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Jan 10, 2009

Ligue 1: Rennes move second after Grenoble win

Rennes moved up to second place in Ligue 1 and extended their unbeaten run to 18 games with a 1-0 victory over Grenoble tonight.

The win, secured by a second-half goal from Moussa Sow, means the Brittany side now only trail league leaders Lyon by two points.

Grenoble were the first to threaten a goal in the ninth minute at the Stade de la Route de Lorient when Nassim Akrour cut into the box from the left and drilled in a shot which Rennes goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez blocked.

Akrour spurned another chance eight minutes later when he turned the ball over the bar from an Albert Baning cross, and Grenoble remained in the ascendancy when Laurent Courtois caught Rennes cold at a quick free-kick but his effort was blocked by Douchez.

Rennes' first opening came on the stroke of half-time when Jerome Leroy forced a save by Gregory Wimbee.

Rennes coach Guy Lacombe could not have wished for a better start to the second half as Sow latched on to a poor clearance by David Jemmali, advanced into the penalty area and drilled a right-foot shot past a static Wimbee.

Fabien Lemoine almost added a second for Rennes when his volley from Leroy's set-piece brushed the left-hand post on its way out in the 58th minute.

Ten minutes later Jimmy Briand was unable to take another chance for Rennes which came about when Wimbee could only punch away an effort from Sow.

Grenoble came agonisingly close to snatching a draw when Sandy Paillot's header from a Laurent Batlles' corner struck the crossbar.

The victory means Rennes have still just one defeat to their name in Ligue 1 - against Grenoble back in mid-August.

Brazilian striker Fred put Lyon in front from close range nine minutes into their first game after the winter break with mid-table Lorient but the visitors levelled shortly before halftime when midfielder Fabrice Abriel back-heeled home a low Marama Vahirua cross

Fourth-placed Olympique Marseille closed the gap on Lyon to four points, their 2-0 win at lowly Auxerre featuring a goal in each half by striker Mamadou Samasa and midfielder Mathieu Valbuena.

Nancy-Nice, Le Mans-Lille, and Valenciennes-Caen were all postponed because of frozen pitches. No new dates have been set.

Girondins Bordeaux, in third place level on points with Marseille, will move into second one point behind Lyon with a home win over Paris St Germain on Sunday.

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