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French Ligue 1

Francois-Coty 30th November 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: Mikael Lesage

AC Ajaccio AC Ajaccio vs St Etienne St Etienne

AC Ajaccio 0

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Title hopefuls held at Ajaccio

St Etienne can only manage goalless draw on their travels

Last Updated: 30/11/12 10:35pm

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Max Gradel: Was unable to force a breakthrough

Max Gradel: Was unable to force a breakthrough

A goalless draw at struggling Ajaccio was enough to lift St Etienne up to second in the Ligue 1 standings on Friday night.

Both teams had their chances, but ASSE will be happier with a result that extends their unbeaten run to 10 matches and moves them two points behind leaders Lyon.

Ajaccio, meanwhile, have won just once in their last eight fixtures and sit two points above the relegation zone.

Despite their run of poor form, it was the hosts who made the better start and forced the first save after 12 minutes with Stephane Ruffier turning away an angled drive from Chahir Belghazouani.

St Etienne were made to wait 10 more minutes for their first opening. Max-Alain Gradel sparked the move with a cross from the left which produced a testing volley from Romain Hamouma and a fine save from Ajaccio goalkeeper Francisco Ochoa.

Ruffier then returned to the action five minutes later, diving low to keep out a 25-yard shot from Mehdi Sbaa as the home side threatened once more.

And Adrian Mutu had another good chance for Ajaccio five minutes before the interval, with the Romanian striker getting on the end of a neat pass from Samuel Bouhours before Ruffier again intervened.

Gradel tried to give St Etienne the advantage early in the second half but directed his 30-yard free-kick narrowly over the crossbar.

Another opening followed for Ajaccio after 65 minutes. Sigamary Diarra supplied a cross into the area which was headed over the target by Belghazouani.

Ochoa did well to get down low and block a left-footed shot from Renaud Cohade moments later as St Etienne pressed for the opening goal.

But it was Ajaccio who came closest to snatching the points in stoppage time when Belghazouani saw his snap-shot from 20 yards cleared off the line by Loic Perrin.

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Matches

Table

French Ligue 1

French Ligue 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Marseille 19 41
2 Lyon 19 39
3 Paris St Germain 19 38
4 St Etienne 19 36
5 Monaco 19 32
6 Bordeaux 19 31
7 Nantes 19 30
8 Rennes 19 28
9 Reims 19 28
10 Montpellier 19 26
11 Nice 19 22
12 Guingamp 19 22
13 Lille 18 21
14 Toulouse 19 21
15 Lorient 19 20
16 RC Lens 19 19
17 Metz 19 19
18 Evian Thonon Gaillar 18 19
19 Bastia 19 18
20 Caen 19 15

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