Montpellier beats Rennes in the French league

Posted Sunday, February 28, 2010 by AP

PARIS (AP)—Defender Joris Marveaux scored twice as Montpellier beat Rennes 3-1 on Saturday to draw level on points with French league leader Bordeaux but having played two games more.

Defending champion Bordeaux and Montpellier have 51 points each with Bordeaux topping the standings due to a better goal difference.

Bordeaux was scheduled to play at Le Mans on Sunday but the game was postponed because of bad weather forecasts.

Marveaux broke the deadlock when left unmarked at the far post, heading in Alberto Costa’s free kick in the 25th minute.

Rennes goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez then failed to clear another set piece from Costa and gifted the ball to Marveaux, who coolly slotted home in the 36th.

Rennes forward Jimmy Briand pulled one back in the 70th minute from close range. Souleymane Camara capped his team’s fine performance in the 82nd minute with a curled shot following a swift counterattack.

Montpellier will travel to Bordeaux next week in a much anticipated showdown.

Earlier, Lisandro Lopez scored his 11th goal of the season as Lyon beat Nice 2-0 to improve to 49 points.

Lopez struck in the 10th minute from close range after collecting Miralem Pjanic’s cross from the right to tap into an open goal.

Mathieu Bodmer’s stoppage-time cross into the box caused confusion between Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis and Nice defender Onyekachi Apam, who scored an own-goal.

In other matches, Monaco beat Boulogne 1-0, last-place Grenoble won 2-0 at Nancy, Toulouse downed Lens 1-0, Valenciennes defeated Saint-Etienne 1-0 and Lorient beat Sochaux 1-0.

Lyon, which has taken 19 points from its last seven league matches since losing 2-1 at home to Montpellier in the final game before the winter break, almost doubled its lead in the 18th but Lopez failed to latch on to Pjanic’s lofted pass over the defense.

Lyon has not conceded a goal in its past five games in all competitions, including when it beat Real Madrid 1-0 at home at Stade Gerland.

“The most important thing is to win but it’s even better to score and not concede,” Lyon coach Claude Puel said. “It means we can travel.”

Monaco ended a three-game losing run with a 1-0 win over promoted Boulogne. Niger striker Moussa Maazou scored after being set up in the box by Alejandro Alonso in the 41st minute.

Defender Yorik Ravet scored twice to give Grenoble its third win this season. Grenoble remained last, 13 points from safety.

Valenciennes claimed a third consecutive win after substitute Johan Audel scored with a left-footed volley that beat goalkeeper Jeremie Janot in the 77th minute.

Marseille will travel to bitter rival Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday amid security fears after the teams’ fans clashed in Marseille following the late postponement of their first encounter of the season last October. Nearly a dozen people were injured.

A group of Marseille supporters said Saturday they will boycott Sunday’s match to protest against security measures imposed on visiting fans.

The group, called “Ultras Marseille,” said it won’t travel to Paris because of “hysterical security measures.” Marseille supporters will be searched before setting off in special buses escorted by police.

Lille hosts Auxerre in Sunday’s other match.

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