Tue, Feb 14, 2012 - Page 18 News List

PSG go clear, Bordeaux edge ‘Dogues’ in thriller

AFP, PARIS

OGC Nice goalkeeper David Ospina, center, jumps in front of Paris Saint-Germain’s Jeremy Menez, right, in their Ligue 1 match in Nice, France, on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

Paris Saint-Germain inched a point clear in Ligue 1 on Sunday following a 0-0 draw at OGC Nice, after Ludovic Obraniak had netted a 93rd-minute winner for Girondins de Bordeaux in an extraordinary 5-4 win at his former club LOSC Lille Metropole.

PSG had been bidding to reclaim top spot from Montpellier Herault and they did so despite a lackluster performance at the home of the league’s third-bottom side.

Labored in attack, PSG twice had recourse to thank goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, who produced smart saves to deny Anthony Mounier and Fabrice Abriel in each half.

The visitors’ clearest sight of goal fell to Nene in the 88th minute, but he turned into a cul-de-sac after bursting into the Nice box and the opportunity was lost.

“It’s still a good result — you can’t win every match,” PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “The week ahead will be very important, with the French Cup match [at Dijon] during the week and then the match against Montpellier next weekend.”

PSG lead Montpellier by a slender point prior to their encounter in Paris at the weekend, but reigning champions Lille are 11 points off the pace — with a game in hand — after Obraniak’s late strike placed their title defense in serious jeopardy.

Bordeaux led 4-1 with half an hour to play, but goals from Eden Hazard, Mathieu Debuchy and Nolan Roux drew the home side level, only for Polish international Obraniak to apply a stunning coup de grace in the third minute of stoppage-time.

Like Lille, Bordeaux were knocked out of the French Cup last week, by Olympique Lyonnais, but they have climbed to ninth in the table and are now only six points shy of the Champions League places.

Nicolas Maurice-Belay opened the scoring for Bordeaux in the second minute, pouncing on the rebound after Obraniak’s shot was blocked by Mickael Landreau and scoring courtesy of a deflection off Debuchy.

Obraniak then restored Bordeaux’s lead in the 17th minute after David Rozehnal had equalized for Lille, and further goals early in the second half from Maurice-Belay and Yoan Gouffran increased the visitors’ advantage to 4-1.

Hazard’s fine long-range free-kick rallied Lille and after Debuchy had scored with a volley that he set up with a sublime first touch, Roux converted Benoit Pedretti’s pass in the 90th minute to level the scores.

Lille appeared to have salvaged a point in the most unlikely of circumstances, but three minutes later, a ball from the right found Obraniak at the back post and he steadied himself, before arrowing home a low drive to break the champions’ hearts.

“It’s never been our aim, as we don’t have the means,” coach Rudi Garcia said of Lille’s title ambitions. “We want to be in the top three.”

Despite the defeat, Lyon’s shock 2-1 defeat at home to Stade Malherbe Caen on Saturday, coupled with the postponement of Olympique de Marseille’s trip to Evian Thonon Gaillard, mean that Lille remain in third place.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang marked his return from Africa Cup of Nations duty by scoring a stunning long-range goal to give AS Saint-Etienne a 1-0 win at Toulouse that took Les Verts above their opponents into seventh.

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