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.

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