Mon, Dec 12, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Triumphant PSG rein in league leaders Montpellier


Girondin de Bordeaux’s Landry N’Guemo, top, shoots past Olympique de Marseille’s Djimi Traore in their Ligue 1 match in Marseille, France, on Saturday.

Photo: Reuters

Paris Saint-Germain drew level with Ligue 1 leaders Montpellier Herault in the standings after beating Sochaux-Montbeliard 1-0 on Saturday.

France international Kevin Gameiro dribbled past Sochaux defender Loic Poujol to notch his ninth goal this season with an angled shot in the 20th minute.

“The team is gelling,” PSG coach Antoine Kombouare said.

“We know that it’s a tough league, that we are awaited everywhere and that there’s still a very long way to go,” Kombouare said.

Montpellier still hold on to the Ligue 1 top spot on goal-difference, despite losing 1-0 at Valenciennes.

Valenciennes midfielder Foued Kadir converted a rebound after Montpellier goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren parried a powerful drive from David Ducourtioux in the 46th minute.

“We performed poorly tonight,” Montpellier coach Rene Girard said. “We faced a Valenciennes side that was motivated. We didn’t show as much desire as them.”

The result ended Montpellier’s eight-game unbeaten run in the league.

“I saw things tonight that didn’t please me,” Girard said. “We will have to be careful and not get sloppy.”

Also on Saturday, it was Stade Rennais 1, Stade Brestois 29 1; Toulouse 2, Evian Thonon Gaillard 1; Olympique de Marseille 0, Girondins de Bordeaux 0; AS Saint-Etienne 2, Stade Malherbe Caen 0; and AS Nancy-Lorraine 2, AC Ajaccio 2.

Brest striker Nolan Roux followed up to score in the 17th minute after a long-range effort from Bruno Grougi crashed against the crossbar, but Rennes defender Romain Danze equalized by heading in a free-kick in the 30th minute.

In Toulouse, Turkish forward Umut Bulut scored the winner from close range off a pass from Etienne Capoue in the 90th minute.

Moussa Sissoko took a pass from Franck Tabanou to put Toulouse ahead in the 25th minute, but Evian leveled in the 50th minute when Daniel Wass beat goalkeeper Ali Ahamada.

Marseille hoped to make up ground in the race for a European spot, but they had to share the points with Bordeaux after a goalless draw at the Stade Velodrome.

“We had opportunities, but we lacked energy and lucidity with the final ball to make the difference,” Marseille midfielder Mathieu Valbuena said.

Marseille had not recovered from their midweek heroics in Dortmund, where they overcame a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 and qualify for the knockout phase of the Champions League.

In Saint-Etienne, midfielder Banel Nicolita chipped Caen goalkeeper Alexis Thebaux in the 10th minute and Caen went down to 10 men in the 42nd minute when forward Livio Nabab was sent off for slapping the butt of Saint-Etienne defender Jean-Pascal Mignot, who had fouled him.

Saint-Etienne substitute Bakary Sako added a second goal in the 74th minute with an effort that deflected off a defender.

Striker Daniel Niculae salvaged a draw for Nancy in the third minute of stoppage-time. Winger Djamel Bakar opened the scoring with a curling shot in the 10th minute, but Ajaccio equalized when Nancy defender Andre Luiz turned the ball into his own net in the 34th minute, before they took the lead when Johan Cavalli fired into the top corner in the 73rd minute.

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