RC Lens slumped to only their fourth defeat of the season, but it was a close-run thing as FC Girondins de Bordeaux boosted their hopes of securing a European spot with a 2-1 victory on Sunday evening.
Bordeaux took the lead from the penalty spot in the 59th minute, Pauleta giving visiting goalkeeper Guillaume Warmuz no chance with a low strike after Valérien Ismaël had handled a Vikash Dhorasoo free-kick. And when Paulo Miranda hit Bordeaux's second six minutes from time, with a simple tap-in following good work by Pauleta, it looked game, set and match to the west coast club. But Lens had other ideas, and just a minute later Stéphane Pédron reduced the deficit with a first-time shot from Antoine Sibierski's cross.
Yet the fightback came too late, with Bordeaux climbing to within four points of fifth-placed Lille OSC. In a tense thriller, it was Bordeaux who created most of the chances during the first half. They began with a Pauleta header in the 27th minute that sailed just over the bar. Minutes later, Dhorasso's right-wing cross grazed the Lens crossbar on its way out for a goal kick. As Bordeaux piled on the pressure, Warmuz had to be at his best to block a Christophe Sanchez volley from a Kamel Meriem cross.
Lens' best opportunity during the first period came when Sibierski's powerful 25th-minute shot beat Bordeaux keeper Ulrich Ramé only to bounce back off the bar. Despite the defeat, Lens remain six points ahead of Olympique Lyonnais, their nearest challengers for the title, who lost at Lille on Saturday.
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