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Gourcuff keeps Bordeaux title dream alive

Bordeaux recovered from conceding a goal inside 20 seconds and having a man sent off to sustain their French title aspirations with a stunning 3-2 victory at French Cup finalists Rennes on Wednesday.

The freshly crowned League Cup champions were reduced to 10 men mid-way through the first half after falling behind straight from the kick-off, but equalised through Yoan Gouffran before on-loan AC Milan playmaker Yoann Gourcuff put them ahead.

Moussa Sow appeared to have denied Laurent Blanc’s side the points when he equalised with two minutes to play, but the inspirational Gourcuff struck again deep into injury time to keep the heat on league leaders Marseille.

The victory cuts Marseille’s advantage to two points with five league games remaining, while Rennes remain seventh and lose their unbeaten home record.

The visitors got off to the worst possible start, with Rennes taking the lead on 19 seconds when Sow’s half-volleyed cross was bundled in at the back post by Romain Danze.

The goal was the fastest scored in Ligue 1 this season, shaving seven seconds off the mark set by Valenciennes’s Jean-Claude Darcheville when he scored against Auxerre on April 4.

Bordeaux had won their five previous league games and went into the match on the back of Saturday’s 4-0 League Cup final victory over second-tier Vannes, but they were dealt a further blow when centre-back Marc Planus was red-carded in the 26th minute for sliding in on Sow.

The away side bossed proceedings thereafter, with Alou Diarra, Marouane Chamakh and Gourcuff all threatening before Gouffran chested down Petter Hansson’s headed clearance and arrowed a fine volley into the net in the 62nd minute.

Eight minutes later Gourcuff found a gap in the wall to fire home a 22-yard free-kick, only for Sow – who scored the goal that guaranteed Rennes a place in the French Cup final when they beat Grenoble 1-0 last week – to equalise after Ulrich Rame had parried a shot from Stephane M’Bia.

Victory looked to have eluded the visitors at the last, until Gourcuff rammed home a shot from the edge of the box in the 93rd minute to snatch a brave and unlikely victory against his former club.

Wed 29 April, 2009
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