Montpellier win to extend Ligue 1 lead

PARIS - Montpellier pulled five points clear of second-placed Paris Saint-Germain in the Ligue 1 title race with a narrow 1-0 victory at home to Valenciennes on Saturday.

Saturday
Nice     1-0     Auxerre
Dijon     0-2     Lille
Brest     0-1     Rennes
Caen     1-4     St Etienne
Evian    2-1     Toulouse
Montpellier     1-0     Valenciennes
Bordeaux     2-1     Marseille

PARIS - Montpellier pulled five points clear of second-placed Paris Saint-Germain in the Ligue 1 title race with a narrow 1-0 victory at home to Valenciennes on Saturday.

With PSG not in action until they tackle Sochaux at Parc des Princes on Sunday, Rene Girard’s side took full advantage by strengthening their grip on top spot ahead of their final five games of the season.

Montpellier took the lead after just five minutes at Stade de la Mosson, with Souleymane Camara kneeing home Younes Belhanda’s drilled cross from the right following a short corner.

Belhanda thought he had doubled his side’s advantage early in the second half but after he tapped home the rebound from John Utaka’s shot, his celebrations were cut short by the assistant referee’s offside flag.

There was a sizeable let-off for Montpellier in the 85th minute, as Valenciennes midfielder Renaud Cohade struck the crossbar with a 20-yard shot that very nearly breathed new hope into PSG’s title hopes.

“It’s easier to write that a match will be easy than to win it,” said Montpellier coach Girard, whose side visit Toulouse on Friday.

Defending champions Lille closed to within two points of PSG and increased their cushion in third place to eight points by winning 2-0 at Dijon.

 

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