Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Wed 28 October 2009

Jeu du Jour Week 10: Bordeaux back on top

All of a sudden, it seems no-one wants to win Ligue 1 this season. Every time a team rises to the top of the pile, they quickly lose their next game and fall from grace again.

Such is the case for Lyon who recently replaced long-standing leaders Bordeaux at the top end of Ligue 1. Their trip to Nice seemed barely troublesome after beating Liverpool in the Champions League last week, but they hadn't accounted for the home side's desperate need for points. Rooted to 19th spot in recent weeks, Nice turned in a fabulous performance with two goals in each half to get their second successive victory over the former champions. It also means they rise five places in the table at a crucial time while other teams continue to play badly, more of which later.

Lyon's slip allows Bordeaux to go back to top spot after a 3-0 win over Le Mans that's much more in keeping with their emphatic start to the season. It was an easy win and one which was well on the cards after just four minutes when Yoann Gourcuff's shot went in via the post and the back of Le Mans keeper Didier Ovono.

The remaining goals didn't arrive until two-thirds of the way through the match, but that's not to say Bordeaux struggled because they didn't. They played some great entertaining football and were easily the best side out of the two. As it is, Marouane Chamakh scored his first goal since the middle of August and David Bellion got his first of the season to round off a comfortable win.

Montpellier's recent surge into the top three was dealt a crushing blow when they were beaten 3-0 away at Rennes on Saturday. The match saw the teams with the best defence and best attack pitted against one and other, but Montpellier were unable to add to their tally of seventeen in nine games against a resolute Rennes side.

Jerome Leroy was the provider for the first two goals, one for Sylvain Marveaux, the other by Moussa Sow and with all hope seemingly gone for the visitors, Asamoah Gyan added a third well into stoppage time at the end. Montpellier slip to fourth, but the new arrivals in the leading pack are Monaco who got their third win on the trot away to the fading Boulogne.

Boulogne, who were without a league win in six prior to this match, held Monaco at 1-1 for most of the game, but a brace from Brazilian Nenê in the last five minutes sank the home side amid wet and windy conditions at the Stade de la Libération. Nenê now has nine goals to his name and leads the Ligue 1 top goalscorers list while Chu-Young Park has picked up two goals in his last three. A formidable strike partnership which could see Monaco launch a decent bid for glory this season.

And now the moment you've all been waiting for. Have Grenoble finally won their first league game of the season? Yeeeeeeeeee… no. They've now lost all ten games, the latest being a 2-1 at home to Nancy. More on Grenoble next week.

Ligue 2 champions Lens take Nice's place in 19th after a 2-0 defeat at home to Toulouse. André-Pierre Gignac scored for the first time since Week 2 as Lens went for a third successive game without scoring at all. Saint Etienne's recent good run, however, fades further into history after a 2-0 to Valenciennes. Goals from Johan Audel and David Ducourtioux push Valenciennes up to ninth and on current form they're looking good for a Europa League place.

Elsewhere, Auxerre got their fourth straight win having come from behind twice to beat Lille 3-2 on Sunday. Ireneusz Jelen got the key goals for AJA before Daniel Niculae headed in with the winner eight minutes from time. So ends Lille's eight-game unbeaten run as Auxerre move up to seventh. Now all Lille have to do is transfer their Europa League form into Ligue 1 and they'll be a serious contender in *two* competitions.

Finally to Sochaux who are finally shaking off their tag (admittedly given by us) of 'most inconsistent team in Ligue 1'. They notched up a third consecutive victory by beating Lorient 1-0 at home to finally reach the top half of the table for the first time since Week 1. For Lorient, it was a minor setback and they remain sixth in the table.

But what of Marseille, we hear you cry? Well don't worry - we haven't forgotten them. They were due to play Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday but the game was called off just hours before the start time due to an outbreak of Swine Flu among the Marseille team. Ludovic Giuly and Mamadou Sakho were said to have contracted the virus before a third case (that of Jeremy Clement) prompted the match to be postponed.

The lateness of the decision caused anger amongst visiting PSG fans who rioted with their opposite number in the Marseille area. The two clubs share arguably the fiercest rivalry in the top flight and many have suggested the game should have been cancelled the day before to save the PSG fans the need to make such a long journey in vein. That journey will now have to be made again on a new date to be decided by LFP officials tomorrow (Thursday).

And that just about wraps it up for another Ligue 1 round-up. Full results and standings can be picked up here. For now though, it's à bientôt...

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