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SOCCER

PSG improves title chances with win over St Etienne

PSG climbed to within three points of Ligue 1 leaders Montpellier on Wednesday by claiming a 2-0 home win over St Etienne.

With only four points from its previous three games, PSG needed a win to keep its title hopes from slipping away, and things started well as Jeremy Menez was fouled inside the penalty area by Sylvain Marchal in the 20th minute.

Nene stepped forward to bury the penalty kick, but it wasn't until the closing minutes of the match that the win was locked up.

Christophe Jallet's right-wing cross set up Javier Pastore, who beat goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier to put an end to St Etienne's three-game winning streak.

Ajaccio 2, Sochaux 1

Ajaccio, France - Ajaccio rallied in the final 20 minutes to claim a 2-1 home win against nine-man Sochaux on Wednesday to move three points clear of the drop zone.

Sochaux took the lead through Slovan Privat in the 58th minute, but then had both David Sauget and Yassin Mikari sent off three minutes apart.

The hosts took advantage and leveled the contest in the 74th minute courtesy of Christian Fuenda's penalty kick before the winning goal came six minutes from time as Richard Socrier netted the vital tally which could prove massive in the final table.

Bordeaux 2, Rennes 0

Bordeaux, France - Bordeaux brought an end to the four-game winning streak of Rennes on Wednesday by claiming its third successive victory in 2-0 fashion.

The goals came seven minutes apart early in the second half as Ludovic Obraniak opened the scoring before Landry N'Guemo's 58th-minute strike.

Rennes remains in position for a place in Europe despite the defeat while Bordeaux will need to continue its winning ways to grab a place.

Brest 0, Toulouse 0

Brest, France - Brest and Toulouse played out a 0-0 draw on Wednesday that didn't really do a lot to help either side.

Brest had lost its last three games and had the best chance to break the deadlock in the 69th minute. However, Bruno Grougi failed to convert his penalty kick, leaving Brest above the bottom three on goal difference with 18th-place Dijon still owning a game in hand.

Toulouse had lost four of its previous five games but is still very much in the running for a European berth with three games to go.

Caen 1, Lorient 0

Caen, France - Caen gained a bit of breathing room in its bid to avoid relegation as a 1-0 win on Wednesday over Lorient moved the club four points clear of the bottom three.

Lorient could have all but secured safety with its third win in four games, but Caen's Thomas Heurtaux scored the game's lone goal in the 66th minute to move the hosts level on 38 points with Lorient.

With three games to play, there are six teams separated by four points for the final relegation place.

Lyon 4, Valenciennes 1

Lyon, France - Lisandro Lopez scored a pair of goals as Lyon coasted to a 4-1 win over Valenciennes on Wednesday to strengthen its hold on a place in Europe.

Lopez had his opener canceled out before halftime by Renaud Cohade of Valenciennes.

However, Lyon took over after the break with Cris and Lopez scoring three minutes apart before Jimmy Briand put the game away in the 87th minute.

Marseille 1, Nancy 0

Marseille, France - Marseille ended a dismal run on Wednesday by knocking off Nancy, 1-0.

With only one point from its previous five games, Marseille fell out of European contention. But a first-half goal from Loic Remy was the difference on Wednesday as Nancy saw its nine-game unbeaten halted, dropping the club two points back of Marseille in the middle of the league.

Lille 1, Nice 0

Nice, France - Lille remains on course for a Champions League place after Tulio de Melo's early goal was the difference in a 1-0 victory at Nice.

Lille has won its last four games to sit five points back of leaders Montpellier with three games to play, while Nice suffered its third loss in four games and is just three points above the drop zone.

It wasn't the most convincing effort from Lille but the early goal was enough as De Melo got on the other end of a cross from Eden Hazard to nod home the lone tally.