Marseille, Bordeaux draw
Marseille and Bordeaux did their title aspirations no favors at all on Sunday as they lumbered to draws with Le Mans and St Etienne. Marseille failed to hit the target at the Stade Velodrome despite dominating possession against a Le Mans side fighting the drop, while Bordeaux had a last-gasp Fernando Cavenaghi goal to thank for saving their blushes at St Etienne. Blaise Matuidi had scored with a magnificent drive eight minutes after the restart for Les Verts, but the hosts failed to climb out of the bottom three when Argentine Cavenaghi bundled home from close range following Marouane Chamakh’s nod on after a corner with just seconds remaining. Lille closed to within a single point of Bordeaux in the late match to go sixth and join the very fringe of the title race after goals from Ludovic Obraniak and Stephane Dumont saw off Monaco 2-1 in Sunday’s late match, Adriano netting a consolation.
Twente score late winner
Steve McClaren’s FC Twente needed a last minute Theo Janssen goal to beat Sparta Rotterdam 2-1 on Sunday and maintain their slim league title hopes. Ajax won by the same scoreline, but were booed by their own supporters after struggling to beat last-place FC Volendam. Twente took the lead with a Sander van Gessel own-goal. Ruud Knol gave Sparta hope by converting a 30th minute penalty, but Janssen got a 90th minute winner to secure his side’s first win at Sparta since 1996. Gerson Sheotahul put Volendam in front after 15 minutes, but Luis Suarez headed home Rasmus Lindgren’s cross to level for Ajax in the 31st minute. Thomas Vermaelen grabbed the winner off Miralem Sulejmani’s free-kick in the 75th minute, but Ajax had referee Raymond van Meenen to thank after Melvin Platje’s potential equalizer in the 90th minute was ruled offside. Also on Sunday, Karim El Ahmadi and Jon Dahl Tomasson scored a goal each to lead Feyenoord to a 2-0 win over De Graafschap and NEC Nijmegen beat FC Utrecht 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Youssef El-Akchaoui and Joel Tshibamba.
Wolves escape with draw
Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers escaped with a 2-2 draw against Cardiff City on Sunday thanks to a late howler from Bluebirds goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos. Mick McCarthy’s team were heading for defeat with just nine minutes to play at Molineux when on-loan Coventry City stopper Konstantopoulos dropped Kyel Reid’s cross into his own net. Wolves, who have now won just one of their last 10 league games, moved four points clear of second-placed Birmingham City as a result of their fortunate equalizer, although their local rivals have a game in hand. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake’s 21st league goal of the season had given the hosts the lead after 11 minutes. But Michael Chopra equalized in the 31st minute and Roger Johnson put sixth-placed Cardiff ahead three minutes after halftime.
Anti-doping probe launched
Officials have launched an investigation into possible anti-doping violations by two Hoffenheim players after they turned up 10 minutes late for a post-match urine test. The federation said both Andreas Ibertsberger and Christoph Janker tested negative after a league match on Feb. 7 against Borussia Munchengladbach, but that they had failed to show up for the tests immediately after the final whistle, going first to a team meeting. If found guilty they could be banned for a year.