PSG closed the gap on the league leaders to two points, following their 3-0 win over Strasbourg at Parc des Princes.
Fabrice Fiorese opened the scoring after cutting in from the right and shooting past ‘keeper Fernandez. It was not long before the home side doubled their lead, as Martin Cardetti headed Andre Luiz’s cross into the net. Cardetti completed the scoring in the second half, slotting home from another assist by Luiz.
Marseille moved up to 8th place, moving just behind Bordeaux, the side that they beat 2-1 at the weekend. Marseille were ahead on just 16 minutes, when former France and Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf converted from the penalty spot. The score at the Velodrome stayed the same until seven minutes after the break, when Pedro Miguel Pauleta leveled for the visitors. It seemed as though the outcome would be a point apiece, until substitute Ibrahima Bakayoko struck the winner 15 minutes from time.
Sedan and Monaco provided the best entertainment of the weekend in France, as they played out a 2-2 draw. Didier Deschamps will not be happy that his side twice lost the lead, and ultimately fell further away from the sides at the top of the table. Monaco were ahead after 16 minutes, through a spectacular strike from Congo striker Shabani Nonda. Monaco could well have gone further in front, but for some excellent goal keeping from Sedan stopper Patrick Regnault. Sedan fought their way back into the game, and leveled against the run of play when Dusko Djurisik headed the simplest of goals.
Four minutes from the end, Monaco looked to have won this thrilling encounter, when Nonda finished off Ludovic Giuly’s crossfrom the right. However, just as Monaco were contemplating victory, Sedan hit back, as Cedric Mionnet finished off Henri Camara’s cross to earn his side a draw. To add insult to injury for Deschamps, he saw his Mexican international defender Rafael Marquez stretchered off following a poor challenge from Stephane Noro, leaving the Monaco player with a suspected knee injury.
Apart from the fixtures at Sedan and PSG, the games in the French First Divison this weekend were all low-scoring affairs. Lens, Montpellier and Nantes all recorded 1-0 home wins, against Rennes, Lille and Strasbourg respectively.
Substitute John Utaka scoreda last minute winner for Lens, whilst Fode Mansare grabbed the winner for Montpellier. Marama Vahirua’s early strike was enough to send last season’s champions Lyon home empty handed, although they did have to play the majority of the game without Mahamadou Diarra, sent off for receiving two bookings in as many minutes.
Leaders Nice shared a goal-less draw with third place Guingamp. The table-toppers have made an encouraging start to the new season, especially when it looked as though they were going to be banned from the First Division, due to their poor financial situation.
Auxerre stayed second following their 1-1 draw at Sochaux. They had to work hard for the point though, as they were reduced to ten men early in the second half, when Jean-Alain Boumsong saw red for deliberately halting Francileudo Santos’ run on goal. It was Auxerre who took the lead though, when Benjamin Mwaruwari gave Sochaux ‘keeper Teddy Richert no chance from 30 yards. Sochaux began to make their mark on the game, and it was Santos who struck the leveller, netting from Adel Chedli’s cross.
The two remaining games in France saw Troyes and Le Havre share a 1-1 draw at Stade I’Aube. Benjamin Nivet struck first for Troyes, but Jeremy Henin’s penalty a minute after half time secured a point for Le Havre. Bastia were 2-1 at home by AC Ajaccio.
On-loan Sunderland striker Lilian Laslandes put Bastia in front on 28 minutes, but Bruno Rodriguez equalised shortly afterwards. Ajaccio secured this Corsican derby through David Faderne’s winner three minutes from time.