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Lille remain on French title trail

02 May 2012 20:17:03

Lille remain on French title trail

Defending champions Lille stole ahead of Paris Saint-Germain into second place in Ligue 1 and kept their hand in the French title race by narrowly winning 1-0 at Nice on Wednesday.

Tulio de Melo scored the game's only goal in the sixth minute, nodding in a left-wing cross from Eden Hazard after the Belgian winger had bamboozled a pair of defenders with a sharp Cruyff turn.

Lille's fourth consecutive win took Rudi Garcia's side a point above PSG, who host Saint-Etienne later on Wednesday, and to within five points of leaders Montpellier, who were held to a 2-2 draw by Evian on Tuesday.

Lyon's chances of a top-three finish are almost extinct but they are on course to finish fourth after winning 4-1 at home to Valenciennes.

Cris put the freshly anointed French Cup winners ahead with a 69th-minute header after Lisandro Lopez's deflected opener had been quickly cancelled out by a Renaud Cohade penalty.

Lisandro made it 3-1 shortly after before Jimmy Briand scrambled home from close range in the closing stages.

Rennes slipped from fourth to fifth after losing 2-0 at Bordeaux, while Toulouse remain seventh following a 0-0 draw at Brest.

Marseille finally brought their 13-game winless run in the league to an end by winning 1-0 at home to Nancy through a 31st-minute strike from top scorer Loic Remy.

Second-bottom Sochaux spurned the chance to climb out of the bottom three, blowing a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 at Ajaccio in a match that saw David Sauget and Yassin Mikari sent off for the visitors.

Christian Kinkela and Richard Socrier claimed Ajaccio's goals to lift their side three points clear of the relegation places -- a day after fellow Corsican side Bastia sealed their promotion from Ligue 2.

Elsewhere, Caen calmed their own relegation anxieties by winning 1-0 at home to Lorient courtesy of a scorching 30-yard shot from Thomas Heurtaux mid-way through the second half.

With three games of the season remaining, just five points separate Lorient in 13th place and 19th-placed Sochaux.

Bottom club Auxerre are a further three points back but they have a game in hand at third-bottom Dijon on Thursday.


AFP

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