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Sport

PSG falter again to hand Montpellier top spot

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-03-26

Big spending Paris Saint Germain lost top spot in League 1 on Sunday after only managing to scrape a 1-1 draw at home to Bordeaux. Montpellier now top the league after beating Saint Etienne 1-0 on Saturday.

AP - Paris Saint-Germain slipped behind Montpellier in the French title race on goal difference after drawing 1-1 at home to Bordeaux on Sunday, needing a late equalizer from striker Guillaume Hoarau to avoid a second straight defeat.

PSG crashed out of the French Cup quarterfinals after a 3-1 home loss to Lyon in midweek, and another defeat looked on the cards after striker Cheick Diabate gave Bordeaux the lead in the 77th minute.

Hoarau equalized four minutes after Diabate’s goal when he controlled a neat backheel from substitute Mathieu Bodmer just inside the penalty area, span and hit a low shot that goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso got a hand on but could not keep out.

“It wasn’t a good performance,” PSG’s sporting director Leonardo said on Canal Plus television. “But we’re not here to prove anything to anyone, we’re here to win the title.”

But PSG’s players went off to jeers at halftime at Parc des Princes, just like they did against Lyon four days ago.

“I’m not happy because we wanted to win. We took too long to get into the game,” PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “We made a few mistakes in defense and we were punished for it on the counterattack.”

With nine matches remaining, Montpellier and PSG have 60 points, but Montpellier’s goal difference is three better than PSG’s. Lille is seven points behind them in third place.

“It’s hard to understand why we’re always chasing after the game,” PSG defender Christophe Jallet said.

PSG showed little invention and regularly gave the ball away as Bordeaux played the better football for most of the match, but, despite Bordeaux closing PSG down all over the field, PSG twice went close to scoring in the first half.

Nene almost got his foot to the ball ahead of Mickael Ciani from Jallet’s cross in the 28th, and center half Alex should have done better with a free header when he raced onto Nene’s freekick from the left a minute later.

Bordeaux hit back and left back Benoit Tremoulinas slipped in midfielder Jaroslav Plasil, whose low shot was saved by goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.

Ancelotti replaced Menez at halftime with Blaise Matuidi to tighten up the midfield and reduce the space for Tremoulinas.

PSG starting playing with more urgency, and midfielder Mohamed Sissoko forced Carrasso into a fine save with a low drive.

Plasil then curled a lovely shot onto the crossbar with 20 minutes to go, before Nicolas Maurice-Belay rounded Sirigu and offered Diabate and easy tap-in for the opening goal.
“We came here to win, but a draw’s not bad,” Diabate said. “We had a lot of chances, but we didn’t take all of them.”

Earlier, Toulouse climbed into fourth place above Lyon after beating last-place Auxerre 1-0 through winger Franck Tabanou’s first-half goal.

Toulouse has won five and drawn one of its past six league games, conceding only one goal, to keep the pressure on third-place Lille in the race for the final Champions League slot.

Toulouse is one point ahead of Lyon and three behind Lille, which it plays next weekend.

“We don’t set ourselves any limits,” Tabanou said. “We know our potential, and now we have a game against one of our main rivals.”

Auxerre, meanwhile, is slipping closer to the second division and is five points away from safety with only nine rounds remaining.

“We’re going have to start winning now. That’s for sure,” said coach Jean-Guy Wallemme, who took charge of Auxerre for the first time since Laurent Fournier was sacked. “It’s a bit of a crazy challenge but that’s why I came. Some people say we have 80 percent chance of going down, but I would rather focus on the 20 and stay positive.”

Dijon moved up to 13th place after beating Caen 2-0 with goals from forward Koro Kone and midfielder Younousse Sanhkare.

Montpellier beat Saint-Etienne 1-0 on Saturday.

 

Date created : 2012-03-26

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