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World of Football All non Palace football talk - includes latest scores on Internationals and matches that affect palace.

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  #1  
Old 23-01-2008, 10:17 PM
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Le Championnat

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 To view the link you have to Register or Login although if you can read french To view the link you have to Register or Login is good.

Anyway more later, eh?
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Old 24-01-2008, 09:26 AM
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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.



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Old 27-01-2008, 12:45 PM
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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.


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Old 27-01-2008, 12:49 PM
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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.


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Old 27-01-2008, 12:57 PM
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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.
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Re: Le Championnat

Quote:
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.
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Old 27-01-2008, 01:34 PM
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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.
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Old 27-01-2008, 01:41 PM
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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!
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Old 27-01-2008, 05:03 PM
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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!!!
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Old 29-01-2008, 08:15 AM
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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
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Old 29-01-2008, 08:15 AM
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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

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Old 29-01-2008, 08:20 AM
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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.
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Old 29-01-2008, 08:58 AM
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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.

Also looked out for Nantes, are they leading the 2nd division!?
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Old 29-01-2008, 09:01 AM
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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
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Old 29-01-2008, 09:10 AM
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watched some recent 'highlights'. shocking league
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Old 29-01-2008, 09:15 AM
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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.
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Old 29-01-2008, 11:43 PM
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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.
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Old 30-01-2008, 12:38 AM
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my dad knows steve savidan. top player
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Old 30-01-2008, 08:14 AM
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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
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Old 30-01-2008, 08:26 AM
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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?
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