Ligue 1, Week 23: Caen Stun Lyon, Montpellier Cruise

Lyon vs. Caen

Relegation-threatened Caen pulled off a shock 2-1 win at the Stade de Gerland to put some distance between themselves and the drop zone while seriously threatening Lyon's quest to finish in the top three. An early goal from Romain Hamouma plus a superb looping volley by Livio Nabab in the 73rd minute consigned Lyon to the loss, and a late penalty converted by Lissandro Lopez was no more than a consolatio.

Montpellier vs. AC Ajacco

Montpellier cruised to a 3-0 home victory to go (temporarily, at least) to the top of Ligue 1 on goal differential, and although Ajacco managed to keep the hosts off the scoresheet in the first half class eventually told. A penalty shortly after the break, awarded after Benjamin Andre needlessly brought down Bedimo and converted by Younes Belhanda, got things rolling, and Montpellier made it two after a slick finish by Remy Cabella capped one of the rapid counterattacks they've been known for. Ajacco's misery was complete when Oliver Giroud latched onto a long punt forward and blasted past Memo Ochoa to make it 3-0.

Valenciennes vs. AS Nancy Lorraine

It looked as though the match between Valenciennes and Nancy at the Stade du Hainaut would end all all square despite the hosts' best efforts, but Mamadou Samassa's stoppage-time winner saved the day, earning his side a 1-0 win. Valenciennes had by far the better of play during the match and Nancy goalkeeper Assembe had to be on his toes throughout. The Cameroonian saw his crossbar rattled in the first half and twice thwarted Vincent Aboubakar in the second, but he had no answer after a defensive mix-up allowed Samassa to pick up possession in the 91st minute and slam home for the game's only goal.

Stade Rennes vs. Sochaux

Sochaux's miserable run continued as they went down 1-0 early at the Stade de la Route de Lorient against Rennes and failed to mount anything like a response. The visitors were stung by one of their former academy players sixteen minutes in when Mevlut Erding met Jonathan Pitroipa's cross, nodding into the top corner from ten yards, and all they could manage in return was a solitary long-range effort by Slovan Privat. It was a pretty woeful display by Sochaux, although that's hardly a surprise considering their season so far.

AJ Auxerre vs. Lorient

It took a miraculous goalkeeping performance to do it, but Lorient came away from their visit to Auxerre with a point. After going down 1-0 within the first twenty minutes and being reduced to ten men shortly thereafter when Fabien Audard handled Ben Sahar's shot outside the area, Lorient looked dead in the water. Fortunately, substitute goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte had different ideas, pulling off a series of brilliant saves, and Lorient were finally rewarded for a brave performance when Innocent Emeghara's near-post header snuck into Olivier Sorin's net during injury time, earning the visitors a very welcome 1-1 draw.

Brest vs. Dijon

Brest scraped a late equaliser against lowly Dijon to earn a point at the Stade Francis-Le Ble. Things seemed pretty dire for the hosts after Gael Kakuta had fired Dijon ahead in the 76th minute and Isaac Jemaa was sent off for a second booking just before stoppage time, but a free kick from Bruno Grougi was flicked home by Santiago Gentiletti in the 92nd minutes to ensure that Brest would earn a share of the spoils.

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