Posts Tagged ‘Mevlut Erding’

Report: Lille sitting pretty after Hazard sinks Toulouse

“PARIS — Champions Lille closed to within four points of top spot in Ligue 1 by winning 2-1 at home to Toulouse on Sunday and saw their grip on third place further strengthened by Lyon’s 1-1 draw at Rennes.”

My AFP report on the weekend’s Ligue 1 action, including an important win for Lille and another setback for Paris Saint-Germain, can be read here.

Report: Lille thwarted by 10-man Rennes

“PARIS — A last-minute goal by Mevlüt Erding earned Rennes a 1-1 draw at home to Lille on Sunday that prevented the French champions from galvanising their grip on third place and closing the gap on leaders Montpellier.”

My AFP round-up of the weekend’s Ligue 1 action, including setbacks for Lille and Marseille and an extraordinary 4-4 draw between Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain that allowed Montpellier to go top, can be found here.

Top ten Ligue 1 transfer targets

Ligue 1 has proved a fertile hunting ground for Premier League sides in recent years – not least for Newcastle United – and as the January transfer window opens, several names from the French top flight find themselves linked with clubs from the English elite. Football Further runs the rule over the players making the headlines and identifies which of them are likely to be on the move.

1. Eden Hazard (Lille)
Unless unforeseen misfortune befalls him, Hazard will leave Lille this year and, when he does so, he will join one of Europe’s most famous clubs, but he is unlikely to depart this month. Rudi Garcia’s side may have gone into the winter break four points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain, but their performance in the 0-0 draw at Parc des Princes on December 18 proved that they are PSG’s equal and they remain the most cohesive outfit in the division. With their title defence on track and no European distractions to contend with in the second half of the campaign, Lille will not yield Hazard in January unless they receive an astronomical bid. The player himself is in no hurry.

2. Yoann Gourcuff (Lyon)
Mention of Gourcuff’s name in the United Kingdom tends to conjure up memories of the match-winning performances and magisterial goals that characterised his performances in Bordeaux’s 2008-09 title-winning campaign, but Ligue 1 observers will attest that that player has not been seen for the best part of two years. An exhausted bystander as Bordeaux’s title defence crumbled in the second half of the 2009-10 season, Gourcuff endured a wretched World Cup and has failed to settle since joining Lyon in a €22 million deal in August 2010. Lyon are looking to recoup as much of his original transfer fee as possible but, despite rumours of a €12 million offer from Zenit Saint-Petersburg, a loan switch looks more probable. Arsène Wenger is a known admirer but, as he admitted recently, even with Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby injured, Arsenal are well stocked in the centre of the pitch.

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La semaine en France: Week 21

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
A handful of surprise results saw Lyon, Rennes and champions Marseille fall off the pace in the title race, while Paris Saint-Germain tightened their grip on second place and Bordeaux ended a six-match winless run stretching back to the end of November.

Lyon’s 13-game unbeaten streak came to an abrupt halt in a 2-1 loss at Valenciennes, with Aly Cissokho the chief culprit in an error-strewn performance and Yoann Gourcuff worryingly off the pace. It followed hot on the heels of a 1-0 defeat by Nice in the Coupe de France and left Claude Puel’s side seven points off the pace in third place. Marseille are a point worse off in fifth, after a wretched goalless draw at third-bottom Monaco that Didier Deschamps branded “rubbish”. Mathieu Valbuena’s absence is already being felt at the Vélodrome.

The most unexpected result of the weekend, however, was Rennes’ 5-1 capitulation at Sochaux. Having previously conceded just 12 goals all season, the Breton side went into the game with the best defensive record in the league but were torn apart by a Sochaux side boasting Marvin Martin, Brown Ideye and Modibo Maïga on top form. Rennes had goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez sent off (forcing midfielder Alexander Tettey to do a turn between the sticks) and finished the game with nine men following injuries to Kader Mangane and Stéphane Dalmat.

A neat finish from Brazilian striker Túlio de Melo saw Lille maintain their momentum – and their four-point lead – with a 1-0 win at home to neighbours Lens. Mevlut Erding was on target twice as PSG won 2-1 at Arles-Avignon, while Bordeaux coach Jean Tigana said his side’s 2-0 victory over Nice was the first time they had managed “two full halves” all season. The 2009 champions are now four points outside the Champions League places in eighth.

Ligue 1 results
Saturday: Arles-Avignon 1-2 PSG, Caen 2-0 Auxerre, Lorient 2-0 Brest, Saint-Etienne 2-1 Toulouse, Sochaux 5-1 Rennes, Valenciennes 2-1 Lyon, Lille 1-0 Lens; Sunday: Bordeaux 2-0 Nice, Nancy 1-2 Montpellier, Monaco 0-0 Marseille

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La semaine en France: Week 12

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
For the first time in many years, Sunday night’s ‘clasico’ between Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille actually felt like an important game in its own right, as PSG’s 2-1 victory at the Parc des Princes took them above their hated rivals to third in the table.

