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FOOTBALL - FRANCE

Title race still on as Strasbourg are relegated

3 min

Lyon remain on track to secure a seventh successive title after a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Nancy, though Bordeaux's 2-0 win over Sochaux means the pressure is still on. Elsewhere, a home defeat condemned Strasbourg to relegation.

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Olympique Lyon stayed two points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with one match left after a 1-0 home win over Nancy on Saturday.

 

Nancy's Brazilian defender Andre Luiz deflected the ball into his own net on the hour to put Lyon on 76 points from 37 games, two points ahead of second-placed Girondins Bordeaux, who beat Sochaux 2-0 to set up a thrilling finale.

 

"It will be tough because Lyon are a top side and they know how to hold on to a lead but we'll give it our very best," Bordeaux chairman Jean-Louis Triaud told reporters. "Everything can still happen."

 

Lyon, chasing a seventh consecutive title, needed a win and no better than a draw by Bordeaux to be crowned on Saturday. They will visit lowly AJ Auxerre next Saturday while Bordeaux travel to strugglers Racing Lens.

 

Brazilian midfielder Fernando opened the scoring for Bordeaux from a corner just before the break and Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh wrapped it up with a diving header on 58 minutes.

 

Bordeaux, certain of at least a top-two finish to qualify directly for the Champions League, are 14 points ahead of third-placed Nancy, fighting to win a spot in the qualifying round of European club soccer's showcase event.

 

At the other end, Racing Strasbourg will follow bottom side Metz down to the second division after a 4-1 home defeat by Caen while Paris St Germain moved out of the relegation zone with a 1-1 home draw with St Etienne.

 

 

NORTHERN DERBY

 

Strasbourg have 35 points from 37 games, 14 ahead of Metz and four below Racing Lens, now third from bottom after a 2-1 defeat at neighbours Lille in a northern derby.

 

Lens, Toulouse or Paris St Germain will join Strasbourg and Metz in Ligue 2 after next weekend's final matches.

 

Toulouse hold the first safe spot on 39 points after a 2-1 defeat at Stade Rennes. Paris St Germain, fighting to avoid the drop for the first time, are 16th with 40 points.

 

The 45,350 crowd packing Parc des Princes, a league record for the Paris stadium, survived a fright when St Etienne midfielder and captain Loic Perrin opened the scoring from close range just before halftime.

 

Paris replied on 59 minutes, midfielder Jeremy Clement equalising from a headed Gregory Bourillon pass to keep PSG's hopes alive.

 

Former Portugal striker Pauleta, the PSG captain who will leave at the end of the season and was playing his last game at Parc des Princes, was in tears when he kneeled down on to the pitch after the final whistle.

 

"Those five years at PSG were wonderful," Pauleta told reporters. "I hope we stay up. The supporters deserve it."

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