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Sparks fly in Corsican derby
Published : 21 Oct 2012 19:17:45
Sparks flew in a feisty derby encounter Sunday between Corsican sides Ajaccio and Bastia, who parted 0-0 for a draw which left both in midtable - but only after fisticuffs saw the match briefly halted.
Neither side will have much bearing on the title race - but fans of both outfits see their derbies as a chance at least to bask in some local glory and the atmosphere boiled over in the closing stages at the Francois-Coty stadium after Johan Cavalli of hosts Ajaccio and Bastia's Gael Angoula were sent off.
The pair clashed, going eyeball to eyeball and their tete a tete sparked brawling among their clubmates which spilled over to both benches.
Referee Laurent Duhamel called a halt for several minutes as flares were thrown on the terraces.
Appeals for calm from both sides finally restored order - Bastia's Ajaccio-born skipper Yannick Cahuzac in particular doing his best to nip the affair in the bud.
The game then restarted and the final minutes were played out without further incident as Bastia pocketed an away point which left them in 12th spot a place and a point ahead of their southern neighbours.
Marseille were later hoping to regain top spot with a win at Troyes after a second-half goal from Kevin Gameiro vaulted Paris Saint Germain into pole position on goal difference in their stead on Saturday, cementing a 1-0 home success over promoted Reims.
PSG, whose Italian goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu saved a penalty from Diego Rigonato, have not won the crown since 1984 but are hoping they can end their drought after two summers of huge cash injections into the squad by their Qatari owners.
In contrast to the form of the Parisians, who came second last season, defending champions Montpellier's nightmare campaign continues following a 2-1 loss at Rennes.
Montpellier landed their first ever title in May but since losing star men such as top striker Olivier Giroud the southerners' form has nosedived.
Saturday's loss saw Montpellier suffer a fifth defeat in nine games and they now stand in the bottom five.
Jean II Makoun headed in Rennes' opener on 13 minutes and Mevlut Erding scored the clincher shortly after the restart prior to a Younes Belhanda penalty.
Bordeaux, still unbeaten, were Friday left kicking themselves after a last-gasp effort from Montenegrin defender Marko Basa handed Lille a 1-1 draw, meaning Bordeaux have drawn six of nine matches this term.