Monaco net narrow win

A review of the weekend's action so far in the French Ligue 1, including a Zlatan-inspired PSG win.

Last Updated: 16/03/14 at 22:21 Post Comment

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is congratulated by Blaise Matuidi

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is congratulated by Blaise Matuidi

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his fifth Ligue 1 brace of the season as Paris St Germain restored their eight-point lead with a 2-0 win over St Etienne.

Two first-half strikes from the champions' top scorer were enough to secure Laurent Blanc's men their seventh straight win and maintained their impressive lead over second-placed Monaco.

Monaco made it five wins from their last six matches and maintained the pressure on Ligue 1 leaders PSG with an impressive 3-2 win at Lyon.

Claudio Ranieri's men raced into an early two-goal lead thanks to goals from Valerie Germain and James Rodriguez before Jimmy Briand offered the hosts hope with a strike before half-time.

However, Dimitar Berbatov was on hand shortly after the restart to reinstate Monaco's two-goal advantage with a second goal since his January arrival in the principality before Briand added what turned out be a consolation with 12 minutes left.

The result got Monaco within five points of the leaders until PSG responded later on Sunday.

Montpellier were held for a 16th time this season as Bordeaux avoided defeat at the Stade de la Mosson for the first time in four years following a 1-1 draw.

Les Girondins captain Henrique sent the hosts into a first-half lead with little under 25 minutes played to offer hopes of a first win in three for Francis Gillot's team.

However, Vitorino Hilton's third goal of the season denied Bordeaux the chance of moving up to seventh in the table and claimed a vital point for La Paillade in their battle for safety.

On Saturday, Champions League-chasing Lille endured a frustrating afternoon at Stade Metropole as they were held to a goalless draw by out-of-form Nantes.

Rene Girard's men failed to turn periods of pressure into goals, with visiting goalkeeper Remy Riou also playing his part late on.

Elsewhere, Nice moved above derby rivals Bastia and into the top half of the standings thanks to a 2-0 win at the Allianz Riviera.

Alexy Bosetti gave them an ideal start when he opened the scoring inside the opening few minutes and their hopes of victory were given a further boost when Bastia captain Yannick Cahuzac was given a red card for a rash aerial challenge on Albert Rafetraniaina.

The visitors did have their chances to level in a game of few clear-cut opportunities, but Neal Maupay got the final touch to Valentin Eysseric's shot in the 72nd minute to ensure Nice claimed all three points.

Rennes were plunged deeper into the relegation mire after going down 3-2 at home to Toulouse.

TFC were in control of the contest once Ola Toivonen's own goal was followed by Clement Chantome's deflected free-kick just before half-time.

When Rennes did hit back, through Nelson Oliviera, Toulouse took just five minutes to restore their two-goal cushion as Serge Aurier finished a flowing move.

Abdoulaye Doucoure tapped in a late consolation for Rennes, but it was not enough to prevent a third straight loss and left them just three points above third-bottom Valenciennes.

VA breathed fresh life into their survival prospects with a 1-0 win at fellow strugglers Evian, Abdul Waris turning in the game's only goal on 63 minutes.

Second-bottom Sochaux picked up only their sixth league win of the season on Saturday evening with a 2-0 home victory over Lorient.

Herve Renard's side took an early lead through Roy Contout and Stopilla Sunzu sealed matters with a second goal 10 minutes from time.

Guingamp moved seven points clear of the drop zone as they recorded a 2-1 win at basement boys Ajaccio.

Paul Lasne put the bottom team ahead in the eighth minute, but Mustapha Yatabare levelled five minutes later and Claudio Beauvue completed the turnaround late on.

Marseille's recent struggles continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw away to surprise package Reims on Friday night.

Both teams had chances before Antoine Devaux gave Reims a 67th-minute lead, Marseille's response coming through Andre-Pierre Gignac's ferocious strike 10 minutes from time.


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