Tue, Sep 29, 2009 - Page 18 News List

LFP: Vintage Bordeaux outclass Rennes to reclaim top spot

AFP , PARIS

Lens midfielder Abdoulrazak Boukari, left, takes a shot as Le Mans defender Ludovic Baal during their Ligue 1 match at the Leon-Bolle Stadium in Le Mans, France, on Sunday.

PHOTO: AFP

Defending champions Bordeaux returned to the top of Ligue 1 after an impressive 1-0 victory at home to previously unbeaten Rennes on Sunday.

A 24th-minute diving header by Brazilian midfielder Wendel was enough to secure Laurent Blanc’s side the points, but only a combination of excellent goalkeeping and profligate finishing kept the visitors in the game.

“It was a great match, with two teams who were looking to play the ball,” Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc said. “We played against a fine team tonight, certainly the best opposition we’ve faced since the start of the season.”

Bordeaux survived an early scare when Yann Mvila shot into the side-netting after dispossessing the meandering Michael Ciani, before Wendel deftly guided a Benoit Tremoulinas left-wing cross inside the right-hand post.

Bordeaux midfielder Yoann Gourcuff was at his inspirational best and he twice laid on chances for Marouane Chamakh, the Morocco international shooting over after a delightful six-pass exchange with his French teammate and then heading just wide from Gourcuff’s inswinging corner.

Visiting keeper Nicolas Douchez made a terrific reflex stop to keep out Wendel’s deflected free-kick in the 65th minute and then denied substitute David Bellion late on, as Bordeaux strongly closed out a win that takes them a point above second-placed Lyon and leaves Rennes fifth.

Earlier on Sunday, a superb last-minute goal from Pierre-Alain Frau earned Lille a 1-1 draw at home to Nice, who remain second-bottom.

The Mediterranean side went ahead through France under-21 striker Loic Remy in the 61st minute and were closing in on what would have been only their second win of the season until Frau bent a first-time shot into the top-right corner from the edge of the penalty area in the dying moments.

In the day’s other game, Le Mans climbed out of the bottom three thanks to a 3-0 victory at home to last season’s Ligue 2 champions Lens.

Frederic Thomas put Le Mans 2-0 up with a pair of unstoppable 20m strikes, before former Liverpool midfielder Anthony Le Tallec sealed victory shortly after the hour-mark with a towering header.

This story has been viewed 1476 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top