What a crazy ending to this Saturday’s Ligue 1 fixtures. Drama, cards, we had it all as we always do. Evian are now one point closer to the drop zone as Valenciennes drew with Sochaux. Les Lionceaux themselves will feel terribly disheartened as that was a seriously important match for them to seize points from. Montpellier continue their resurgence under Courbis, although it has been anything but a smooth route to get there. Morgan Sanson really caught my eye tonight, becoming an excellent attacking midfielder. Guingamp forced their way past Nice in the last minute. Les Aiglons have been uninspiring for most of the season and Dario Cvitanich has not produced the goods that he did last year.
That is all from me. As always, Au Revoir, Bonne Nuit et Bon Weekend a tous!
FT: Montpellier 2-0 Ajaccio, SC Bastia 0-2 St Étienne, Guingamp 1-0 Nice, Valenciennes 2-2 Sochaux, Bordeaux 2-1 Evian.
20:53 GMT: GOAL: Montpellier 2-0 Ajaccio (Cabella) Remy Cabella finishes off the bottom side of the league with a neat finish after a ball in from Montano.
20:51 GMT: GOAL: Guingamp 1-0 OGC Nice (Yatabaré) EAG have scored a goal through Yatabaré but Ospina has been sent off because he protested over the decision not to award Les Aiglons with a free kick for an offside in the build up. Very strange and the referee has had difficulties all day.
20:48 GMT: The game has ended between ASSE and Bastia as the away side will finish the night in the top 3 in the Ligue 1 table and continue to fight for a Champions League spot. Amazing if you think that they lost their two most important players in the summer and they are currently bettering last season’s efforts.
20:47 GMT: GOAL SC Bastia 0-2 St Étienne (Harek O.G.) St Etienne will be taking 3 points away from Corsica after a mix up between left back Harek and goalkeeper Leca results in a pass back which ends up in the back of the net.
20:46 GMT: GOAL: Valenciennes 2-2 Sochaux (Marange) Florian Marange has scored his first goal for Sochaux from a corner and put this match back in the balance.
20:43 GMT: GOAL: Valenciennes 2-1 Sochaux (Waris) What a complete and utter turnaround that this man Majeed Waris has caused at Valenciennes. Having arrived from Spartak Moscow in the January window, his double today may well take them out of the relegation zone tonight. Even Ariel Jacobs is smiling!
20:38 GMT: GOAL: Bordeaux 2-1 Evian (Saivet) Nobody picks up the small and short Henri Saivet from the corner and he leaps and heads home. Huge goal in terms of the relegation fight. Evian are being rapidly dragged into the thick of it.
20:33 GMT: GOAL: Bordeaux 1-1 Evian (Berigaud) A sharp Evian counter attack culminates with a neat ball across the ground and the goal from Benezet for Berigaud, their top scorer, to slot home. Game on.
20:32 GMT: Guillaume Hoarau has had a worse game than most this evening across Ligue 1…cannot hit the target tonight.
20:29 GMT: Another headed chance from Beauvue is well met by David Ospina. Still 0-0 in Guingamp.
20:28 GMT: Nice manager Claude Puel will hope that Neal Maupay has the answer as he takes of Cvitanich who is goaded by Guingamp’s defenders who refuse to shake his hand as he leaves the pitch.
20:26 GMT: Well things seem to have calmed down slightly and I am delighted to say that Josuha Guilavogui has just made his return to French football as he comes on as a substitute over in Corsica vs Bastia. He has just had a stinging shot saved by Leca. Still the away side lead over there.
20:20 GMT: Huge chance for Ajaccio after they send in a free kick and Deplagne bicycle kicks the ball of the line.
20:19 GMT: Evian have to go for it now, especially with Valenciennes having the possibility of picking up all three points against Sochaux tonight. Daniel Wass will come on imminently and should inject some precision into the ETG attack.
20:15 GMT: Well the only game without a goal is now Guingamp vs Nice and Mustapha Yatabare’s is unable to put a free header off of a Beauvue free kick into the back of the net.
