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Bordeaux and Lyon still in race for Champions League spot
French champions Bordeaux beat Toulouse 1-0, while elsewhere Lyon overcame Montpellier 1-0. The wins mean that both teams are still in the running for a Champions League berth next season.
AFP - Having seen their chances of retaining the French league title implode owing to a recent poor run of form Bordeaux belatedly returned to winning ways on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Toulouse.
Lyon, deflated by their midweek Champions League exit to Bayern Munich, also found their form with a win by the same score at previously high-riding Montpellier.
Both sides will now hope to ensure they can pick off a lucrative Champions League berth for next season.
One point in five games had seen Laurent Blanc's side slide out of contention as Marseille set the pace to open up a five-point lead after their goalless draw with second-placed Auxerre.
After the weekend action, Lille still have the third slot which would bring about a Champions League qualifying slot with 64 points to 72 for Marseille and Auxerre.
But Lyon are now only two points behind Lille and they have a game in hand after Michel Bastosdrove home the only goal of the game with 18 minutes left at Montpellier to leave the hosts without a win in five weeks.
Bordeaux are on 60 points, as are Montpellier as the season enters its final furlong.
Michael Ciani's 17th-minute decider from a cross by Brazilian star Wendel was enough to secure full points for Bordeaux earlier in the day and Blanc admitted the relief was tangible.
"A win at last - it was a while since we had had one. Last year we had won certain matches in our heads before playing them," Blanc noted in highlighting the difference a season makes.
"I am happy to have a group which was able to react" to their previous poor form, he added.
Lille saw off Nancy 3-1 to stay third with goals from Gervinho 35, Yohan Cabaye and Pierre-Alain Frau.
"We want to finish as high as possible and we know what we have to do," said Cabaye while Frau added: "It's down to us and this is another step towards Europe."
At the wrong end of the table, St Etienne did themselves no favours in going down 4-1 at home to Lens - although Les Verts are still seven points clear of third-bottom Le Mans, who pinched a point at Monaco in midweek.
Le Mans still are set to follow tailenders Grenoble and Boulogne into the second division next season.
Sochaux, already safe, bolstered their recent move away from danger with a 2-1 win at Rennes.
Caen and Brest have already won promotion while Arles-Avignon, who were in division three last season, could yet bag the final place among the elite.