Beckham can't inspire PSG win

A review of the weekend's action in the French Ligue 1, with David Beckham's PSG being held by St Etienne.

Last Updated: 17/03/13 at 23:08 Post Comment

David Beckham: Narrowly missed late chance to win the game

David Beckham: Narrowly missed late chance to win the game

Paris St Germain wasted an opportunity to go seven points clear at the top of Ligue 1 as they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with St Etienne at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

Despite racing ahead through Javier Pastore's strike and a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty, PSG had to settle for a point as St Etienne's spirited response delivered an Alex own goal and a Francois Clerc equaliser.

St Etienne remain unbeaten in 2013 but will be disappointed not to have claimed the three points that would have taken them level on points with Marseille in third.

David Beckham made his first start in European football in almost three years for the visitors. He had opportunity to score the winner with a trademark free-kick moments from the end but the former England captain dragged his effort wide of the right post.

Meanwhile, Toulouse and Bordeaux were left languishing in mid-table as both teams played out a dour goalless draw in the derby de la Garonne.

Both sides' recent poor run of goalscoring form was highlighted at the Stade Alle Gabriel Bienes as Bordeaux struggled to find the breakthrough which would have seen them close the gap on a European place.

Toulouse's failure to win means they still have just one win in their last eight attempts and have won once once at home all year.

Djamel Bakar's first-half strike raised Nancy's hopes of beating the drop as they overcame Nice 1-0 at the Stade Marcel Picot.

Nancy remain well adrift of safety, five points behind fourth-bottom Brest, but they have four wins in their last eight league outings.

A third straight defeat away from home for injury-hit Nice meant the visitors missed an opportunity to move level on points with Marseille.

On Saturday, Bastia's midfielder Florian Thauvin bagged a brace as Lyon's title hopes took a hammer blow with a 4-1 defeat at the Stade Armand Cesari.

Thauvin, who is remaining with Bastia for the rest of the season having signed for Lille in January, put the hosts in front just before half-time although Lisandro Lopez levelled in the 53rd minute.

That was as good as it got for the visitors, who fell behind almost immediately afterwards through Anthony Modeste's strike while Thauvin's second on the hour left them with a mountain to climb.

Wahbi Khazri ensured there was no way back as second-placed Lyon suffered their heaviest defeat of the season.

Montpellier suffered another blow to their European aspirations as they were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Troyes.

The home side were looking to bounce back from last week's defeat to Nice and things looked to be going their way when Gaetan Charbonnier struck early on from close range.

However, Troyes are battling for Ligue 1 survival and responded with an equaliser from Corentin Jean after the restart.

The result leaves Montpellier seventh in the table, while second-bottom Troyes are five points from safety.

Evian's smash-and-grab raid dragged them away from danger and ended Lille's fine run of form to dent their European hopes after a 2-1 win.

Lille struck a post and missed a penalty as Evian came from behind for an unlikely win against a team who had won five games in a row.

Salomon Kalou put Lille ahead after just seven minutes, but after Dimitri Payet hit the upright, Saber Khlifa levelled on the half-hour mark, and Kalou then scored an own goal in the 67th minute before missing a spot-kick.

Lorient answered coach Christian Gourcuff's complaints about conceding late goals by scoring two early to set up a comfortable 4-0 win over Brest.

Lorient have seen their hopes of European football fade thanks to late defeats, but made sure there would be no such problems with goals from Julien Quercia and Yann Jouffre in the opening seven minutes before further strikes from Wesley Lautoa and Gilles Sunu.

Mohamed Fofana seized his chance to give Reims a little breathing space in their battle to avoid the drop as they beat Rennes 1-0.

The Malian defender headed the only goal in the 31st minute against Rennes to make it a miserable 500th top-flight match as a manager for visiting boss Frederic Antonetti.

Antonetti is the longest serving of the current crop of Ligue 1 managers but this was not a night to remember for Rennes. Their hopes of playing in Europe next season are fading after five games without a win.

Reims, who were outside the relegation zone at the beginning of the day, moved two points clear.

Sochaux missed the chance to climb back out of the relegation zone after conceding a late equaliser at home to Valenciennes in a match they should have won.

Eric Hely's men, who dropped into the bottom three following successive defeats to last-placed Nancy and Evian, looked set to claim a morale-boosting triumph after taking an eighth-minute lead through Ryad Boudebouz and dominating for large periods.

However, after hitting the crossbar twice and also being denied by a string of fine saves by visiting goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau, the hosts were hit by an agonising sucker-punch with eight minutes remaining when teenage substitute Opa Nguette scored a brilliant equaliser for mid-table Valenciennes.

On Friday, Marseille's title hopes continued to recede as they were held to an uninspiring goalless draw at home to mid-table Ajaccio.

The stalemate marks the third time in four Ligue 1 games that OM have failed to find the target and leaves them nursing a run of just two wins in eight stretching back to January 26.


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