Tue, Aug 25, 2009 - Page 18 News List

LFP: Bordeaux crush Nice to go top of the Ligue 1 standings

REUTERS , PARIS

Toulouse’s Ahmed Soukouna, left, takes the ball past Lille’s Nicolas Plestan during their Ligue 1 match at the Lille Metropole Stadium in Villeneuve d’Ascq, France, on Sunday.

PHOTO: AFP

Two goals from Yoann Gourcuff helped champions Girondins Bordeaux maintain their perfect start to the Ligue 1 campaign with a crushing 4-0 home win over Nice on Sunday.

Bordeaux, who captured their first league crown in 10 years in May, moved to the top of the standings and are the only side on maximum points from three games.

Brazilian midfielder Jussie opened the scoring with a header just before halftime. France playmaker Gourcuff then struck twice from close range in the second half, before captain Alou Diarra wrapped it up with a headed goal on 76 minutes.

The team from the wine capital, who extended their record of consecutive league victories to 14, including last season’s run, are two points ahead of Olympique Lyon, Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique Marseille, who all played on Saturday.

Bordeaux needed time to get going in a game played under stifling heat and survived a few scares early on, but then thrilled their fans with some clever moves.

“The score is flattering because we suffered in the first half and needed time to find the right pace,” Gourcuff, the league’s top scorer with four goals, said after proving his worth once again.

“[Gourcuff] has carried on where he left off last season. He is more experienced now, his role is well defined and his teammates understand how he plays,” Bordeaux manager Laurent Blanc said. “He runs the show. Bordeaux relies on Gourcuff and that’s normal.”

Bordeaux will face a real test next weekend when they visit Marseille, widely regarded as their main rivals for the title.

“Marseille are a strong side with good reinforcements and a coach [Didier Deschamps] who knows all about the highest level,” Gourcuff told French television channel Canal Plus. “It should be a great match. We’ll take it very seriously. We know our run of wins will have to end one day, but we want to make it last for as long as we can.”

In Sunday’s other Ligue 1 games, Grenoble lost 2-1 at home to Lens, while Lille were held 1-1 by visitors Toulouse.

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