Saint-Etienne Finally Win; Lyon Splash Around For a Draw in French Ligue 1
Alain Perrin's Saint-Etienne broke their seven match losing streak with a 2-1 win over Nancy as PSG, Marseille, and Bordeaux all failed to capitalise on Lyon's goalless draw in a weather affected Ligue 1.
In Alain Perrin's third game in charge, Saint-Etienne looked like a completely different team. They started the game brightly with a new-look 4-3-3 formation.
Paulo Machado made Saint-Etienne's early enthusiasm count on eight minutes. The Portuguese midfield man curled in a superb free-kick from close to 30 yards out, for his first goal of the season.
Bafetimbi Gomis, who has struggled for any sort of form this season, missed a pair of chances to increase the lead in the first half hour. With only two goals to his name this season, Gomis looks ill at ease on le carré vert.
On 43 minutes, David Gigliotti added a second for Les Verts with a deft poke after a fine save from Nancy 'keeper Gennaro Bracigliano.
Saint-Etienne should have increased their lead to three on 55 minutes. Bracigliano hauled down Gigliotti in the box and was promptly given his marching orders, only for France International, Gomis to skew his spot kick wide, and further dent his fragile confidence.
Elsewhere in weather-beaten France, Toulouse parked the proverbial bus in front of their goal to stop Marseille. l'OM huffed and puffed, but their lack of invention and harmony in the final third left them with only a point.
After PSG's great result against Lyon last week, they went down to a Bruno Cheyrou goal at Rennes. The good form continued for Rennes. After their draw against Bordeaux last week they extended their unbeaten run to 14 games and go second in Ligue 1.
Rennes look increasingly like worthy contenders to put pressure on Lyon, while pre-season favourites for that role, PSG and Marseille, flounder in a mire of inconsistency.
Nice's game against Grenoble was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. Nice remain in the top four, on equal points with Provence rivals, Marseille, who they face in the derby next weekend.
France's south coast was not the only place effected by adverse conditions—"It was a water polo match but we took a good point," Valenciennes, Rudy Mater exclaimed to l'’Equipe.
"It was a paddling pool and it was unplayable". A soggy Stade Gerland on Saturday night could have been compared to any number of water-based activities, as Lyon and Valenciennes drew 0-0.
Le Sac d'Oignon: Transfer News and Rumblings
Tottenham Hotspur are rumoured to be chasing Bordeaux striker Fernando Cavenaghi. Cavenaghi has spoken out about the rumoured £12 million bid. He said, "I do not know if Tottenham are really interested in signing me. If it's right, though, I will study this offer because they are a top English team."
Girondins president Jean-Louis Triaud scoffed at the rumours, saying, "For us, the question of Cavenaghi's departure this winter is not even being asked. It isn't a subject we are thinking about".
Marseille's defensive frailties are the subject of some pre-January speculation; OM's profligate defense has stirred club President, Papa Diouf to say, "The majority of people think we need to act in January to sort out or defensive problems and I tend to agree with them."
In the same interview, with l'Equipe, Diouf added, "If Ronald Zubar and El Ermine Erbate don't use these last few weeks of 2008 to show what they're are truly capable of, then yes, we can't rule out the signing of one, or even two new defenders".
Saturday Nov. 29th
AJ Auxerre 0-1 AS Monaco
Le Havre AC 0-2 FC Nantes
Le Mans UC72 2-0 SM Caen
Lille OSC 1-1 FC Lorient
Olympique Lyonnais 0-0 Valenciennes FC
OGC Nice P-P Grenoble Foot38
FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 0-0 Girondins de Bordeaux
Sunday Nov. 30th
AS Nancy Lorraine 1-2 AS Saint-Etienne
Toulouse FC 0-0 Olympique de Marseille
Stade Rennais 1-0 Paris Saint-Germain
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