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Apr 15, 2006

Lyon handed fifth-successive title on a plate

PARIS, April 15 (Reuters) - A Peter Odemwingie double earned Lille a 3-2 victory over Girondins Bordeaux on Saturday and handed the Ligue 1 title to Olympique Lyon.

Lyon secured a record fifth consecutive title without playing and can now celebrate at Paris St Germain on Sunday.

Gerard Houllier's side top the standings with 75 points from 33 matches with Bordeaux second on 61 points after 34 games. With only four matches left the Girondins cannot now catch Lyon.

Lille, who have played 35 matches, are just three points behind the Aquitaine side in third place.

Stade Rennes, who visit mid-table Nice on Sunday, can reclaim third place by a point from the northerners if they win their ninth consecutive league game.

Lille scored twice in the first six minutes against Bordeaux at Villeneuve d'Ascq's Stadium Nord, where they play their domestic games.

Midfielder Mathieu Bodmer poked home from Mathieu Chalme's free kick after two minutes and Nigerian striker Odemwingie made it 2-0 four minutes later with a volley just inside the box.

Bordeaux pulled a goal back in the 16th minute thanks to Jean-Claude Darcheville's penalty after Lille keeper Tony Sylva fouled their Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh.

Odemwingie was then on target again just after the half-hour mark with another stunning volley.

Bordeaux cut the deficit after 62 minutes as midfielder Julien Faubert fired a Denilson low cross just under the bar to revive Bordeaux's hopes of a comeback.

However, Lille's defence kept Bordeaux at bay and Odemwingie even had a penalty saved by Ullrich Rame in stoppage time.

MARSEILLE ROUT

Olympique Marseille crushed promoted Nancy 6-0 to move up a place to fifth on 54 points. Strikers Mamadou Niang and Mickael Pagis each scored twice as did midfielder Toifilou Maoulida.

The Provence side lead sixth-placed RC Lens by a point as the northerners, who had not lost in seven league games, went down 2-0 at St Etienne to slip one place. They are three points adrift of the UEFA Cup spot occupied by Stade Rennes in fourth.

The top two qualify for the Champions League with the third-placed club entering the competition's third qualifying round. The team in fourth goes into the UEFA Cup.

AJ Auxerre fell a place to seventh after a 3-2 defeat at Nantes. The Canaries, who still hope to qualify for the UEFA Cup through the French Cup, opened the scoring in front of their home fans with a sixth-minute goal by striker Denis Oliech.

Ivory Coast winger Kanga Akale equalised on the hour and Auxerre's Denmark midfielder Thomas Kahlenberg then put the visitors ahead after 68 minutes.

Nantes's Argentine defender Mauro Cetto brought them level a minute later and Ivory coast midfielder Emerse Fae secured the win four minutes from time.

Bottom club Metz were all but relegated after 39 years in the top flight when 17th-placed Troyes won 3-0 at home to second-from-bottom AC Ajaccio.

Metz lost 2-0 at Toulouse on Friday and are now nine points adrift of Troyes with three games left but their goal difference is minus 35 compared to minus 11 for Troyes.

Corsican side Ajaccio are now eight points adrift of Troyes with 18th-placed Racing Strasbourg seven points off the safety of 17th and heading for the drop after a 1-1 draw at Sochaux.

The bottom three are relegated from the 20-team league.

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