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PSG held up by Nice after Obraniak stuns Lille
Published : 12 Feb 2012 20:17:03
Paris Saint-Germain inched a point clear in Ligue 1 on Sunday following a 0-0 draw at Nice, after Ludovic Obraniak had netted a 93rd-minute winner for Bordeaux in an extraordinary 5-4 win at his former club Lille.
PSG had been bidding to reclaim top spot from Montpellier and they did so despite a lacklustre performance at the home of the league's third-bottom side.
Laboured in attack, PSG twice had recourse to thank goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, who produced smart saves to deny Anthony Mounier and Fabrice Abriel in each half.
The visitors' clearest sight of goal fell to Nene in the 88th minute but he turned into a cul-de-sac after bursting into the Nice box and the opportunity was lost.
"It's still a good result -- you can't win every match," said PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti.
"The week ahead will be very important, with the French Cup match (at Dijon) during the week and then the match against Montpellier next weekend."
PSG lead Montpellier by a slender point prior to their encounter in Paris next weekend, but reigning champions Lille are 11 points off the pace -- with a game in hand -- after Obraniak's late strike placed their title defence in serious jeopardy.
Bordeaux led 4-1 with half an hour to play, but goals from Eden Hazard, Mathieu Debuchy and Nolan Roux drew the home side level, only for Polish international Obraniak to apply a stunning coup de grace in the third minute of added time.
"In my dreams I'd thought that it could happen," said Obraniak, who left Lille in January in order to improve his chances of winning a call-up for Euro 2012.
"It's always difficult to play against an old team, and particularly a team where I experienced so many things, and so much happiness.
"I hope that I was respectful, even though I was going crazy inside."
Like Lille, Bordeaux were knocked out of the French Cup in mid-week, by Lyon, but they have climbed to eighth in the table and are now only six points shy of the Champions League places.
Nicolas Maurice-Belay opened the scoring for Bordeaux in the second minute, pouncing on the rebound after Obraniak's shot was blocked by Mickael Landreau and scoring courtesy of a deflection off Debuchy.
Obraniak restored Bordeaux's lead in the 17th minute after David Rozehnal had equalised for Lille and further goals early in the second half from Maurice-Belay and Yoan Gouffran increased the visitors' advantage to 4-1.
Hazard's fine 25-yard free-kick rallied Lille and after Debuchy had scored with a volley that he set up with a sublime first touch, Roux converted Benoit Pedretti's pass in the 90th minute to level the scores.
Lille appeared to have salvaged a point in the most unlikely circumstances but three minutes later, a ball from the right found Obraniak at the back post and he steadied himself before arrowing home a low drive to break the champions' hearts.
"It's never been our aim as we don't have the means," said coach Rudi Garcia of Lille's title ambitions. "As we've never thought about it, it's not a big loss. We want to be in the top three."
Despite the defeat, Lyon's shock 2-1 defeat at home to Caen on Saturday, coupled with the postponement of Marseille's trip to Evian, means that Lille remain in third place.
Montpellier had replaced PSG at the summit on Saturday after Ligue 1 top scorer Olivier Giroud scored one goal and made another in a 3-0 win at home to Ajaccio.
Rennes will finish the weekend level on points with Lille and Lyon in fifth place after Mevlut Erding's first goal for the club since his transfer from PSG secured a 1-0 win at home to bottom club Sochaux.
In Sunday's late game, seventh faces ninth as Toulouse host Saint-Etienne.