Delays meant the Marseille team coach did not arrive at the stadium until an hour before kick-off and it appeared to take their players around 20 minutes to realise the game had actually started, with Mevlüt Erding and Guillaume Hoarau putting the hosts two goals to the good before Marseille responded through Lucho González.

Brest remain top, despite conceding their first goals in nine matches as they went down 3-1 at Lille. Moussa Sow’s close-range header brought Brest’s extraordinary clean sheet streak to an end after 832 minutes, but a magnificent volley by Romain Poyet (see below) provided some consolation for the promoted side.

Second-placed Rennes are now a point behind Brest – albeit with a game in hand against Marseille still to come on December 1 – following an engaging 1-1 draw at home to Lyon. Hugo Lloris had already been called into action three times before a well-taken strike by Jirès Kembo Ekoko put the hosts ahead in the fifth minute, but Rennes could not sustain their blistering early momentum and a deflected second-half free-kick by Michel Bastos earned OL a share of the spoils.

A Kévin Gameiro brace gave Lorient a 2-1 win at Saint-Etienne (who are now without a win in six games), which sent Les Merlus up to ninth. In the relegation zone, Lens and Monaco both moved to within a point of safety after beating Montpellier (2-0) and Nancy (0-4) respectively. Meanwhile, Arles-Avignon claimed their first success of the campaign, at the 12th attempt, with a 3-2 win at home to floundering Caen.

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Report: Nenê shines as PSG check Marseille momentum

“PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain climbed to third in Ligue 1 and prevented champions Marseille from going top with a 2-1 win over their arch-rivals at Parc des Princes on Saturday.”

Read my AFP match report here.

La semaine en France: Week 9

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
The Ligue 1 table has a slightly more familiar look to it ahead of the 10th round of matches, after victories for all the big teams last weekend.

Paris Saint-Germain climbed to third with an impressive 2-0 win at Toulouse on Saturday. Mevlüt Erding claimed only his second goal of the season to seal the win, finishing a neat move involving a typically ornate flick from Nenê and an astute through-ball by Ludovic Giuly. Paris are above Marseille on goal difference after the champions edged Nancy 1-0, with Loïc Rémy claiming his first OM goal – and taking a swipe at Damien Gregorini’s face in the process – to cover up an unconvincing display from Didier Deschamps’s side.

Bordeaux are now seventh thanks to a 1-0 win at Auxerre. Anthony Modeste claimed the game’s only goal, but the major talking point of the weekend was the dismissal of new France captain Alou Diarra for reacting to a yellow card from referee Wilfried Bien by shoving him in the chest. He has been provisionally suspended until November 10, when the Professional Football League (LFP) will announce their decision on his punishment.

The game of the round was unquestionably Lyon’s 3-1 win at home to Lille on Sunday night. Lisandro López claimed a brace for the hosts, with Yoann Gourcuff netting his first goal in Lyon’s colours and Moussa Sow replying with a spectacular overhead kick. OL are up to 14th, four points short of third place, and Claude Puel’s crunch meeting with Jean-Michel Aulas on October 28 suddenly looks a much less daunting prospect.

Rennes held onto top spot despite drawing 0-0 at second-bottom Lens, while second-placed Saint-Etienne fell to a 2-1 defeat at Nice after losing Gonzalo Bergessio to a harsh red card in the 22nd minute. Arles-Avignon claimed their first point of the season in a 0-0 draw at Brest, but they’re still bottom (and still going down).

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La semaine en France: Week 1

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
A shock home defeat for champions Marseille and a limp goalless draw for fellow title favourites Lyon were the most notable results of the opening weekend in Ligue 1, as France turned its attention back to domestic football after the humiliation of the World Cup.

Promoted Caen produced the sensation of the first match day with an enterprising and fearless 2-1 win over a Marseille side heavy of limb and missing a number of important players. The introduction of Hatem Ben Arfa in the second half sparked OM into life after captain Nicolas Seube’s speculative effort had put the visitors ahead, but despite drawing level through Mamadou Samassa they were undone by a late header from the excellent Youssef El-Arabi (pictured).

Lyon were grateful for the astonishing reflexes of Hugo Lloris, who produced more heart-stopping saves than some goalkeepers manage in an entire career to keep Monaco at bay at Stade Gerland. Stéphane Ruffier, who made his France debut against Norway on Wednesday, was almost equally impressive at the other end.

Mevlut Erding scored the season’s first goal to put Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 up at home to Saint-Etienne. An acrobatic volley from Stéphane Sessegnon (that required a helping hand from Jérémie Janot to cross the line) and an emphatic finish by new recruit Nenê secured a 3-1 win that put PSG top of the fledgling standings, but clashes with police prior to the match at the Parc des Princes saw 249 fans arrested (all but two from the ranks of the home side’s supporters).

The other promoted teams were unable to follow Caen’s lead. Arles-Avignon went down 2-1 at Sochaux and Brest fell 2-0 at Toulouse. Jean Tigana’s first competitive game as Bordeaux coach ended with a 1-0 defeat at Montpellier – the only side from last year’s top 10 to win their opening game.

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