Lille one step closer to Ligue 1 title.

Clifford even closer to celebrating a Lille double.

Lille moved one step closer to the Ligue 1 title on Wednesday night as they defeated visiting Sochaux by a score of 1-0. While assuring that they did all but clinch the title, Marseille are still mathematically in the race. But it would take a Herculean effort, as well as two Lille defeats, for Marseille to repeat as champions.

Like many of Lille’s matches lately,they weren’t able to find the scoring touch early in the game. And while they were able to pressure the Sochaux defense, bad luck lead to the first half being scoreless.

A number of Lille players showed impressive play in the opening half, but none more than Gervinho. While he was having his way with the Sochaux defense, his opportunities were either hitting off the posts, or his passes would just take an unlucky bounce.

During the half time, the Lille supporters were able to take a glimpse at their new hardware, as Lille president Michel Seydoux walked around the stadium track with the Coupe de France raised in his hands.
As play started in the second half, Lille again showed some promise. And in the 53rd minute, Gervinho was able to find that scoring touch. Yohan Caybe took the ball away from Sochaux’s Nicolas Maurice-Belay, finding Moussa Sow, who broke through the Sochaux defense, finding Gervinho for the finishing touch on what would be the match’s only goal.

For the remaining time, Lille continued to pressure the Sochaux defense. The visitors had a few chances in the second half, but only a few made keeper Mickael Landreau break a sweat.

With the win over Sochaux, Lille now control their own destiny. All they need is a draw in one of their last two matches in order to win the league. Also, if they were to end up tied with Marseille in points at the end of the season, OM would have to win their matches by impressive margins, as Lille currently have an advantage in both tie-breakers.

As for Sochaux, a win could have put them in a position of advantage for 6th place, which is the last Europa League position. Instead, Lorient, Bordeaux, St. Etienne, Auxerre and Montpellier still have an outside chance of making the European competition.

In the other Ligue 1 match, Paris St. Germain were unable to pull ahead of Lyon for 3rd place, as they lost to Bordeaux at the Stade Chaban-Delmas by a score of 1-0. The only goal of the match was on a penalty kick by Cheick Diabate as a result of a breaking Benoit Tremoulinas being taken down in the area by PSG’s Jeremy Clement. Even though the tackle looked aggressive, there was no card on Clement.

This result doesn’t knock PSG out of the race of 3rd place. They are only two points behind Lyon, which could be easily obtained in the next two matches. Unfortunately for PSG, their next game will be a theoretical Coupe de France final rematch against Lille at the Parc des Princes. Of course, PSG will be looking for revenge.

As for Bordeaux, a team who looked dead after the resignation of Jean Tigana two weeks ago, they now find themselves with a slim chance of qualifying for the Europa League. Bordeaux would have to win their two remaining matches while Sochaux would have to lose their two remaining, while, at the same time, Lorient cannot win both of their matches. It is complicated, but they still do have a chance.

The entire Ligue 1 schedule for Matchday 37 will be played this Saturday.

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