My Soccer World

Football: Giuly Vaults PSG Into Top Six

Posted on: November 10, 2008

PARIS, France – Paris St Germain bolstered their bid for a place in Europe on Sunday with a 1-0 win over fellow UEFA Cup aspirants Lille at the Parc des Princes which took them up to joint sixth spot.

Lille arrived in the capital on the back of a nine-match unbeaten run and hoping to inflict on their hosts a third home reverse of the season.

Paul Le Guen’s Parisians have been infuriatingly inconsistent all term, showing what they can do with a 4-2 win in Marseille but otherwise failing to put together a strong run.

Le Guen opted to pair veteran Ludovic Giuly with up-and-coming Guillaume Hoarau in a two-man forward line and the tactic paid off with the senior man netting the only goal.

Lille made the more assured start but Giuly prodded home what would prove the only goal against the run of play five minutes before the interval.

Hoarau flicked on a long punt from PSG keeper Mickael Landreau and Giuly nipped in amid confusion at the heart of the Lille defence to prod the ball over the line.

The same combination had earlier seen former Barcelona and Roma man Giuly have an effort ruled out for offside.

Both clubs have 20 points, but neither looks likely to catch Lyon, who lead with 30 after their 1-0 win Saturday at Monaco, while Marseille are on 26 after winning 3-0 at Guignamp.

At the wrong end of the table, former giants Saint Etienne are struggling and are mired in the drop zone after Sunday’s 3-0 home loss to Rennes, who go fourth as a result.

Les Verts afterwards revealed they have brought in Damien Comolli, who lost his job as Tottenham’s sporting director following last month’s sacking of manager Juande Ramos, to fulfil a similar role.

Nine losses in 13 league games tell their own story and coach Laurent Roussey is on borrowed time despite a midweek UEFA Cup success over Norway’s Rosenborg.

Roussey told reporters he understood that the idea was Comolli would replace him in due course.

Fellow UEFA Cup participants Nancy meanwhile moved away from the basement with a 1-0 win at rock bottom Valenciennes.

Lyon’s hero Saturday was Brazilian Fred as they dispatched Monaco at the Stade Louis II stadium with his neat poacher’s finish from a Kim Kallstrom near-post cross ten minutes after the break.

Fred, who is after a new contract come next June, saluted the collective spirit of the side.

“In November we’re playing every three days but we’re all up for it. It doesn’t matter if you start or come off the bench,” said the forward.

Marseille stayed in the hunt after swatting promoted Grenoble with goals from Hatem Ben Arfa – his sixth of the season – and Baky Kone before the break and then a clincher from Benoit Cheyrou eight minutes from time.

Coach Eric Gerets was happy to get the points as “I felt sure that Lyon and Bordeaux would beat Monaco and Auxerre. It’s a job well done.”

Bordeaux stay third, two points behind Marseille, after Fernando Cavenaghi hit his seventh goal of the season and Marouane Chamakh added a second to see off Auxerre 2-0 in the southwest.

The win was marred, however, by Bordeaux Mathieu Valverde keeper having to be taken to hospital with concussion after a clash of heads with Auxerre striker Dennis Oliech two minutes before half-time.

Third-choice keeper Kevin Olimpa came on with Ulrich Rame already sidelined through a groin strain.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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