20:14 GMT: GOAL: Montpellier 1-0 Ajaccio (Mounier) A great move is capped off with Anthony Mounier sliding home. The ball comes in from Cabella, the delivery is full of quality, Niang heads the ball down in the area and Mounier tucks away.
20:13 GMT: GOAL: Valenciennes 1-1 Sochaux (Corchia) Oh my word! What an amazing free kick from Sebastien Corchia. He hits it with curl and although it goes fairly centrally into the back of the VA net, what a wonderful hit. This kid has got talent. Clubs of Europe, wake up!
20:10 GMT: GOAL: Bordeaux 1-0 Evian (Faubert) We have had three goals in the space of 30 seconds! Let me break it all down. Bordeaux take a deserved lead and Faubert get his finish perfect this time around
20:08 GMT: GOAL: Valenciennes 1-0 Sochaux (Waris). Majeed Waris converts the penalty. Again, very harsh on Sochaux that. Lionel Zouma was also booked for the incident.
20:07 GMT: PENALTY: Ridiculous decision by referee Fautrel who claims that Lionel Zouma brings down Majeed Waris in the are but there really was no contact.
20:04 GMT: Tallo makes a nuisance of himself once again in the Montpellier penalty area but Hilton is able to deal with the danger. We have had another lively start to this half between Valenciennes and Sochaux.
20:00 GMT: We are set to return imminently for the whistles around the grounds to restart tonight’s 5 Ligue 1 matches. I have done my half time goal dance, let’s see if that does the trick.
HT: SC Bastia 0-1 St Étienne, Valenciennes 0-0 Sochaux, Guingamp 0-0 Nice, Bordeaux 0-0 Evian, Montpellier 0-0 Ajaccio.
19:44 GMT: Coming up to half time around the grounds here and honestly I don’t see any goals coming before we break. Something will probably happen now I’ve said that…
19:39 GMT: A little bit of a scuffle in Bastia after Sambou Yatabaré gives away a free kick. Mollo’s ball in for the free kick but horrible scenes as Leca lets out a huge scream in pain. The goalkeeper screaming as he collides with Perrin. I think he may have made more of it than required as he does not actually collide with Leca’s face but he is in considerable pain. The referee is influenced by the reaction of the crowd and books Perrin. That is the only game that has brought us a goal thus far.
19:35 GMT: What a frustrating player Roy Contout is for Sochaux. He is lively, tries hard to make things happen, makes defenders think twice but just has not got the finishing touch. Still 0-0 over there.
19:33 GMT: GOAL: SC Bastia 0-1 St Étienne. Les Verts take another step towards Champions League football after Brandao finds himself free in the box and puts his head on the end of a Mollo corner. The away side had dominated possession and deserve their lead.
19:30 GMT: Nice stuff from Guingamp as they work the ball through to Yatabare who’s low shot fails to pose Ospina any real difficulties. Les Aiglons are really struggling to find their form since their win over Marseille in the Coupe de France nearly a month ago.
19:29 GMT: No goals in the first 30 minutes of tonight’s Ligue 1 matches. Second half is often when the party begins on Saturday nights in Ligue 1, so stick around.
19:25 GMT: A bullish header from Bordeaux’s Hoarau is over the bar after a good ball in from Faubert. The home side are now more in control over Evian than they were some minutes ago.
19:23 GMT: Guingamp playing with a higher tempo than usual tonight against Nice and it is paying off. They have had numerous corners but Giresse’s corners have not been good enough thus far. They have a free kick just outside the area to come… Giresse curls it over.
19:21 GMT: Another cutting edge opportunity for Bordeaux after a horrible effort from Julian Faubert as he does not expect the ball to fall to his feet at the far post. He fails to improvise intelligently and the ball goes over.
19:20 GMT: A penalty shout at Bastia for that man they call Djibril Cissé but I need to see it a second time to give my judgement on it. Truth is Sall is sticking to the ex-QPR man like glue and it is working. He has been quiet.
