LFP: Vintage Bordeaux outclass Rennes to reclaim top spot

AFP , PARIS

Tue, Sep 29, 2009 - Page 18

Defending champions Bordeaux returned to the top of Ligue 1 after an impressive 1-0 victory at home to previously unbeaten Rennes on Sunday.

A 24th-minute diving header by Brazilian midfielder Wendel was enough to secure Laurent Blanc’s side the points, but only a combination of excellent goalkeeping and profligate finishing kept the visitors in the game.

“It was a great match, with two teams who were looking to play the ball,” Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc said. “We played against a fine team tonight, certainly the best opposition we’ve faced since the start of the season.”

Bordeaux survived an early scare when Yann Mvila shot into the side-netting after dispossessing the meandering Michael Ciani, before Wendel deftly guided a Benoit Tremoulinas left-wing cross inside the right-hand post.

Bordeaux midfielder Yoann Gourcuff was at his inspirational best and he twice laid on chances for Marouane Chamakh, the Morocco international shooting over after a delightful six-pass exchange with his French teammate and then heading just wide from Gourcuff’s inswinging corner.

Visiting keeper Nicolas Douchez made a terrific reflex stop to keep out Wendel’s deflected free-kick in the 65th minute and then denied substitute David Bellion late on, as Bordeaux strongly closed out a win that takes them a point above second-placed Lyon and leaves Rennes fifth.

Earlier on Sunday, a superb last-minute goal from Pierre-Alain Frau earned Lille a 1-1 draw at home to Nice, who remain second-bottom.

The Mediterranean side went ahead through France under-21 striker Loic Remy in the 61st minute and were closing in on what would have been only their second win of the season until Frau bent a first-time shot into the top-right corner from the edge of the penalty area in the dying moments.

In the day’s other game, Le Mans climbed out of the bottom three thanks to a 3-0 victory at home to last season’s Ligue 2 champions Lens.

Frederic Thomas put Le Mans 2-0 up with a pair of unstoppable 20m strikes, before former Liverpool midfielder Anthony Le Tallec sealed victory shortly after the hour-mark with a towering header.