Lee Garrity talks us through this week’s Coupe De France Quarter-Finals

On Tuesday Ligue 2 Reims entertained Ligue 1 side Nice in the first of the Quarter Finals, Daniel Ljuboja gave the visitors the lead on the half hour but Reims hit straight back when Romain Amalfitano side footed home from a Odair Fortes cross. Eric Mouloungui restored the lead for Nice on 48 minutes but once more Reims deservedly hit back, Fortes adding a goal to his earlier assist to force the game into extra time. Mouloungui was to be the hero for Eric Roy’s Nice as substitutes David Bellion & Anthony Mounier combined for the former Strasbourg forwards 2nd goal of the game vindicating Roy’s decision to rest several key players.

There was to be no more giant killing heroics from non league Chambery as Ligue 2 Angers strolled to a 3-0 victory at Grenoble’s Stade des Alpes. On loan Bordeaux man Henri Saivet broke the minnows hearts on the stoke of half time and 2nd half strikes from Sebastien Renouard & Diego Gomez gave the scoreline a one sided look.

Ligue 2 leaders Le Mans travelled east to the capital to face a Paris Saint Germain side who started with a mix of experience and highly rated youth, it was to be the youth that would eventually come out on top. Scoreless at full time and with the hosts down to 10 men the game ebbed and flowed with both sides creating chances, possibly the best of which fell to Le Mans, the visitors also went down to 10 men early in extra time and PSG took hold of the game, taking a 108th minute lead through Jean Christophe Bahebeck and sealing the game through another youngster Neeskens Kebano.

The last of the Quarter Finals was to be the final game played on the notorious Metropole pitch at Lille. The hosts had the better of the chances but visiting Lorient keeper Fabien Audard was in fine form and after extra time the game ended 0-0. The first four penalties were converted before a woeful spot kick from Lorient’s Arnold Mvuemba gave the home side the advantage, both sides scored their next penalty so it fell to Lille’s talisman Eden Hazard to win the game and he did just that although Lorient may feel that the Belgian playmaker should have re-taken the kick after he appeared to stop mid run up before tapping the ball to the stricken Audard’s right hand side to give Lille a 5-3 shootout win and send them into the semi finals alongside Angers Nice & last season’s winners Paris Saint Germain.



Lee Garrity brings you the latest round up from all the action in Ligue 2.

Leaders Le Mans were held to a 1-1 draw with Sedan at the MMArena, losing their 100% record at the new stadium, Thorstein Helstad headed home from close range for his 14th goal of the season on 23 minutes but 9 minutes later Yoann Court fired home a stunning left foot volley from just inside the area for his 2nd goal of the week, both sides had chances to win late on but Le Mans will certainly see this as 2 points dropped.

AC Ajaccio had a fruitful trip to Northern France to face 2nd bottom Vannes, a 2nd half strike from Richard Socrier giving the Corsicans maximum points ,lifting them into 2nd spot as the division’s top scorers Evian TG drew a rare blank at home to mid table Dijon, Sebastien Ribas notching a double to take his season’s tally to 12. Le Harve claimed all 3 points in Monday night’s promotion clash with Tours at the Stade Jules Deschaseaux in a seven goal thriller.

The visitors lead twice through Jeremy Blayac and Karim Saidi with Yohanne Riviere pulling the hosts back into the game, Brice Jovial pulled Le Harve level on 58 minutes and just 11 minutes later they led for the first time through Loic Nestor’s first goal of the season. Tours battled on and look to have earned a point on 83 minutes when Haiti defender Romain Genevois notched his 2nd goal in 3 games, but the celebrations had hardly died down when the visitors were caught napping and Jovial nipped in for his 2nd of the game and 10th of the season as Le Harve move into 4th place 1 point from an quick return to Ligue 1.

Boulogne travelled south to face a Laval side looking nervously at the relegation battle just below them, the Mayenne side unbeaten at the Stade Francis Le Basser and the visitors boasting the League’s best defence with just 15 goals conceded in 24 games and on a 5 match winning streak which saw leaders Le Mans beaten last week, however just 22 minutes in Boulogne found themselves 2-0 down and reduced to 10 men thanks to goals from Pierre Talmont and former Vannes striker Ghislain Gimbert. The visitors battled hard to get a foothold back into the game but were caught out just after the hour mark when Gimbert netted his 2nd, the first time this season Boulogne had shipped more than 2 goals. The night was to belong to Gimbert and he completed his hat trick on 77 minutes firing in from close range to bring Boulogne’s winning run to an abrupt end at the same time easing Laval’s relegation worries.


Grenoble remain 7 points from safety as they were defeated 2-0 at Troyes, the 3rd game running Grenoble have failed to hit the net, a problem which must be rectified soon or a second successive relegation looms, a goal of the week contender from Gregory Bettiol and a fine finish from substitute Benjamin Psaume sealed the points at the Stade De L’Aube.

Third bottom Metz gained what could be a valuable point in a goalless draw at home to Chateauroux  , although the home side would have been looking at this fixture as one to take maximum points, they will however take heart with the results for Grenoble and Vannes and also Nimes who remain 4th bottom on 27 points just 1 point above Metz after a 2-1 home reverse against Clermont, Rachid Hamdani fired the visitors ahead early on before a Yannick Boli stooping header 13 minutes from time brought the hosts level, with the game heading for a draw a clumsy challenge gave on loan Sochaux man Sloan Privat the chance for his 14th goal of the season and he duly sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot to sentence Nimes to their 5th successive defeat.

Reims stay 3 points from the drop zone with a useful  1-1 draw at Nantes in front of almost 15000 fans, Serbian striker Felipe Djordjevic’s close range strike gave Nantes a 56 minute lead but a goal 4 minutes from time from substitute Cedric Faure gave Reims a point as they look forward to a French Cup Quarter Final at home to Nice on Tuesday. Another Ligue 2 side in Cup action on Tuesday are Angers and they earned a point at an Istres outfit that came into the game with only 1 defeat in 12. Bordeaux loanee Henri Saivet looped a header over Denis Petric for his 3rd Angers goal. Petric and the woodwork kept Angers from extending their lead and it was against the run of play when the home side drew level, midfielder Riad Nouri firing home to share the spoils.



Starting a new feature on gibfootballshow new writer Lee Garrity takes us to the second division in France. Each week Lee will be keeping us updated in everything that goes on in Ligue 2.

The race to join the French elite looks likely to go to the wire as before this weekend’s fixtures  any team outside the bottom four who can put a run of victories together will look at the table and think maybe , just maybe.

Leaders Le Mans held a 4 point gap between themselves and fourth placed Ajaccio and Les Manceaux ,who moved into the new 25000 capacity MM Arena just two weeks ago remain top courtesy of a 1-0 victory over bottom placed Grenoble, both teams were relegated from Ligue 1 last season but now find themselves heading in different directions. Norwegian International Thorstein Helstad’s 58 minute goal enough to give Le Mans the three points and take Helstad to the top of the scorer’s charts with 13 goals.

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