19:18 GMT: Montpellier had won themselves a great free kick and Cabella’s delivery was immense but an absolutely incredible stop from Ochoa denies Niang in the six yard area. Fantastic stop for the man who will leave at the end of the season for free.
19:16 GMT: Franck Tabanou has just hit the most wayward shot of the night around the grounds as he tries to cut in from the right wing but his strike looked like something of a rugby kick-off and he blasts it over to Bastia’s left hand corner flag. St Étienne have not started convincingly in Corsica tonight.
19:14 GMT: Quite nervy in Valenciennes as you would probably expect. Neither side wants to expose their defence too much by sending too many men forward and it is causing me serious problems in terms of entertainment thus far. In fairness, their is a huge amount potentially on the line as the relegation battle hots up.
19:13 GMT: I tell you what in Morgan Sanson, Montpellier already have themselves their summer replacement for Remy Cabella. The youngster who signed in the summer has just whipped a wonderful ball into the box before Claude Dielna just averts the danger.
19:11 GMT: Dario Cvitanich has lost a contact lens at Guingamp, bringing his attempts to aid an OGC Nice attack to an abrupt end. Looks like it is back in. Danger averted.
19:10 GMT: Bordeaux vs Evian has been messy and hectic thus far. Both sides jostling in the midfield. Tuilo de Melo is looking like a bright spark for Les Roses this evening, to the surprise of most.
19:08 GMT: Montpellier are perhaps expectedly on top in the early stages at home against lowly Ajaccio. Remy Cabella looking as fiery as ever.
19:07 GMT: Sebastien Corchia is looking lively upon his return to Sochaux in the early stages of this relegation six pointer. He has a notable strike cut out by Penneteau.
19:06 GMT: The pitch in Guingamp is absolutely awful and it is effecting the early exchanges in with their visitors OGC Nice. Bobble, bobble, bobble. Nice trying to get the game under control with little breakouts from EAG.
19:05 GMT: A little penalty shout for Brandao in Corsica. He drops heavily claiming to have been felled by Squillaci but really there was nothing in it. Bastia vs St Étienne should be end to end tonight.
19:03 GMT: We are well underway around the grounds but some really exciting encounters to anticipate tonight.
Bordeaux XI vs Evian: Carrasso – Mariano, Sané, Henrique, Pellenard – Faubert, Traoré, Sertic, Maurice-Belay – Saivet, Hoarau
Evian XI vs Bordeaux: Hansen – Wass, Mongongou, Angoula, Sabaly – Sougou, Kone, Barbosa, Berigaud – De Melo, Ruben
SC Bastia XI vs St Étienne: Leca, Harek, Modesto, Squillaci, Diakité, Yatabaré, Cahuzac (cap), Boudebouz, Khazri, Krasic, Cissé
St Étienne XI vs SC Bastia: Ruffier, Clerc, Sall, Perrin (cap), Trémoulinas, Lemoine, Clément, Cohade, Mollo, Tabanou, Brandao
Montpellier XI vs Ajaccio: Jourdren – Deplagne – Congré – Hilton (c) – Tiéné – Marveaux – Stambouli – Sanson – Cabella – Mounier – Niang
Ajaccio XI vs Montpellier: Ochoa, Hengbart, Tonucci, Dielna, Faty, André, Diarra, Mostefa, Cavalli (cap), Lasne, Tallo
Nice XI vs Guingamp: Ospina, Puel, Genevois, Bodmer, Amavi, Abriel, Mendy, Traoré, Eysseric, Bauthéac, Cvitanich
Guingamp XI vs Nice: Samassa – M. Pereira, Kerbat, Sorbon, Lemaitre,- Beauvue, Mathis, Sankharé, Giresse -Yatabaré, Dembele
Valenciennes XI vs Sochaux: Penneteau (c); Mater, Medjani, Kagelmacher, Masuaku; Ducourtioux, Enza Yamissi, Doumbia; Dossevi, Waris, Pujol
Sochaux XI vs Valenciennes: Pele; Faussurier, Zouma, Carlao (c), Marange; Corchia, Sinkala, Malsa, Roudet; Contout, Ayew
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