Lille held to 1-1 draw at newly-promoted Troyes

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PARIS (AP) -Bordeaux missed the chance to pressure Marseille at the top of the French league when it was held to 0-0 away to Valenciennes on Saturday.

Although Bordeaux maintained its unbeaten start to the season after five games, Valenciennes had the better chances in a scrappy match. Bordeaux was in fourth place, three points behind Marseille, which has played a game less. Valenciennes was in sixth spot.

Matthieu Dossevi went close with a free kick late in the first half, and defender Loris Nery almost won the match for the home side late on when his long shot went just over.

Bordeaux's best effort came early into the match when midfielder Ludovic Obraniak saw his strike smothered by goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau.

Earlier, substitute Sebastien Grax scored in the 88th minute to earn newly promoted Troyes a 1-1 home draw with Lille.

"A draw away from home is never a bad result, but when you have the chances to win, then you must," Lille coach Rudi Garcia said. "You don't climb very far up the table if you keep drawing."

Lille looked set for a victory but was punished for some sloppy defending when Stephane Darbion crossed from the left and the defense failed to clear the ball properly, allowing Grax time to pick his spot and curl a low shot past goalkeeper Mickael Landreau.

Winger Dimitri Payet put Lille ahead in the 38th minute when he controlled the ball with his left foot, moved it onto his right and fired a low shot into the corner.

Payet and striker Tulio De Melo went close to scoring for Lille before Grax's equalizer, which came about after Franck Beria and Mathieu Debuchy both left each other to deal with Darbion's drifting cross.

"I don't know what happened," Lille midfielder Marvin Martin said. "We played well, especially in the first half, but they pushed strongly at the end."

Lille, which won the French title two seasons ago, has won only one league game this season and is 10th. Lille lost 2-1 at home to Paris Saint-Germain in the last round.

"It's a shame that we're dropping points so easily," Martin said. "But I think we will bounce back in the Champions League on Wednesday."

But the point was not enough to prevent Troyes dropping to the bottom of the league after Sochaux won 1-0 away to Saint-Etienne.

Saint-Etienne had left back Jonathan Brison sent off after just nine minutes and Sochaux finally made the most of the extra man when midfilder Thierry Doubai scored in the 75th.

In other games, it was: Evian 3, Bastia 0 and Nice 4, Brest 2.

Nice moved above Lille and into 10th spot.

Midfielder Camel Meriem put the home side ahead just after the break, and defender Nemanja Pejcinovic and attacking midfielder Eric Bautheac added further goals before Jonathan Ayite pulled a goal back from the penalty spot.

Midfielder Valentin Eysseric got Nice's fourth two minutes into injury time, only for Brest center back Paul Baysse to reply moments later.

Evian's win moved it away from the relegation zone, with veteran midfielder Cedric Barbosa scoring twice and strike Yannick Sagbo getting the other goal.

In Sunday's matches, Marseille looks to make it five wins in a row when it goes to Nancy. Second-place Lyon hosts Corsican side Ajaccio, and Rennes faces Lorient.

On Friday, beat Toulouse 2-0 at home to climb into third place, while defending champion Montpellier dropped to 16th after losing 3-1 at newly promoted Reims.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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