FC Girondins de Bordeaux returned to winning ways with a 3-1 triumph over AS Saint-Etienne that moved the titleholders three points clear in Ligue 1, a day after Montpellier Hérault SC had joined them at the summit.
Dumped out of the French Cup in midweek following a loss to Stade Rennais FC last Saturday, Laurent Blanc's men were determined to halt their slump and gave themselves an early boost when Marouane Chamakh (13) headed in a Wendel free-kick for his eighth league goal of the campaign. The provider then turned scorer 16 minutes later as Wendel doubled Bordeaux's advantage direct from another free-kick, but St-Etienne gave themselves hope when Bakary Sako responded with a thunderous set piece of his own on the cusp of half-time.
They perhaps should have equalised too, Gonzalo Bergessio firing a penalty wide after Chamakh was penalised for handball, however the hosts survived and quickly gave themselves breathing space. Wendel released Yoan Gouffran down the right and freed himself to turn in the midfielder's cross with 12 minutes to go, leaving the 16th-placed visitors six points above the relegation zone.
AJ Auxerre improved their chances of claiming a place in European competition next season with a 1-0 win over rivals Rennes that returned the victors back to sixth position. Ireneusz Jeleń proved decisive for the Burgundy outfit, the Polish international rifling in from distance three minutes before the interval after visiting goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez had denied the onrushing Dennis Oliech. A point and a spot below Rennes, mid-table FC Lorient were held to a 1-1 draw by Toulouse FC, Daniel Braaten (78) cancelling out Kevin Gameiro's (56) effort for the Brittany club.
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|Last updated: 04/07/2011 03:15 CET|
|Venue: St Etienne|
Gignac 45+1, 70