Mon, Feb 20, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Lille edge Lorient to make up ground on Ligue 1 leaders

AP, PARIS

Defending champions LOSC Lille Metropole made up ground in the title race and consolidated third place by edging Lorient 1-0 in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Fullback Mathieu Debuchy scored the winning goal by flicking home a cross from Benoit Pedretti in the 76th minute.

“We’re still in the running,” Pedretti told Canal Plus television. “Everybody had written us off a bit quickly.”

Lille trail leaders Paris Saint-Germain by eight points.

Meanwhile, Olympique de Marseille extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 15 games, but lost ground in the chase for a Champions League spot by drawing 1-1 with Valenciennes.

Marseille midfielder Alou Diarra headed home a cross from Rod Fanni in the 16th minute, but Brazilian centerback Gil fired under the bar from close range following a goalmouth scramble to level in the 51st.

“We lost two points tonight,” Marseille coach Didier Deschamps said.

“We did some good things today, but we missed the essential, that is, efficiency,” he said.

Marseille forward Brandao came close to scoring the winner in the 89th minute, but his header struck the post.

Also on Saturday, it was AS Nancy-Lorraine 0, Toulouse 3; AC Ajaccio 0, Stade Brestois 29 0; Stade Malherbe Caen 2, Evian Thonon Gaillard 2; Dijon FCO 3, OGC Nice 0; Sochaux-Montbeliard 0, AJ Auxerre 0.

Toulouse midfielder Francois Sirieix opened the scoring with a long-range drive in the ninth minute. Adrien Regattin then added a second goal with a strike into the top corner that deflected off Nancy midfielder Salif Sane in the 20th minute.

Emmanuel Riviere sealed the win by converting a rebound in the 72nd minute after Nancy goalkeeper Guy Ndy Assembe had denied Regattin.

Brest goalkeeper Steeve Elana salvaged a draw by stopping a penalty from Ajaccio striker Eduardo in the 82nd minute after Benoit Lesoimier had handled the ball.

In Caen, the hosts were denied victory by a late goal from Evian winger Sidney Govou.

Pierre-Alain Frau put Caen ahead by converting a penalty on the stroke of halftime after Evian fullback Guillaume Rippert had fouled him. Evian leveled in the 50th minute with a free-kick from midfielder Cedric Barbosa.

Caen forward Livio Nabab then beat goalkeeper Stephan Andersen in the 57th minute to give Caen a 2-1 lead, but the Caen defense failed to clear a corner in the fourth minute of stoppage-time and Govou volleyed home the equalizer.

In Dijon, striker Brice Jovial set up Gael Kakuta for the opening goal in the 44th minute. Jovial then took a pass from Kakuta in the 53rd to double the lead with a chip and raise his tally to nine goals this season.

Dijon midfielder Koro Kone made it 3-0 with a lob in the 87th minute.

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