Ligue 1 round-up
Montpellier suffer surprise defeat, Lille thump Ajaccio
Last Updated: April 15, 2012 10:34pm
Henri Bedimo: Scored an own goal as leaders Montpellier slumped to a surprise defeat
Ligue 1 leaders Montpellier slumped to a shock defeat at Lorient on Sunday, but Paris St Germain could not capitalise.
A Henri Bedimo own goal on 69 minutes saw Lorient take the lead against Montpellier, who then slipped even further behind when substitute Joel Campbell found the net eight minutes later.
Olivier Giroud pulled a goal back for the Ligue 1 pacesetters soon afterwards but the hosts held on for the win.
Second-placed Paris St Germain missed the chance to draw level with Montpellier at the top after being held to a 1-1 draw at bottom side Auxerre in the late game.
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Nene put Carlo Ancelotti's side ahead in the 23rd minute but Auxerre substitute Anthony Le Tallec netted an equaliser with four minutes remaining to snatch a point.
Third-placed Lille breathed fresh life back into their fading title hopes with a 4-1 mauling of AC Ajaccio.
Lille's chances of retaining their title looked to have suffered a potentially decisive setback when last weekend's defeat to Brest left them 10 points behind Montpellier, but they reduced the gap to seven after cruising past lowly Ajaccio.
A 16th-minute own goal from Yoann Poulard set Lille on their way, Joe Cole then added a second before the break and late strikes from Gianni Bruno and Eden Hazard, from the penalty spot, sealed the win.
Ajaccio netted an injury-time goal from Frederic Sammaritano, but it was nothing more than a consolation for a side who saw their five-match unbeaten run came to an end.
St Etienne's hopes of securing European football next season were boosted by a 2-1 home win over relegation-threatened Brest.
Although a UEFA Champions League spot may be beyond Christophe Galtier's men, a fourth-placed finish and Europa League football is not and, after this win, looks a distinct possibility.
Max Gradel's penalty and Bakary Sako's winner either side of Issam Jemaa's equaliser proved enough, with Les Verts moving into fifth.
Evian continued their impressive away form to pick up three more vital points in their battle to avoid relegation in a 3-0 win at Valenciennes.
All three of Evian's goals came in a 15-minute purple patch before half-time with Saber Khelifa, Kevin Berigaud and Yannick Sagbo, with a penalty, the men on the scoresheet.
There was no way back for Valenciennes after that as Evian moved five points clear of their opponents and nine above the relegation zone.
Benoit Tremoulinas' last-minute penalty salvaged a point for Bordeaux as they came from behind to draw 2-2 against Nancy at the Stade Marcel Picot.
Yoan Gouffran put the Girondins in front in the 17th minute before Bakaye Traore levelled for Nancy just after the break.
Sebastien Puygrenier then gave the home side the lead as Nancy looked to have secured their fifth win in a row before Tremoulinas fired home from the spot to snatch a late point for his side.
Nancy are still not mathematically safe but their impressive recent form has massively improved their chances of avoiding relegation, while Bordeaux lie three points ahead of them in eighth place, five points behind St Etienne.
Modibo Maiga threw Sochaux a Ligue 1 lifeline after a precious 1-0 win over Dijon.
Magia struck with 20 minutes remaining after he broke free and bore down on Baptiste Reynet's goal but, when the stopper could only parry his initial hit, the ball fell back to the striker who tucked in to the vacant goal.
While Les Lionceaux remain in the relegation zone, it is only on goal difference and with just four points covering the sides between 12th and 19th, this result could prove to be a priceless one.