Monday, October 2, 2023

Bordeaux, Lyon ensure nail-biting French title finale

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 11 May 2008


Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc is confident his side have what it takes to claim their first French league crown in nine years at the expense of champions Lyon as both won their penultimate games on Saturday to ensure the title race will be decided on the final day of competition.

Blanc's side maintained their title push with a 2-0 win against Sochaux as Lyon, the six-time consecutive champions, emerged 1-0 winners from their home encounter with Nancy, who are fighting to retain third place.

However the display from Alain Perrin's champions, who needed a 62nd-minute own goal from Andre Luiz Silva to ensure victory, is likely to give Bordeaux renewed hope that Auxerre can cause an upset against Lyon in Burgundy next week.

Fernando Menegazzo opened for Bordeaux on the stroke of half-time before Marouane Chamakh added the second in the 59th minute.

Bordeaux, just two points behind the leaders, make the trip to relegation-threatened Lens next week.

And Blanc was delighted with his side's performance which leaves them within touching distance of their first league title since 1999.

“Congratulations to the players! We had to take the three points to be able to keep our dream alive … we needed to be up to the job and we were,” said Blanc.

But he admitted that it would be hard to wrest the title from Lyon.

“It's still in Lyon's hands to be French champions. They remain ahead and even if they aren't as dominant they have a strength in depth which will help them be French champions for the seventh time.

“At least we will have pushed the champions of the last few years who have gotten used to celebrating their titles 3, 4 or 5 weeks before the end. This year they won't be champions before the final day. Whatever happens we've achieved a wonderful exploit.”

Lyon coach Alain Perrin said: “We did what we needed to do at home. We just had to be patient and we eventually got the winning goal.

“It was good preparation for the final match and the French Cup final.”

But he warned: “At Auxerre we can't just play for a point, we have to be positive and go after the title. A draw would be enough mathematically but we can't settle for that.

“Our results have been tight for some time and efficiency isn't really our strong point at the moment.”

Elsewhere, Paris Saint Germain moved out of the drop zone after a 1-1 draw with Saint Etienne and thanks to 2-1 defeats for Lens and Toulouse by Lille and Rennes respectively.

Strasbourg, however, were relegated, along with Metz whose fate was decide previously, following their 4-1 home defeat to Caen.

After what was star striker Pauleta's final home game for PSG, the Parisians' top flight fate, and that of Lens and Toulouse, will be decided in next week's finale when the third and final relegation spot will be known.


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