Bordeaux beats Lens 2-1 in France
PARIS (AP) — Bordeaux beat struggling Lens 2-1 to go level on points with second-place Paris Saint-Germain in the French league on Saturday.
Bordeaux midfielder Wahbi Khazri finished off a counterattack to open the scoring in the 24th minute. Mali striker Cheick Diabate doubled the lead by dribbling past goalkeeper Valentin Belon in the 41st for his fifth league goal this season.
After scoring, Diabate rushed toward the touchline to hug Bordeaux coach Willy Sagnol, who couldn’t hold back tears later on the bench. Sagnol apologized Thursday for making disparaging comments about African players this week.
“We wanted to give him our support,” Khazri told Canal Plus television. “We care a lot about him.”
Before kickoff, Sagnol shook hands with Lens coach Antoine Kombouare, who was born in New Caledonia and said Thursday he “felt humiliated and hurt” when he heard those comments.
“I’ve wished him good luck for the future,” Kombouare said after the match. “Today, he’s the one who must feel miserable and who must certainly be suffering.”
Lens striker Yoann Touzghar scored a consolation goal with a penalty in the 74th.
Touzghar benefited from an officiating mistake as Bordeaux defender Marc Planus headed a high ball out before colliding with Lens forward Pablo Chavarria. The collision was deemed a foul by the referee.
Elsewhere, Bastia won its first game since firing coach Claude Makelele on Monday to move out of the relegation zone. Interim coach Ghislain Printant sat on the Bastia bench as striker Gadji Tallo netted both goals in the 2-0 victory over Montpellier.
“The players have showed to a lot of people that they deserve better,” Printant said. “I think it’s a victory that must give a lot of hope.”
Oswaldo Vizcarrondo and Jordan Veretout scored to help Nantes rally past Caen 2-1 and stay one point behind Bordeaux in the standings.
Toulouse moved into the middle of the table by routing Metz 3-0 with goals from Francois Sirieix, Wissam Ben Yedder and Aleksandar Pesic.
Evian snapped a four-game losing streak in all competitions by edging Nice 1-0. Denmark international Daniel Wass curled home a free kick in the 76th to pull Evian out of last place.
On Sunday, leader Marseille visits defending champion Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon hosts Guingamp, Lille travels to Reims and Saint-Etienne faces Monaco.
Rennes edged Lorient 1-0 on Friday.