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Lille stun Monaco and stays on course for the title

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-04-19

As Montpellier conceded a draw against Toulouse, another candidate for the French championship title, Lille, enjoyed a clear 4-0 victory against Monaco. Paris Saint-Germain didn't achieve much at Saint-Etienne, coming back with a 0-0 draw.

AFP -  An injury-time equaliser by Colin Kazim-Richards gave Toulouse a 1-1 draw at Montpellier on Sunday that checked the hosts' push for a Champions League place.

Montpellier led through Alberto Costa's 32nd-minute opener and weathered heavy pressure in the second period, with Andre-Pierre Gignac sending a diving header just wide, Paulo Machado clipping the crossbar with a free-kick and substitute Adrien Regattin firing over late on.

The equaliser finally arrived in the 92nd minute when Regattin beat two defenders and squared for on-loan Fenerbahce forward Kazim-Richards to score from close range.

"I'm a competitor, so I'm disappointed to lose two points like that in the last minute of the game," said Montpellier coach Rene Girard.

"But I'm not annoyed. I was a player, so I know that a mistake like that can happen."

The draw leaves Montpellier fourth, level on 59 points with third-place Lyon but behind them on goal difference.

Lille leap-frogged Bordeaux into fifth place with a comprehensive 4-0 victory at home to French Cup finalists Monaco.

Midfielder Yohan Cabaye was the star for Lille, teeing up Aurelien Chedjou for a 14th-minute header and doubling the hosts' advantage with a penalty on the cusp of half-time awarded for a foul on Mathieu Debuchy by Igor Lolo.

Cabaye made the game safe with 15 minutes remaining, sending a sweet volley past Stephane Ruffier from Gervinho's deft touch, before substitute Tulio De Melo added an injury-time coup de grace with a header.

"What we wanted to do was win because we knew that by winning we'd go into the top five," said Lille coach Rudi Garcia.

"It's job done. We were very efficient and solid defensively. The third goal was magnificent. I'm really satisfied with what the players did."

Monaco coach Guy Lacombe, meanwhile, apologised after he was sent off at half-time for reacting to Lille's second goal by throwing a water bottle towards the match officials.

"You know me, it's not the first time I've thrown a bottle," he said.

"I realise it's inappropriate. I regret what I did, which was stupid. I was just angry."

Paris Saint Germain, who will face Monaco in the French Cup final on May 1, drew 0-0 at Saint Etienne in Sunday's late game.

PSG, who remain in 10th, are unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions, while fourth-bottom Saint-Etienne are now eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Marseille kept on course for a first French title in 18 years after Taye Taiwo's injury-time penalty gave them a 2-1 win at second-bottom Boulogne-sur-Mer on Saturday.

Auxerre held onto second place, five points behind Marseille with five points remaining, by beating Lorient 4-1.

Defending champions Bordeaux are now sixth, albeit with a game in hand, after drawing 2-2 at home to Champions League semi-finalists Lyon, who are four points shy of Auxerre in third.

The top three sides qualify for a place in next season's Champions League, with the teams finishing fourth and fifth entering the second-tier Europa League.

Date created : 2010-04-19