Mon, Aug 14, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Micoud celebrates return with a goal

WELCOME BACK Johan Micoud, who had been plying his wares in Germany, celebrated his return to French soccer by netting the winner against an indisciplined Lorient


Valenciennes's Eric Chelle, left, Rudy Mater, center, and Fabrice Pancrate of PSG challenge for the ball during their French League One soccer match at the Nungesser stadium in Valenciennes, northern France, on Saturday.


Midfielder Johan Micoud made a stylish return to Ligue 1 when Girondins Bordeaux continued their perfect start to the season with a 1-0 win at nine-man Lorient on Saturday.

Bordeaux are joint top with Nancy on six points from two matches after five-times champions Olympique Lyon were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Toulouse.

Lyon, which welcomed back several internationals from an extended break following the World Cup, took the lead in the 81st minute through France winger Florent Malouda.

Brazilian Fabinho scored in injury time to grab a point for Toulouse -- which is looking to sign France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez.

"The draw is a fair result as we were not as strong as usual," said Lyon coach Gerard Houllier.

Former Werder Bremen playmaker Micoud, who joined Bordeaux in the summer and was suspended for the first match of the season, met a Julien Faubert cross to score the winner on the stroke of halftime.

Called up by coach Raymond Domenech, Faubert could make his France debut on Wednesday against Bosnia.

Micoud was one of four Bordeaux players booked, while Lorient had two players sent off.

Promoted Lorient were reduced to 10 men 20 minutes from time when defender Michael Ciani was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Micoud.

Midfielder Yazid Mansouri suffered the same fate after 85 minutes for another dangerous tackle on Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh.

Bordeaux hosts Lyon next weekend, and can open up a five-point lead on the five-time champion if it wins.

Last season, Lyon won the title comfortably, finishing 12 points ahead of Bordeaux. Coach Gerard Houllier's Lyon is looking to become the first team among Europe's top flight to win six straight titles.

Nancy recorded their second win with a 3-1 home victory over Sedan Ardennes with goals from Benjamin Gavanon, Gaston Curbelo and Tosin Dosunmu. All three goals came in the last 12 minutes, after Gregory Pujol scored early for Sedan.

Monaco are still without a point as they were beaten 2-1 at home by St Etienne.

Midfielder Gerard scored a consolation goal from the penalty spot after striker Pascal Feindouno and Frederic Piquionne had given Les Verts a two-goal lead.

Paris St Germain were held to an embarrassing goalless draw at promoted Valenciennes one week after losing 3-2 to Lorient.

Yesterday, France's World Cup star Franck Ribery was set to play for Marseille against Rennes. This week, Ribery said he was finally staying with Marseille, a week after saying he wanted to leave the club.

In yesterday's other match, Lille were due to host arch-rivals Lens.

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