Mon, May 19, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Lille seal Champions spot, Evian condemn Sochaux

AFP, PARIS

Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Silva, third left, raises the Ligue 1 trophy as he celebrates the title with his teammates after beating Montpellier Herault in Paris on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

LOSC Lille Metropole clinched a Champions League berth after beating Lorient 4-1 on the final day of Ligue 1, which also saw Evian Thonon-Gaillard retain their top-flight status at the expense of Sochaux-Montbeliard.

Needing a victory to assure themselves of a third-place finish and a spot in next year’s Champions League third qualifying round, Lille fell behind at the Stade du Moustoir after Jeremie Aliadiere’s 22nd-minute opener for the hosts.

However, Lille, who have occupied no spot lower than third since October last year, replied through leading scorer Salomon Kalou 10 minutes later.

Having laid on the first goal, Nolan Roux then put Rene Girard’s visiting side in front seven minutes after half time, heading into an unguarded net after Lorient goalkeeper Fabien Audard flapped unsuccessfully at a Florent Balmont cross.

Another blunder from Audard presented Kalou with his second and Lille’s third on 65 minutes as he bundled home from close range to take his season’s tally to 16.

A late own-goal from defender Gregory Bourillon added gloss to the scoreline, which rendered AS Saint-Etienne’s 3-1 victory at home to rock-bottom AC Ajaccio irrelevant, forcing les Verts to settle for fourth and a Europa League berth.

At the Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Loic Perrin headed a Max-Alain Gradel cross to put Saint-Etienne ahead before Mevlut Erding doubled their lead after Gradel squared to the unmarked Turkish striker, who put home his 12th goal of the term.

Perrin put the game out of reach with his second after the interval, before Issa Baradji pulled one back for Ajaccio in stoppage-time.

At Montbeliard, Evian’s 3-0 win over Sochaux consigned the hosts to the second tier after their seven-match unbeaten run was abruptly ended by their relegation rivals.

Herve Renard’s men needed a win over les Croix de Savoie to stay up, but soon found themselves on the back foot at the Stade Auguste Bonal, where they had been unbeaten since January, as Denmark international Daniel Wass fired in an acrobatic volley on nine minutes.

Aldo Angoula netted a second before the break, before Wass sealed the three points and Evian’s place in Ligue 1 with his third.

Also on Saturday, Champions Paris Saint-Germain set a new record for wins in a season with their 27th of the campaign courtesy of a 4-0 rout of Montpellier Herault.

Zlatan Ibrahimovc netted his league-best 26th goal, as Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lucas and Adrian Rabiot also got on the scoresheet to extend PSG’s record points haul to 89.

Following les Verts into the Europe League were Olympique Lyonnais, who booked their ticket with a 1-0 win over OGC Nice.

A sixth-minute header from Bakary Kone saw Lyon finish fifth, one point ahead of Olympique de Marseille, who beat En Avant de Guingamp by the same scoreline.

Elsewhere in Ligue 1, AS Monaco were held 1-1 by Girondins de Bordeaux, while SC Bastia goalkeeper Mickael Landreau kept a clean sheet in his final league game in a goalless draw against Nantes.

Also on Saturday, Stade Rennais beat Stade de Reims 3-1 and Toulouse crushed Valenciennes 3-1.

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