Ligue 1 LIVE: 15/03/2014

21:00: Unfortunately, after another Saturday full of Ligue 1 drama, it is time for me to say farewell. Congratulations to Valenciennes and Sochaux, and, until next time, Au Revoir!

20:57: Round-Up: Some absolutely massive results today! Valenciennes’ win over Evian takes them within 2 points of their opponents in 17th. Sochaux also grabbed a vital win, meaning they are now just 5 points from safety. Guingamp’s win takes them 7 points clear of relegation, while Rennes’ loss to Toulouse leaves them on just 31 points,  3 ahead of Valenciennes in 18th place. This could go down to the wire…

20:54: FULL TIME: Ajaccio 1-2 Guingamp, Evian 0-1 Valenciennes, Nice 2-0 Bastia, Rennes 2-3 Toulouse, Sochaux 2-0 Lorient.

20:51: Close: Toivonen has a free header to equalise for Rennes, but he cannot get any connection on his effort, and the ball falls into a grateful Boucher’s hands. That could be that…

20:49: Well into added time now in most of the Ligue 1 games. Guingamp and Valenciennes still handing on to vital leads, but Ajaccio and Evian are throwing everything at them!

20:47: GOAL: Rennes 2-3 Toulouse (Doucoure). Oliveira’s bicycle kick is not held by Boucher, and Doucoure scores the rebound! We are into added time, can Renne find an equaliser?

20:44: We are nearing full time all around our Ligue 1 games, with Guingamp and Valenciennes about to grab a vital 3 points as things stand. Around 5 or so minutes to go until full time, will there be any late twists?

20:42: Close: Rennes close to pulling another goal back after a nice move. It ends, though, with Doucoure heading wide from a completely free header inside the box. He probably had time to take that down if he wanted to.

20:39: Close: Nicolas Benezet, what have you done! The Evian striker has almost an open goal, with just a couple of Valenciennes defender on the line to beat, but he cannot even find the target as he fires wide! Huge piece of luck for Valenciennes.

20:38: GOAL: Sochaux 2-0 Lorient (Sunzu). Wow! After good work from Corchia on the wing, the ball is played in to Sunzu, who applies the finishing touch. Sochaux will be moving closer and closer to escape…!

20:36: GOAL: Nice 2-0 Bastia (Maupay). The youngster scores from a corner to give Nice crucial breathing space!

20:34: GOAL: Rennes 1-3 Toulouse (Aurier). Just as Rennes thought they were back in the game, Toulouse catch them napping as Aurier capitalises on some bad defending to restore Toulouse’s 2 goal cushion.

20:32: GOAL: Ajaccio 1-2 Guingamp (Beauvue). Vital goal for Guingamp, that could see them pull clear of the relegation zone, as Beauvue finishes smartly to give his side the lead!

20:30: Close: Lorient close to scoring again! Traoré hits a dangerous free kick from the right, which is intended to be a cross, but it beats everyone and almost sneaks into Pelé’s net! Lorient getting closer…

20:28: GOAL: Rennes 1-2 Toulouse (Oliveira). Boucher tries to come out and punch a high ball, but he gets very little on it and it falls right to Oliveira’s head, and the Portuguese man obliges with a simple finish into an empty net. Rennes have one back, can they get the second?

20:25: Brilliant statistic from OptaJean, who point out that in 2014 only Ibrahimovic (8) has scored more goals than Waris’ 6. He has almost single-handedly carried this Valenciennes side in recent matches.

20:23: GOAL: Evian 0-1 Valenciennes (Waris). I said the game needed a goal, now it has one! Waris, who has been instrumental in VAFC’s recent form, scores once again to give his side the lead!

20:21: Close: What a chance for the 10 man Bastia to equalise! The ball falls to Sambou Yatabare, just 8 or so yards out, but he blazes the ball over the bar.

20:19: Close: Rennes almost pull a goal back against Toulouse, but Alessandrini’s long range effort, which had Boucher scrambling, flies narrowly past the post and out for a goal kick. Better from the home side.

20:17: Guingamp are really beginning to press against Ajaccio in search of the lead. First Giresse, from a free kick, and then Yatabare, from a header, go close to scoring. The home side are kind of hanging on at the moment.

20:15: Evian vs Valenciennes is still as scrappy as it was in the first half. Perhaps to be expected because of the importance of the game. As I said before, a goal would really open things up.

20:13: Good to see Nice vs Bastia has calmed a lot since the end of the first half. Getting reports that the captains had a meeting with the referee at half time and were told to calm their sides down. Unconfirmed, but the game is being played in a much better spirit for sure.

20:09: Close: Lorient go close to equalising! Alliadiere has a snap shot from the left hand side of the box, which is heading into the bottom corner, but Pele gets down well to parry it away.

20:06: Free kick in a great position for Guingamp… but Beauvue can only hit it directly into the wall, and out for the corner, which eventually comes to nothing. Decent chance there for the away side, but it remains 1-1.

20:03: KICK OFF: We are back underway in all 5 Ligue 1 games!

19:50: HALF TIME: Ajaccio 1-1 Guingamp, Evian 0-0 Valenciennes, Nice 1-0 Bastia, Rennes 0-2 Toulouse, Sochaux 1-0 Lorient

19:46: GOAL: Rennes 0-2 Toulouse (Chantome). Toulouse have a free kick on the left, and Chantome absolutely blasts an effort past Costil and into the net. The goalkeeper was wrong footed, and did not have enough time to get over to the other side of the goal.

19:44: Rennes have a good chance to equalise, not once but twice! First, Alessandrini’s free kick is blocked by the wall, and from the resulting corner, a goal bound shot is headed away by a flying Yago.

