Ligue 1 Wrap: PSG take a step closer to the title
A frustrated Paris Saint-Germain moved closer to the Ligue 1 title, despite being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Valenciennes.
PSG welcomed their mid-table opponents to the Parc des Princes expecting to repeat their 4-0 victory against the same team earlier this season, however Valenciennes were not going to play along and very nearly caused an upset.
Gael Danic opened the scoring for the visitors early in the first half after Nicolas Douchez, in goal for the suspended Salvatore Sirigu, could only parry Vincent Aboubakar's 17th-minute strike. The hosts rallied but found visiting goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau in fine form as he kept out Javier Pastore and Maxwell.
With half-time approaching the game was turned on its head when PSG captain Thiago Silva was sent off for dissent, referee Alexandre Castro not hesitating in issuing the card to the Brazilian much to the amazement of everyone inside the stadium.
The league leaders regrouped and laid siege on Penneteau's goal. Just as the visitors thought they might leave Paris with all three points, Alex popped up to head home an Ezequiel Lavezzi corner and grab his side a point.
A further point from PSG's remaining three Ligue 1 games will see them crowned champions for the first time since 1994.
Lyon closed the gap to second-placed Marseille to four points with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Nancy thanks to two goals from Bafetimbi Gomis and one from Yoann Gourcuff.
Remi Garde's side took their time to break the deadlock as a resolute Nancy defence kept them at bay, however three minutes after the break Gomis opened the scoring six yards out from goal. Gourcuff added a second with nine minutes to play after being found by Gueida Fofana on the edge of the penalty area, the 26-year-old controlled the ball and fired a right-footed shot beyond Damien Gregorini.
To seal the victory, Gomis added a third in the final moments, he took a pass from the impressive Gourcuff before slotting the ball into the back of the net for his 18th goal of the season.
Nice moved themselves above Saint Etienne into fourth position with three second half goals to beat Rennes at the Route de Lorient.
After an even first half the visitors opened the scoring in the 50th minute as Dario Cvitanich took advantage of a mistake from Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil. The keeper pushed away a Didier Digard free-kick to Luigi Bruins, his cross found Nemanja Pejcinovic and the defender headed the ball onto Cvitanich who applied the finish.
Five minutes later Chris Mavinga was sent off for a push on Cvitanich and Nice used their numerical advantage to punish their hosts further. After Alou Diarra handled the ball inside the area Cvitanich converted the resulting penalty and with six minutes to play, Eric Bautheac added a third to seal the points..
In the closing stages of the match, Pejcinovic was given a straight red card for pulling down Jonathan Pitroipa, but it was too late for Rennes to make any sort of comeback and Nice took all three points.