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Micoud keeps Bordeaux in the title hunt

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 20 Apr 2008


Johan Micoud kept the wheels on Bordeaux's title push when conjuring up a goal deep in injury time to snatch a 1-0 win in the south-west derby against Toulouse on Sunday.

Toulouse went into this encounter on a five-match unbeaten streak and looked to have secured a point before Micoud struck in the third minute of time added-on in a game where the driving rain made playing conditions tricky.

Bordeaux keeper and captain Ulrich Rame was in fine form, denying Toulouse reward for their attacking efforts, notably saving shots from Johan Elmander, Albin Ebondo and Jeremy Mathieu.

Then, just as the referee was reaching for his whistle, Gabriel Obertan, who had entered the fray as a substitute minutes earlier, made the decisive pass from the right for Micoud to shoot past Toulouse keeper Nicolas Douchez.

That late intervention triggered relief all round on the visitors' bench with this victory bringing Bordeaux back to four points behind Lyon after the six-time champions' 2-1 win at Strasbourg 24 hours earlier.

But with away trips to Marseille, who lost 3-1 at home to Lille in Sunday's late game, and Lens coming up Bordeaux are in for a tense run-in with four games to go.

Rame said: “Toulouse deserved to win but we had that little bit of success which enabled us to grab three very important points.

“There are still four games left, everything is still mathematically possible. We only need three more points to guarantee second place and the Champions League next season.”

Bordeaux manager Laurent Blanc paid tribute to his players, and especially Rame.

“Our keeper in particular helped us stay in the match,” said Blanc.

“I was happy with our spirit but not our play, but the state of the pitch really hindered things.”

Toulouse coach Elie Baup was understandably frustrated, saying: “To concede a goal in the last second is cruel on my players. We deserved to score, especially in the first half, we certainly didn't deserve to lose.”

For Toulouse defeat left them still in treacherous waters on 38 points, two places above the relegation zone into which Paris Saint Germain slid further after a demoralising 3-0 defeat at Caen on Saturday.

Second-half goals from Anthony Deroin, Reynald Lemaitre and Yoan Gouffran gave Caen the three points as PSG, coached by former Rangers and Lyon boss Paul le Guen, slipped to second from bottom of the table.

They are on 35 points and three from safety after fellow relegation candidates Lens had earlier beaten Sochaux 3-2 in a tense clash to sit just above the relegation places.

Strasbourg are third from bottom after their defeat to Lyon.

Marseille remained in fourth spot after their defeat at the Velodrome to Lille.

Mamadou Niang put the hosts into a 13th minute lead but Kevin Mirallas' lightning double in the 37th and 40 minutes and a second half contribution from skipper Jean Makoun sealed their fate.

“We're disappointed but it's not over yet,” said Marseille striker Djibril Cisse.

“To be honest, it changes nothing. Now we have to win against Monaco next week.”

Lyon's hopes of a seventh successive title were boosted with their come-from-behind win at Strasbourg despite seeing Wason Renteria scoring an unlikely 20th-minute opener for the strugglers.

Strasbourg's Eric Mouloungui was red-carded for a second bookable offence just before the break.

Juninho hit the post for Lyon just after the restart before Mathieu Bodmer pulled the champions level in the 62nd minute.

Fabio Grosso headed the winner seven minutes later from another cross by Keita.


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