Bordeaux's hopes of landing a second successive French title suffered a blow when they slid to a surprise loss at Auxerre, while the side they deposed as champions, Lyon, went down at home to Sochaux.
AFP - Bordeaux's hopes of landing a second successive French title suffered a blow on Saturday when they slid to a surprise loss at Auxerre, while the side they deposed as champions, Lyon, went down at home to Sochaux.
Lyon failed to gain even a crumb of inspiration from the appearance for a ceremonial kickoff of Clint Eastwood, the legendary American actor and director in the city as guest of honour at the city's film festival.
Bordeaux's 1-0 reverse at the Stade de l'Abbe-Deschamps was equally out of character in that it came on the back of a lacklustre loss two weeks ago at St Etienne.
This time, the tale was one of two penalties - the first missed in the opening period by Fernando Cavenaghi, who saw home keeper Olivier Sorin block his 31st minute effort.
Argentine forward Cavenaghi had helped to win the kick by feeding marauding Brazilian Wendel, who was barged off the ball by Dariusz Dudka.
Despite their greater creativity Bordeaux were lacking a cutting edge in the final third of the field and paid for their complacency when Auxerre took their penalty chance when it fell their way rather fortuitously on 72 minutes.
Valter Birsa sent keeper Cedric Carrasso the wrong way with his strike after Mickael Ciano was harshly adjudged to have fouled Cedric Hengbart in the box.
In a frantic final few minutes Ireneusz Jelen hit the bar with a rocket for Auxerre while Yoann Gourcuff, along with Wendel the focal point of most of Bordeaux's elaborate approach play, volleyed over from close range.
The loss left Bordeaux a point behind Lyon, who have 20 points from their nine games after they inexplicably slumped at 2-0 home to Sochaux for their first loss of the campaign.
Jacques Faty set the ball rolling for Sochaux with the first in the 16th minute after French international keeper Hugo Lloris flapped at a corner and Sloan Privat drilled home the clincher two minutes from the end to cheer a Sochaux side who had begun the day just a point above the drop zone.
"Sochaux deserved their victory - we were right off our game today," said Lyon coach Claude Puel, who must now forget about the slip-up and concentrate on a midweek Champions League date with Liverpool.
"The Liverpool game will be a different match in a different context."
While the leading pair failed to fire on all cylinders following the international break Montpellier and Marseille were able to take advantage.
Marseille roared past Nancy 3-0 away with goals from Matthieu Valbuena, Brandao and Fabrice Abriel while Montpellier edged St Etienne 2-1 with Karim Ait Fana 54 and Souleymane Camara on target.
Montpellier's win was arguably the most significant of the day as it lifted the southerners level on points with Lyon.
Marseille are fourth on 17 points and coach Didier Deschamps was delighted that the stroll in Nancy had boosted confidence ahead of a Champions League match at Zurich.
"We turned in some good stuff - but I wasn't worried beforehand anyway, " insisted Deschamps, whose side can blow hit and cold and lost their last outing at home to Monaco."
Lille were meeting Rennes in the late evening kickoff.
Date created : 2009-10-17