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Audio: The week in French sports

Text by Emmanuel VERSACE

Latest update : 2011-03-15

This week on "Le Sportcast": Ligue 1 leaders Lille pull ahead as Rennes and Paris Saint-Germain take a tumble; Marseille and Lyon face Europe's giants in round 2; and is French rugby heading for a revolution after its implosion against Italy?

This week in Le Sportcast, France 24 sport editor Louis Massie and Ligue 1 specialist Etienne Michon of join sport editor Emmanuel Versace to discuss the latest news from French sport. 

Football – Ligue 1


“Paris brûle-t-il?” (“Is Paris burning?”) Once again, Paris Saint-Germain let slip a match that was well in their grasp. As in last week’s Europa League defeat against Benfica (2-1), the Parisians stumbled against Montpellier after going down to 10 men in the 48th minute. Despite taking a 2-0 lead after the 13th minute, coach Antoine Kombouare’s men lost the edge when Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud scored twice to ensure his team remains in the top 10. As for PSG, they are now three points behind archrivals Marseille (4th), whom they face next.

“La chance des vainqueurs” (“Winners’ luck”). Lille’s Hazard did it again. The Ligue 1 leaders were about to draw in their Northern duel against Valenciennes when Belgian star midfielder Eden Hazard gave his team the edge in extra-time (2-1). Having been dumped out of the Europa League and with neither the League Cup nor the French Cup to play, the Lillois are now just 12 weeks away from their first title since 1954…

Dans la cour des grands” (“In the grown-ups' playground”). Marseille and Lyon face off again against European giants Manchester United and Real Madrid. Both clubs still have a chance after their respective draws (0-0 and 1-1) in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals. The French teams won convincingly at the weekend, but will it be enough to take on their European rivals?

Rugby – Six Nations

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“Morose” (“Gloomy”). The French squad is licking its wounds this week following an embarrassing 22-21 defeat against the Italians. ‘Les Bleus’ were hot favourites but still slumped to their first ever defeat to Italy since the latter joined the Six Nations in 2000. But the historic loss is just the latest in a string of dreadful performances by the French following defeats to Argentina, Australia and England.

French coach Marc Lievremont responded by axing six veteran players from his squad, including the under-fire Sebastien Chabal. With only three games to play and six months to go before the World Cup in New Zealand, France looks more helpless than ever.

Date created : 2011-03-14


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