Amiens & Guingamp Miss Chance To Move Clear

It was a night of missed opportunity in the Championnat National this evening.

Amiens had the opportunity to seal promotion to Ligue 2 when they faced 4th placed Strasbourg this evening but the promotion outsiders held them to a 1-1 draw which means Amiens will have to wait until Friday for another shot at promotion when they face Cannes.

Guingamp were also looking to strengthen their promotion position but were also held to a 1-1  away at mid-table Luzenac. Already promoted Bastia beat already relegated Alfortville 4-0 to put themselves 8 points clear of second placed Amiens and look set to win the league this season.

Elsewhere Cannes missed the chance to close the gap at the top after being held 1-1 away at Orleans.

It turned out to be an evening of draws that has failed to settle any of the promotion and relegation battles. Creteil, Pacy, Frejus and Bastia were the only teams to pick up all three points tonight.

Results:

Luzenac 1 – 1 Guingamp
Créteil 4 – 2 Niort
Pacy Vallée-d’Eure 2 – 1 Colmar
Fréjus St-Raphaël 3 – 1 Paris
Beauvais 1 – 1 Gap
Orléans 1 – 1 Cannes
Alfortville 0 – 4 Bastia
Rodez 0 – 0 Bayonne
Amiens SC 1 – 1 Strasbourg

Lille Look To Put Pressure Back On Marseille

Lille are looking to put the pressure back on Ligue 1 leaders Marseille tonight when they host relegated Arles-Avignon. Marseille moved a point clear at the top of the table on Wednesday night thanks to a 4-2 win over OGC Nice. Despite finding themselves in second place with six games left, Lille manager Rudi Garcia insists his men will be fighting hard to secure their first league triumph since 1954.

“It was always going to be likely they went top, but what counts now is how we react,” Garcia said after his side lost the lead for the first time since December.

“Ultimately, we have to win all our matches. But there are six games left and we will have the chance to be leaders again.”

Arles have little to play for on Saturday, after they were condemned to a season in Ligue 2 on April 17 with a 1-0 loss at home to Valenciennes.

But Lille – who were held to a 1-1 draw at Lorient in their last league game – could be without Ligue 1′s top scorer Moussa Sow, who has tendonitis.

Marseille, meanwhile, can expect a tougher examination when they host Auxerre on Sunday.

In tonight’s other games, Lens need three points from their home clash with Lorient if they are to have any hope of avoiding the drop, while fourth-placed Paris Saint Germain host Valenciennes, who are in 12th spot.

Jean Tigana’s Bordeaux side need a win from their trip to Stade Rennes if they are to keep their Europa League hopes alive, while Sochaux take on Nancy looking to put some breathing space between themselves and the relegation zone.

Joining Marseille and Auxerre in action on Sunday, 10th meets 11th when Montpellier play host to Brest, and Caen will hope to move out of the bottom three when they travel to OGC Nice.

Lyon, who are third, will hope to keep the pressure on the leading duo when they visit Toulouse, and Saint-Etienne host struggling Monaco in Sunday’s late game.

Championnat National Preview 30th April

There is a full card of Championnat National fixtures tonight. The pick of the games however has to be Amiens vs Strasbourg.

Amiens currently sit second in the table and Strasbourg lie two places below them in 4th. A win for Amiens tonight would see them promoted to Ligue 2, however a win for Strasbourg would make things very close at the top. Strasbourg are the only team that look capable of stopping Amiens and Guingamp achieving promotion this season which makes tonights meeting at Stade de la Licorne vital for both teams.

Guingamp will be hoping for an Amiens victory tonight but they will need to take all the points from their game at Luzenac if they want to continue their strong promotion push. Guingamp are on fire at the moment scoring an impressive 11 goals in two games, they also have the leagues top goalscorer in Thibault Giresse who has scored 19 goals this season.

Nothing can be decided at the bottom of the table today but there are seven teams who are all fighting to stay out of the three remaining relegation spots. With games running out teams need to pick up points and fast if they are to avoid relegation.

