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Ligue 1 Wrap: Kurzawa spares Monaco blushes, Saint-Etienne beat Valenciennes

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 1 Feb 2014

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A late goal from Layvin Kurzawa spared Monaco’s blushes as the Ligue 1 title challengers were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw at Lorient.

Defender Kurzawa scored his fourth goal of the season to salvage a point for the principality club, who are now five points adrift of league leaders Paris Saint-Germain following their 2-0 win over Bordeaux on Friday.

Monaco fell behind after 12 minutes as Lorient striker Vincent Aboubakar headed home his 12th goal of the campaign from Kevin Monnet-Paquet’s right-wing cross, only for Valere Germain to level matters four minutes before the break.

Aboubakar turned provider as Lorient regained the lead after 73 minutes, squaring for Jeremie Aliadiere to tap home from close range, but Kurzawa denied the hosts all three points when he converted Lucas Ocampos’ low delivery.

Saint-Etienne piled the pressure on Lille in the race for UEFA Champions League qualification as they overcame relegation-threatened Valenciennes 3-0.

Midfielder Renaud Coahde opened the scoring with a scrappy finish from a corner in first-half injury time, before long-range efforts form Benjamin Corgnet and Yohan Mollo moved Saint-Etienne to within one point of Lille, who travel to Nice on Sunday.

Montpellier pulled nine points clear of the relegation zone, as Rolland Courbis’ side extended their unbeaten league run to five games with a 4-2 success at Reims.

A Joris Marveaux strike and a double from attacking midfielder Remy Cabella put the visitors three up inside 55 minutes, but Reims got back into the game thanks to a Floyd Ayite strike and an own goal from Montpellier defender Abdelhamid El Kaoutari.

But any hopes of a comeback were killed off on 69 minutes, as Cabella played in M’Baye Niang to score his fourth goal since joining from Milan in January.

A header from Zambia defender Stopilla Sunzu condemned Nantes to a 1-0 defeat against Sochaux, while Ryad Boudebouz scored an 88th-minute penalty as Bastia won 3-2 against Guingamp, who have now gone eight league games without a win despite a double from Rachid Alioui.

Elsewhere, bottom club Ajaccio drew 1-1 at Evian thanks to a 90th-minute goal from forward Junior Tallo.

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