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Marseille stumble, Rennes lead the chase

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2008-12-01

Rennes moved to within five points of leaders Lyon courtesy of a solid 1-0 win over Paris Saint Germain. The Bretons leapfrogged Marseille, who lost another chance to narrow the gap after a disappointing goalless draw at Toulouse.

AFP  -  Former Liverpool midfielder Bruno Cheyrou scored the only goal as unheralded Rennes beat Paris Saint Germain 1-0 on Sunday to move into second place in the French first division.
   
Cheyrou came off the bench to replace the injured Stephane Mbia and hit the winner on the stroke of half-time to extend Rennes' unbeaten run to 14 matches with their last defeat coming back in August.
   
Rennes are five points behind leaders, and defending champions Lyon, with their victory allowing them to replace Marseille, who followed up their midweek Champions League elimination with a frustrating 0-0 draw at Toulouse, in second place.
   
That result extended Marseille's winless streak to four games, having drawn 2-2 at home to Lille and lost 3-2 at home to Lorient prior to the 1-0 defeat at Liverpool on Wednesday.  
   
Eric Gerets's Marseille bossed possession in the first half and came closest to breaking the deadlock when Mamadou Niang's close-range effort from Ronald Zubar's flick-on was kept out by Toulouse keeper Cedric Carrasso.
   
Marseille's frustration mounted as the game wore on, with Gerets introducing Mamadou Samassa and Mathieu Valbuena in place of Hatem Ben Arfa and Karim Ziani just before the hour in a bid to bolster his side's attacking impetus.
   
"I think we'll have to live with a draw, but we can live with it, because we were missing something in front of goal", Gerets said.
   
"We were well in the game in the last 10-12 minutes and we had a few chances, but in circumstances like that you need some success and unfortunately things didn't go for us at the end."
   
Saint Etienne brought a seven-game losing streak in the league to an end with a 2-1 victory at Nancy that fired them out of the relegation zone.
   
The visitors took the lead after just seven minutes when on-loan Portuguese midfielder Paulo Machado curled a 30-yard free-kick past home keeper Gennaro Bracigliano.
   
Three minutes before the break Les Verts made their first-half dominance count when David Gigliotti slammed home after Bracigliano had saved from France international striker Bafetimbi Gomis.
   
Things took a turn for the worse for the home side when Bracigliano was dismissed for up-ending Gigliotti inside the penalty area in the 55th minute, but Bafetimbi Gomis wasted the chance to make the game safe by putting his spot-kick wide.
   
Nancy set up a nervy last fifteen minutes when Issiar Dia got away from Blaise Matuidi before finishing neatly past Jeremie Janot, but it wasn't enough to prevent Alain Perrin from claiming his first win as St Etienne coach.
   
"I am happy for the players", Perrin said. "It's a reward for their hard work in training over the last fortnight. When you arrive with the intention of claiming a point but leave with all three, you have to be satisfied."
   
On Saturday a depleted Lyon side were held to a goalless draw at home to Valenciennes in a match played in torrential rain.
   
Fifth-placed Bordeaux drew 0-0 at Sochaux, while Nice's game with Grenoble was called off due to a water-logged pitch.

Date created : 2008-11-30

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