carquefou, à Carquefou
Il y a toujours du suspens jusqu'au bout
Travailler et bien jouer, et la victoire ne pourra plus vous échapper

A Carquefou, à Carquefou
Nos supporters seront toujours là derrière nous
Les entraîneurs et nos joueurs
Nous voulons juste partager votre bonheur

Y'a Gerland, la Beaujoire, mais aussi Marcel Picot
Le stade de notre coeur se nomme Moulin Boisseau
Du junior au senior on y mouille son maillot
Allez en vert et blanc on est tous des héros

A Carquefou, à Carquefou
Il y a toujours du suspens jusqu'au bout
Travailler et bien jouer, et la victoire ne pourra plus vous échapper

A Carquefou, à Carquefou
Nos supporters seront toujours là derrière nous
Les entraîneurs et nos joueurs
Nous voulons juste partager votre bonheur

L'USJA football c'est l'club qui nous fait rêver
L'USJA football c'est l'club qui nous fait vibrer
Dirigeants, bénévoles sont là pour vous entourer
Allez les Verts et blancs maintenant à vous de jouer !

A Carquefou, à Carquefou
Il y a toujours du suspens jusqu'au bout
Travailler et bien jouer, et la victoire ne pourra plus vous échapper

A Carquefou, à Carquefou
Nos supporters seront toujours là derrière nous
Les entraîneurs et nos joueurs
Nous voulons juste partager votre bonheur


You can listen to it here - http://www.mairie-carquefou.fr/ezmediacatalogue/catalogue/phpApRvf8.mp3 (http://)

I think there is something wrong with me - I really like the tune. One listen and you'll be humming it all day

BB Bob
21-03-2008, 08:59 AM
http://www.frenchleague.com/photo/grandFormat/uk_0708_perrin_lyon_mono.jpg

Ligue 1, Matchday 30
Lyon v PSG (Stade de Gerland)
Sunday, March 23, 2008 (19.55 kick-off UK time)


UK TV: LIVE on Setanta Sports from 19.50

A Lyon v PSG fixture would have filled PSG supporters with hope before the season began – but that's because they would have expected it to be a top-of-the-table clash.

The reality is different. While Lyon are six points clear at the top of the table with nine games to go and on course for their seventh consecutive title, PSG go into this match in real danger of relegation. They are 17th but out of the drop zone on goal difference only, so the situation could hardly be more serious.

How has it come to this for the capital outfit? A number of issues have contributed to their lowly position. Firstly, a dreadful run of 10 games without a win at home from the start of the season cost them handfuls of points and affected confidence; last summer's transfer policy of signing mainly youngsters (utility players Gregory Bourillon and Didier Digard among them) left the squad short of experience; a small squad means the club have struggled to replace key men who have suffered injuries or suspension during the season; France number two Mickael Landreau's shaky recent form in goal has caused the club to concede crucial goals; and the failure to sign a consistent goalscorer, while leaving Pauleta on the bench for much of the season, has left the side short of a poacher in the penalty area.

With Peguy Luyindula injured, however, it was Pauleta who popped up with the equaliser nine minutes from time to earn his side a crucial 1-1 draw at home to Valenciennes last weekend.


Before this fixture he may well reflect on what may have happened if he had accepted a move to Lyon 18 months ago. The French champions were keen to sign Portugal's all-time highest scorer – just as they were to buy PSG duo Jerome Rothen and Sylvain Armand last summer – but he decided to stay put.

There are several other links between the clubs. PSG manager Paul Le Guen enjoyed his most successful spell as a boss at Lyon, leading the club to three consecutive titles from 2003 to 2006. PSG midfielder Jeremy Clement, who followed Le Guen to Rangers, made 30 Ligue 1 appearances (scoring one goal) for Lyon during the same trio of title-winning seasons.


And striker Luyindula – who's netted four goals in 24 league appearances for PSG this season – was more prolific during his time at Lyon, scoring 33 goals in 91 league appearances as he helped to club win the title in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

BB Bob
21-03-2008, 09:16 AM
Prediction time


Matchday 30 - Saturday, March 22, 2008
17:10 Nancy Metz

Lorraine derby, Metz playing better, Nancy fading. Do I dare go for a draw? Yep

20:00 Auxerre Saint Etienne

Auxerre aren't bad at home while les verts have the worst away record in the league. They do look to be playing a bit better, though, at the moment, so I'll go for a draw.

20:00 Caen Monaco

Things are looking bleak for Caen, although they are, at least, playing at home. I think Caen will get a draw, but will it be enough for them?

20:00 Marseille Sochaux

What a difference a week makes for l'OM. Out of Europe, lucky to get a draw at Lens and humiliated in the cup. Time for the big boys to step up to the plate. It could be unfortunate for Sochaux to be playing at the Stade Velodrome right now. Home win

20:00 Nice Lorient

Home win for le Gym

20:00 Strasbourg Lille

Lille on a roll, Strasbourg scrapping for points. Could LOSC make the most unlikely European run? Could be. Away win.

20:00 Toulouse Le Mans

I'm going for les Violets in this one. Surely they've got too much quality to go down?

20:00 Valenciennes Bordeaux

A trickier fixture than it would have been last year. Still, I think theat Bordeaux will be too strong for Valenciennes. Away win.

