Ligue 1 - Round-up: Frau strikes late to give Lille win

Sun, 06 Mar 22:54:00 2011

Pierre-Alain Frau struck in injury time to send Lille back to the Ligue 1 summit with a 2-1 win at champions Marseille which ended doubts about the long-time leaders' ability to beat their title rivals.

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Surprise packages Lille, nicknamed the Mastiffs, had not won against any of the teams in the tight top five this season and they were heading for a draw until substitute Frau poked in Emerson's low cross.

Marseille's defeat sent them down to fourth and propelled Lyon up to third, four points behind Lille, after Lisandro Lopez scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 demolition of bottom side AC Arles-Avignon.

Second-placed Rennes, who won 1-0 at Montpellier on Saturday and host Marseille on Friday, are level on points with Lille but Rudi Garcia's side have a better goal difference which could be key with just 12 games left.

Lille winger Eden Hazard, who signed a contract extension this week to scare off Europe's elite, netted on 10 minutes when he let fly from 25 metres and the ball caught the wind inside the open Stade Velodrome and flew into the top corner.

Marseille were subdued in the first half, partly because of Lille's confident play which could have heralded a second goal had Gervinho not missed a gilt-edged chance.

Home coach Didier Deschamps threw on fit-again striker Andre-Pierre Gignac at the break and they thought they had grabbed a point when Loic Remy fired in a loose ball from the edge of the box midway through the second half.

Lyon annihilated all-but-relegated Arles-Avignon.

"It's true that it was Arles-Avignon but they'd just had three draws. We approached the match like we should have and made a great start," coach Claude Puel said.

Argentine striker Lopez, returning after two weeks out with hamstring trouble, netted the first on 13 minutes before Miralem Pjanic showed real composure to bury the second soon afterwards.

Lyon, French champions from 2002-2008, refused to let their visitors off lightly and Lisandro headed in his second after the break before another tap-in sealed the hat-trick.

The forward was given an ovation by the Stade Gerland when he was substituted before Michel Bastos added a late fifth.

"I'm very confident," Lisandro said. "I won't leave Lyon til we have won this title. it will be this season or next."

Mid-table Bordeaux also celebrated a 3-1 win at Stade Brest which ended a difficult week on a high after coach Jean Tigana almost left the club on Monday.

Sunday's three games featured three times the amount of goals (four) scored in seven matches on Saturday when fifth-placed title hopefuls Paris St Germain lost 1-0 at lowly Auxerre.

Division three referees were again used on Sunday after a spat between the usual officials and the French federation.


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