France: Montpellier beats Valenciennes
PARIS (AP) -- French leader Montpellier moved provisionally five points ahead of title rival Paris Saint-Germain after Souleymane Camara's early goal was enough to secure a 1-0 home win against Valenciennes on Saturday.
Camara, who has scored several times coming off the bench, was handed a start alongside top scorer Olivier Giroud and repaid coach Rene Girard after just five minutes with his eighth goal of the season.
With five matches remaining, Montpellier is edging closer to a first league title, and PSG needs to beat Sochaux at home on Sunday to close the gap. PSG, which has won only one of its past five league games, also has a worse goal difference.
"Valenciennes defended well and they were well organized,'' Girard said. "Even if it was difficult, we won so that must mean something.''
Despite an eighth straight home win, Girard is not getting carried away with thoughts of winning the league.
"We've got five games to go so we'll see what happens,'' he said. "We're not thinking about them (PSG) all the time.''
Montpellier picked up injuries, with midfielders Joris Marveaux (knee) and Marco Estrada (hamstring) limping off in the second half.
Also, ?30 million($40 million)-rated Eden Hazard scored his 16th goal of the season as defending champion Lille won 2-0 at Dijon. Hazard set up midfielder Rio Mavuba's opening goal in the 39th minute before making it 2-0 with a fine run and shot in the 45th.
Lille defender Idrissa Gueye was sent off in the first half, while Dijon center half Abdoulaye Meite and midfielder Bennard Kumordzi were red-carded after the break.
Rennes won 1-0 win at Brest to climb up to fourth place thanks to a penalty from winger Julien Feret.
Marseille's terrible league form continued as it lost 2-1 away to Bordeaux. Marseille, which won the League Cup last weekend, has not won in the league since Jan. 29 and has slipped to 10th place.
Given that Marseille has not won at Bordeaux since 1977, the omens were not in coach Didier Deschamps' favor and after one minute Brazilian winger Jussie put Bordeaux ahead. He got another midway through the first half, before forward Jordan Ayew replied in the 56th.
Ayew rushed over to defend his brother, Andre Ayew, when he got involved in a bust-up with Bordeaux defender Ludovic Sane. Several players joined in and a melee ensued, despite the best efforts of Marseille striker Andre-Pierre Gignac to drag his teammates away.
Speaking on television after the match, Deschamps was angry over a comment made to him by referee Tony Chapron.
"I said to Mr. Chapron 'I think you were poor tonight' and he replied 'Just like your team was,''' Deschamps said on Canal Plus.
In other matches, it was: Caen 1, Saint-Etienne 4; Evian 2, Toulouse 1, and Nice 1, Auxerre 0.
Nice secured a vital win in its relegation fight thanks to a first-half penalty from defender Fabian Monzon. Auxerre, which is in last place, finished with nine players after center half Willy Boly and striker Denis Oliech were sent off.
Ajaccio hosts Nancy and Lyon faces Lorient in Sunday's other games.
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