Out of Contention ⋆ An Old International

Out of Contention

In the top spots of Ligue 1 OSC Lille have been eliminated from the title race after being defeated by a Lyon side which had to make amends for their Champions League embarrassment during the week against Nicosia, where they lost on penalties. Paris St. Germain (58) and Montpellier (57) are now engaged in a two horse race for the title as their lead is 10 and 11 points respectively. In fourth, St. Etienne are closing down on Lille with 46 points while Olympique Lyon have the European places within their sight.

Out of Contention

This certainly describes Marseille’s situation after another defeat at the weekend, away at Ajaccio on Friday night. Increasingly their manager, Didier Dechamps once World and European champion with France, he looks as though he has his last days in office to enjoy if results do not improve. However, there are other titles that Marseille can aim at, as was pointed out last week: Champions League, Coupe de France and the French League Cup are all worth playing for.

Leaving it late, again

Quite on the contrary did Paris St. Germain do. They beat Dijon but left it late, again. While in the last weeks Guillaume Hoarau appeared to be the saviour of PSG, Sunday night it was a late strike from Kevin Gameiro that secured the three points and the top spot in the league. This victory meant that Carlo Ancelotti, the new manager at Parc des Princes remains unbeaten in this first two months in charge. ‘Le Mister’ as he is called seems to have turned Paris from also-rans and serial underachievers in the last ten years to the first candidate for the title.

Red Star FC 93

The St. Ouen based club had the leaders from Niort to play at the Stade Bauer on Saturday night. For 40 minutes they were equal before they conceded again and duly lost 2-1. Against the top team of the division, this is certainly no shame but a cushion of 6 points is still a dangerously weak cushion from the relegation places. Away at Bayonne next week should see them getting closer to security.

An interesting weekend in French football where the title race is far from over and the lower leagues offer tension for the ardent football fan.


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