Matchday 30 - Sunday, March 23, 2008

19:00 Rennes Lens

Rennes have been better of late and Lens's comeback against Marseille last week was excellent. Draw

20:55 Lyon Paris SG

Can't be against les Gones at the moment. Home win (and PSG slip into the relegation zone.

Enjoy the games

kabbott
21-03-2008, 12:02 PM
Loto sportif time ...

Nancy v Metz - Draw
Auxerre v St. Etienne - Home win
Caen v Monaco - Draw
Marseiile v Sochaux - Away win
Nice v Lorient - Draw
Strasbourg v Lille - Draw
Toulouse v Le Mans - Draw
Valenciennes v Bordeaux - Home win
Rennes v Lens - Draw
Lyon v PSG - Home win

Another batch of bore draws on the cards, I fear. Nobody wants to lose, so teams will be giving nothing away. When will people realise that throwing caution to the wind might lead to 1 win and 1 defeat (3pts) which is always better than 2 draws?
A few exceptions, however, with another great live Canal+ plus match on Sunday evening, seeing Lyon hammer another nail in PSG's coffin! Valenciennes , I hope, will put one over Bordeaux with a Steve Savidan hat-trick. And Marseille's miserable March will continue with a home defeat to Sochaux who have decided to get out of the relegation places.
Big story in the press about a surreal ( yeah, it's that word again!) half-time punch-up between Gerets, the coach, and Ziani, one of Marseille's prima donna underachievers, during their hstoric Cup defeat against Carquefou. Gerets, and probably rightly so, told him what he thought of his first-half performance. Ziani replied with a stream of abuse, which left the rest of the people present gobsmacked, and Gerets had no choice other than to pile into him! This incident could probably explain Marseille's inept showing in the second half of the match. Geret's has since asked Ziani to make a public apology, which he has refused to do! Ziani's future at Marseille is seriously in doubt. Ziani signed at Marseille last summer after making a MOM display in the final of the French Cup for Sochaux v Lyon last season. Just when you thought Marseille had found a little calm, things go pear-shaped. There's never a dull moment down there! Mediterranean hot-heads!

BB Bob
21-03-2008, 06:41 PM
Ziani was a good player last season, but he must be a top candidate for the navet de l'année award as top c*ck in le Championnat. Of course, Patrick Kluivert put in some very "strong" performances earlier in the season for the same trophy!!!

Gerets is Belgian and they aren't particularly renowned for their tempers (or so I thought). Life never seems easy at the Velodrome. Cissé was in the UK papers today saying he wants a move back to the Premiership. Let's hope no-one looks at the lowlights of his performance on Wednesday

kabbott
21-03-2008, 07:07 PM
Originally posted by BB Bob
Ziani was a good player last season, but he must be a top candidate for the navet de l'année award as top c*ck in le Championnat. Of course, Patrick Kluivert put in some very "strong" performances earlier in the season for the same trophy!!!

Gerets is Belgian and they aren't particularly renowned for their tempers (or so I thought). Life never seems easy at the Velodrome. Cissé was in the UK papers today saying he wants a move back to the Premiership. Let's hope no-one looks at the lowlights of his performance on Wednesday

L'Equipe had a good article with 'les tops et les flops' of the transfer season a week or two ago. I'll try and fish it out. To memory, PSG bought two awful-looking Brazilians in the transfer window, Everton and Souza. They've hardly played and when they have, they've been awful. The jury are still out on Delgado and Crosas of Lyon 'cos it looks like they're just coming into form, like Bodmer. Another flop is the unpronounceable full-back Marseille bought. I think he is Argentinian but of some other origin. In his first match he got his marching orders after about 10 minutes after a knee-high tackle and has never looked back!

Gerets is the gentle giant on the outside but hides a more aggressive inner streak. A few years back, when trainer of PSV or Ajax or some other Dutch team, he tried to stop a pitch invasion by his 'fans' single-handedly!

And as for Cissé, I saw the rumours about England. I was sure when he went to England a few years back, he would be a hit. But for whatever reason, Liverpool ruined him. And since his second break, he's never been the same. He's starting to score a few, but he misses so many sittters every game it's not true.

kabbott
22-03-2008, 08:19 PM
Loto sportif time ... How have we fared so far?

Nancy v Metz - Draw
Auxerre v St. Etienne - Home win
Caen v Monaco - Draw
Marseiile v Sochaux - Away win
Nice v Lorient - Draw
Strasbourg v Lille - Draw
Toulouse v Le Mans - Draw
Valenciennes v Bordeaux - Home win
Rennes v Lens - Draw
Lyon v PSG - Home win

Nancy 2:1 Metz
Auxerre 1:3 St. Etienne
Caen 4:1 Monaco
Marseiile 0:1 Sochaux
Nice 1:2 Lorient
Strasbourg 0:1 Lille
Toulouse 1:1 Le Mans
Valenciennes 3:1 Bordeaux

3 out of 8 in a series of matches in which 23 goals have been scored so far - a lot more than you could have expected. My predictions were well off, though I successfully predicted the home defeat for Marseille and the away defeat for Bordeaux. That's good news before Lyon's game tomorrow night. 3pts and we'll be laughing. How did you get on BB Bob?