The pick of the games at the bottom of the table is Rodez vs Bayonne. Rodex currently sit 16th in the table, one place above tonights opponents and the relegation zone. The winner of tonights tie will put them in a great position to secure their future in the National for next season.

Fixtures:

17:00 CRETEIL –  NIORT
17:00 LUZENAC –  GUINGAMP
17:00 PACY SUR EURE –  COLMAR
18:00 FREJUS-SAINT-RAPHAEL –  PARIS FC
19:00 ALFORTVILLE – BASTIA
19:00 AMIENS –  STRASBOURG
19:00 BEAUVAIS –  GAP
19:00 ORLEANS –  CANNES
19:00 RODEZ –  BAYONNE

All times at GMT.

Adriano Extends Monaco Contract

Monaco’s Brazilian defender Adriano has signed a three-year extension to his contract.

Adriano’s contract was due to expire in June but the 29 year-old defender is now set to remain with the Principality club until 2014.

“I’ve been negotiating with the club for six weeks,” said Adriano.

“Despite interest from elsewhere I told my agent to try and make sure I stay at Monaco. I like it here and my family are settled. I’m very happy to be staying.”

Monaco are currently 15th in Ligue 1 and are not yet safe from relegation.

Ayew Hat-Trick Sends Marseille Top – Lyon Keep Pressure On

Andre Ayew scored a hat-trick and his younger brother Jordan grab a goal to see off OGC Nice 4-2 at Stade Velodrome last night. A result that sees them hop above Lille into top spot in Ligue 1.

This is the first time Marseille have been top since week 15 of the season and it is a great time to do so with only a handful of games remaining.

Ayew was given the opportunity to play upfront due to the absence of Loic Remy and he took his opportunity with both hands, grabbing a goal in the 30th, 60th and 90th minute.

In the end Nice were well beaten and will look to pull themselves away from the danger zone with a win over struggling Caen on Sunday.

Elsewhere in Ligue 1, Lyon left it late to beat Montpellier 3-2 at the Stade de Gerland. A 90th minute goal from Yoann Gourcuff helped them claim all three points and keep the pressure on Marseille at the top. Ederson gave Lyon the lead after 23 minutes but his goal was cancelled out by Montpellier striker Oliver Giroud who levelled in the 30th minute.

In the second half Lisandro Lopez restored Lyon’s led with a goal in the 55th minute, however Montpellier pulled the game level again in the 84th minute thanks to a goal from Souleymane Camara.

Montpellier looked set to steal a point before Gourcuff came off the bench to score a late winner for Claude Puel’s side.

The race for the Ligue 1 title is getting tighter and all eyes are now on week 34 where L’OM travel to Lyon in a match that could shape the title race.

Taiwo Summoned After Final Rant

Nigeria international Taye Taiwo has been summoned to a May 5 hearing by National Ethics Council (CNE) to explain his foul-mouthed outburst at the League Cup final, the French Football Federation (FFF) announced Wednesday.

Taiwo scored the winning goal as league champions Marseille beat Montpellier 1-0 to win the trophy last weekend.

But moments after the triumph the big defender went from hero to villain as he grabbed a microphone and unleashed a verbal volley at Marseille’s bitter league rivals Paris Saint Germain.

As Taiwo celebrated near the Marseille fans he was heard proclaiming: “Marseille are coming up to Paris to (expletive) PSG.”

The next day France’s Professional Football League (LFP) said it would probe Taiwo’s behaviour, which has now reached the CNE.

Teammate Stephane Mbia has also been summoned to the hearing for the role he played in the incident.

Taiwo has since made a public apology to PSG via Marseille’s television channel, and widened that apology in a press release Monday.

Marseille coach Didier Deschamps said: “He shouldn’t have done that. He’s made a huge blunder, but he didn’t think it would reach such proportions.

“He knows it now, and is very sorry.”

Marseille are only two points behind league leaders Lille, with a game in hand.

Losing Taiwo, one of Marseille’s most influential players, to a ban could theoretically damage their chances of defending the league title