Montpellier draws to leave the door open for PSG

Montpellier was held to a 1-1 draw with Toulouse at the Stade de la Mosson on Saturday, leaving the door open for PSG to grab sole possession of first place in Ligue 1.

The draws helps Montpellier improve to 37 points on the year, just one point better than second-place PSG, which can move two points clear at the top with a win over Lille on Sunday.

Geoffrey Dernis handed Montpellier the lead in the seventh minute, but Toulouse responded just before the break. Cheikh Mbengue tallied his first goal of the Ligue 1 season in the 40th minute, earning a point for the visitors.

Franck Tabanou picked up his second yellow card four minutes from time and was given his marching orders, but Montpellier failed to take advantage of the sending off with such little time remaining.

After winning three-straight league contests, Montpellier is now winless in its last two. It still boasts the best goal differential in Ligue 1, scoring 37 goals and conceding 19 through its first 18 games.

Toulouse sits in sixth place in the table with 30 points on the year. It is tied on points with St Etienne, which defeated Dijon, 2-1, on Saturday, but St Etienne holds the edge with more goals scored.

Brest 1, Auxerre 0

Brest, France - Brest edged ten-man Auxerre with a 1-0 win at the Stade Francis-Le Ble on Saturday to extend its unbeaten run in league play to a modest three games.

After two successive draws, a penalty in the 34th minute from Bruno Grougi proved to be all Brest would need to claim its first league win in its last four outings.

Auxerre was reduced to ten men in the 54th minute when Kamel Chafni was sent off, leaving the visitors with a mountain to climb for the remaining 35-plus minutes. Auxerre has now lost seven of its last nine league fixtures, dropping to bottom-half of the table with 18 points.

Brest now has one win and two draws from its last three games and moves into tenth place in the table with 20 points.

Nancy 2, Caen 1

Caen, France - Nancy climbed out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win over Caen at the Stade Michel d'Ornano on Saturday.

Lossemy Karaboue handed Nancy an early lead with a goal in the third minute, and Salif Sane extended the lead with a goal in the 55th minute.

Benjamin Nivet pulled a goal back from the penalty spot in the 60th minute, but it failed to spark a comeback for Caen.

Caen has lost four straight, falling to 13th place with 19 points on the year, while Nancy follows closely with 18 points.

St Etienne 2, Dijon 1

Dijon, France - St Etienne extended its unbeaten streak in Ligue 1 play to six games, defeating Dijon, 2-1, at the Stade Gaston Gerard on Saturday behind some late drama.

Florent Sinama-Pongolle gave St Etienne the lead after 15 minutes, and the team's one-goal advantage lasted until the dying minutes.

Max Gradel added a second for St Etienne in stoppage time, but it was quickly canceled out by Eric Bautheac, who helped Dijon force a nervy finish for the visitors.

Ultimately, it was not enough. Dijon drops its second-straight league match to remain on 18 points, while St Etienne moves into a tie with Toulouse with 30 points apiece.

Marseille 2, Lorient 1

Marseille, France - Marseille came out on top of a wild affair at the Stade Velodrome on Saturday, topping nine-man Lorient, 2-1, behind two goals in the final six minutes.

Lamine Kone was sent off in the 33rd minute for Lorient, but the visitors still managed to take the lead after Innocent Emeghara opened the scoring in the 77th minute.

Mathieu Valbuena then equalized for Marseille in the 84th minute, and Benoit Cheyrou provided the game-winner in stoppage time. To add insult to injury, Alaixys Romao was sent off in stoppage time to leave Lorient with no chance for a comeback.

Marseille is unbeaten in its last four, occupying eighth place with 28 points. Lorient has lost three-straight and trails Marseille by five points.

Nice 2, Valenciennes 0

Nice, France - Anthony Mounier bagged a brace to lift Nice to a 2-0 victory over Valenciennes at the Stade Municipal du Ray on Saturday.

Mounier scored the opener in the 68th minute and added another in stoppage time to put the result out of reach for Valenciennes.

Nice climbs level with Valenciennes, as both teams are now deadlocked in the relegation zone on 17 points apiece.

Lyon 2, Evian 1

Lyon, France - Lisandro Lopez scored 20 minutes from time to help Lyon to a 2-1 win over Evian at the Stade de Gerland on Saturday.

Jimmy Briand put Lyon in front in the 35th minute, but Yannick Sagbo struck in the 43rd minute to ensure that Evian were level by the break. Lopez then provided the game-winner in the 70th minute to bump Lyon into third place in Ligue 1.

The match turned on edge down the stretch as both sides were reduced to ten men. Clement Grenier of Lyon and Fabrice Ehret of Evian were both handed straight reds in the dying minutes.

Lyon has won four straight to stake its claim on third place with 35 points, while Evian drops to 12th place after its second-straight loss.