Bordeaux hold second as cold strikes
PARIS, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Girondins Bordeaux consolidated second place in Ligue 1 with a 1-0 home win over Racing Lens on Saturday.
A first-half penalty from striker Lilian Laslandes moved Bordeaux within nine points of champions Olympique Lyon, who visit Monaco on Sunday.
"It was very difficult but we took the points and that's all that counts," Bordeaux's Brazilian manager Ricardo said after a tense game featuring few highlights and seven yellow cards.
Bordeaux, with the tightest defence in the league having conceded only 12 goals in 24 games, resisted sustained pressure in the second half.
"It's very frustrating to lose that way," said Lens coach Francis Gillot. "Bordeaux hardly created a chance in the second half while we wasted many opportunities".
Bordeaux stay three points clear of third-placed Auxerre, who beat Stade Rennes 2-0.
Belgium striker Luigi Pieroni put Auxerre ahead with a penalty after 68 minutes. Denmark midfielder Thomas Kahlenberg doubled their advantage with a superb shot from outside the box 10 minutes from time.
Auxerre finished the match down to 10 men after substitute midfielder Lionel Mathis was sent off for a dangerous tackle with two minutes remaining.
With Lyon marching towards a record fifth consecutive title, interest is focusing on the battle for second place and the Champions League ticket on offer.
Olympique Marseille undermined their chances of playing in Europe next season when they were held to a goalless home draw by lowly Sochaux.
Marseille, who missed a penalty when midfielder Sabri Lamouchi fired over the bar after 79 minutes, remain sixth and are now 18 points off the lead.
Three of Saturday's matches were postponed because of bad weather. St Etienne against Nice and Nantes versus Troyes were called off due to snow, while a frozen pitch hit the game between Racing Strasbourg and Paris St Germain.
No new dates have yet been set.