Ligue 1, Week 36: PSG, Montpellier Both Win As Title Race Continues

Paris Saint-Germain and Montpellier both won, extending the title race into the second to last week of the season.

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Rennes Vs. Montpellier, 2012 Ligue 1: Montpellier Reclaims Top Spot

With two rounds left in the Ligue 1 season, Montpellier leads Paris Saint-Germain by three points. The red card and suspension received by star playmaker Younes Belhanda in their last match figured to seriously hinder France's surprise title contenders, but they managed without him in what should have been an extremely difficult fixture, defeating a solid Stade Rennes side 2-0 on the road.

Rennes created a high volume of chances, managing 21 shots and seven on target during the game, but their finishing was very poor. Montpellier did not take a high volume of shots, as usual, but made their chances count. Souleymane Camara scored the opener in the 26th minute, finishing from close range on a pass by Remy Cabella. In the second half, Cabella created another goal, hitting a shot off of Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil that was credited as an own goal.

Montpellier faces a tough test in their second to last game of the season at home against Lille. They close the season against Auxerre, who could be relegated before that match takes place.

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Ligue 1, Week 36: Sunday Wrap, PSG Win Thriller, Lyon Drop Points

Paris Saint-Germain have put the pressure on Montpellier to get a result in a tough fixture away to Rennes on Monday, but they took a roundabout route to doing so. Valenciennes took an early lead on PSG, but Carlo Ancelotti's team fought back in a seven-goal thriller. Elsewhere in France, Ajaccio got pulled back into the relegation race while Lyon failed to solidify their grip on fourth place.

Paris Saint-Germain 4-3 Valenciennes

Valenciennes has been impressive this season with two wins over Lyon, a win over Montpellier, a draw with Lille and two draws with Marseille, but they couldn't hold onto a lead against PSG on Saturday. They stunningly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 11 minutes, but Nene answered with a goal in the 14th minute to stop the bleeding for PSG.

PSG closed out the first half brilliantly, with Maxwell equalizing in the 40th minute and Blaise Matuidi putting them up 3-2 with an impressive volley in the 45th minute, assisted by Javier Pastore. Jeremy Menez scored the ultimate winner in the 58th minute. Renaud Colhade set up a thrilling finish with an 80th minute goal, but Valenciennes couldn't find an equalizer.

Lyon 1-1 Brest

Lyon are already missing out on Champions League and they won the French Cup, so there's not really much incentive for them to put their best foot forward in the league. Brest's relegation rivals would probably appreciate it, though, and won't be thrilled that Brest got a draw at Stade de Gerland. The visitors had just 33 percent possession and two shots on target, but managed a draw anyway. Yoann Gourcuff scored the opener (no really, he still exists) and Gregory Lorenzi scored the equalizer for Brest in the 77th minute.

Evian 2-1 Ajaccio

Can someone please get Memo Ochoa a better job? He made eight saves, but it wasn't enough to win any points for Ajaccio. They went ahead on Evian in the 14th minute, but his defense was still celebrating a minute later when Cedric Barbosa equalized for the home side. Daniel Wass scored the winner with an impressive direct free kick in the 54th minute. Ajaccio is three points above the drop zone.

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Ligue 1 2012, Week 36 Preview And Fixtures: Montpellier Travel To Face Rennes In The Weekend's Biggest Clash

There will be no bigger fans of Les Rouges et Noirs than PSG, who head to Stade du Hainaut to face Valenciennes trailing league-leaders Montpellier by three points.

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