Mon, Sep 19, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Champions Lille held at home by Sochaux

Reuters, PARIS

AJ Auxerre’s Edouard Cisse, center, battles for the ball with Stade Malherbe Caen goalkeeper Alexis Thebaux, second left, in their Ligue 1 match in Auxerre, France, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Ten-man LOSC Lille Metropole were held 2-2 at the Stadium Lille-Metropole by Sochaux-Montbeliard after Mathieu Debuchy’s second-half dismissal and Sloan Privat’s late equalizer hit the champions’ hopes of joining Montpellier Herault and Toulouse at the top of Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Lille midfielder Benoit Pedretti, signed from AJ Auxerre in the close season, headed the opener from an Eden Hazard assist shortly before Debuchy was carelessly sent off for a second booking following a late tackle after 55 minutes.

Cedric Bakambu took advantage of Sochaux’s extra man to equalize 20 minutes from time, before Lille, who also drew 2-2 with CSKA Moscow in the Champions League in midweek, were awarded a fortunate penalty which Hazard converted.

However, Sochaux’s Privat leveled the score four minutes from time with an excellent header as Lille, even with Joe Cole making his first start, finally wilted in heavy rain.

Montpellier, who are two points above Lille on 13 from six games, lead Toulouse on goal-difference after they let a two-goal lead slip in a 2-2 draw at Stade Brestois 29.

Toulouse produced a fine comeback of their own to join the leaders after coming from two goals down to win 3-2 late on at home to Girondins de Bordeaux, whose woes continued despite Cheick Diabate’s first-half brace.

“I dreamed about this during the four months I was injured,” Emmanuel Riviere, who grabbed the stoppage-time winner with his first Toulouse goal, told reporters.

Montpellier’s Olivier Giroud, pushing for a first France call-up after a sparkling start to the campaign, opened the scoring after 19 minutes and doubled the lead four minutes before the break with a diving header.

Eden Ben Basat pulled one back after 69 minutes for hosts Brest and their Argentine defender Santiago Gentiletti completed the comeback following a corner, before they had Tripy Makonda sent off after a scuffle.

Lorient joined Lille on 11 points after former Arsenal forward Jeremie Aliadiere, without a club last season, headed in the first goal and beat the goalkeeper in a one-on-one for his second in a 3-0 win at home to Saint-Etienne.

OGC Nice overcame AC Ajaccio 3-0 on the Cote D’Azur, Auxerre and Stade Malherbe Caen drew 1-1, while Valenciennes battered promoted Dijon FCO 4-0.

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