19:41: Red Card: Cahuzac. No surprise at all, as we see a red card in Nice vs Bastia. Cahuzac picks up his second yellow, and is sent off by the referee. Some of the challenges in this game have been horrendous.

19:37: Ajaccio vs Guingamp has actually been a very good game so far, with the Coriscans playing for integrity and Guingamp looking to avoid getting involved in a relegation battle. Good tempo.

19:34: It gets even worse in Nice vs Bastia, as Squillaci goes in with a horrible studs-up challenge on Abriel, which leaves the Nice man writhing in pain. The Bastia defender escapes any action, mainly because the referee did not see the challenge. Could easily have been a red card. The injured Abriel cannot continue.

19:30: Absolute mess in the Nice vs Bastia game, as Maupay goes down under a Modesto challenge, only for the Bastia defender to try and haul him up by grabbing him. It leads to a little face-to-face action, which ends with both Maupay and Modesto booked. Bosetti also went down at some point in the fracas, still unclear exactly why.

19:27: Sochaux playing out of their skin at the moment against a flat Lorient. Lorient, who are comfortably mid-table, have less to play for than the home side, and it is showing in the desire on the pitch.

19:24: Valenciennes are having more of the ball than Evian in their relegation ‘six-pointer,’ but neither side has been able to create a notable chance yet. Perhaps it is the nerves of such an important game. Expect the game to open up after the first goal.

19:20: Close: Toulouse almost double their lead! They break quickly from a Rennes corner, with Ben Yedder slipping in Aurier on the right. His pass across goal looks certain to be tapped in by Braithwaite, but Danzeé makes a brilliant tackle to block the shot.

19:18: GOAL: Rennes 0-1 Toulouse (Toivonen O.G). Rennes fans have become used to seeing Toivonen score, but this time it is in the wrong net as he heads past his own goalkeeper from a corner!

19:16: GOAL: Ajaccio 1-1 Guingamp (Yatabare). Just as I was on about Ajaccio winning, Guingamp hit right back. A clever finish from Yatabare means that the score is now 1-1, and Ajaccio have it all to do again.

19:14: Cracking start to today’s Ligue 1 games. Those goals for Sochaux and Ajaccio mean that the relegation battle is getting tenser by the minute as things stand. 

19:10: GOAL: Ajaccio 1-0 Guingamp (Lasne). Brilliant goal! Lasne picks the ball up on the right, and curls a precise left-footed shot into the far corner of Samassa’s goal.

19:08: GOAL: Sochaux 1-0 Lorient (Contout). Is this another twist in the relegation battle? Sochaux grab an early lead thanks to Contout’s smart finish!

19:06: GOAL: Nice 1-0 Bastia (Bosetti). Nice open the scoring within 5 minutes! Bosetti collects the ball well on the right hand side of the box, and powers in a finish with the outside of his foot past the goalkeeper and into the far corner.

19:03: Great atmospheres all around the Ligue 1 grounds, as we would expect on a day as important as this in the relegation battle. Nice and Guingamp have already gone close to scoring, but today all that matters is the final score.

19:00: KICK OFF: We are underway in all 5 Ligue 1 games!

18:55: Lorient team vs Sochaux: Audard – Gassama, Lautoa, Ecuele Manga, Baca – Jouffre, Doukouré, Traoré, Monnet-Paquet – Aliadière, Diallo.

18:54: Sochaux team vs Lorient: Pelé – Faussurier, Carlao, Sunzu, Marange – Corchia, Sinkala, Prcic, Contout – Bakambu, Butin.

18:53: Toulouse team vs Rennes:  Boucher – Yago, Zebina, Veskovac – Aurier, Didot, Aguilar, Chantôme, Sylla – Braithwaite, Ben Yedder.

18:52: Rennes team vs Toulouse: Costil – Danzé, Boye, Armand, M’Bengue – Konradsen, Makoun – Pitroipa, Kadir, Alessandrini – Toivonen.

18:51: Bastia team vs Nice: Leca – Diakité, Modesto, Squillaci, Palmieri – Cahuzac, Romaric – Yatabaré, Sablé, Bruno – D. Cissé.

18:50: Nice team vs Bastia: Ospina – Puel, Genevois, Bodmer, Kolodziejczak – Abriel, Mendy – Bosetti, Eysseric, Bauthéac – Maupay.

18:49: Valenciennes team vs Evian: Novaes – Mater, Kagelmacher, Nery, Ciss – Dossevi, Doumbia, Da Silva, Masuaku – Waris, Pujol.

18:48: Evian team vs Valenciennes: Hansen – Angoula, Cambon, Mongongu, Sabaly – Benezet, Barbosa, Sorlin, Wass – Ruben, Bérigaud.

18:47: Guingamp team vs Ajaccio: Samassa – Martins-Pereira, Sorbon, Kerbrat, Dos Santos – Beauvue, Mathis, Sankharé, Giresse – Yatabaré, Dembele.

18:47: Ajaccio team vs Guingamp: Ochoa – Mostefa, Hengbart, Perozo, Tonucci, Diarra – Gonçalves, Faty, Lasne, André – Tallo.

18:45: Welcome one and all, to yet another Live Commentary of some Ligue 1 action. As we near the business end of the season, we have a few relegation six-pointers on the way from 19:00 GMT! As usual, we have 5 games on: Ajaccio vs Guingamp, Evian vs Valenciennes, Nice vs Bastia, Rennes vs Toulouse and Sochaux vs Lorient. Stand by for some team news…

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