Last but one edition of French Fancies for the season: saluting the ladies of Lyon, commiserating with Le Mans, wishing one former Sunderland man well for tomorrow, when Ligue 1 relegation is settled, while congratulating a second on winning promotion last night. And, for once, no digs at Bordeaux …
The French season is nearly over – the remaining Ligue 1 relegation issue, who goes down with Lens and Arles-Avignon, will be resolved tomorrow night. The Sunderland interest is Eric Roy, manager of Nice, who need a point at Valanciennes to be sure.
Nice could lose and still survive but would need Nancy (home to Lens) or Caen (home to Marseille) to lose, or Monaco only to draw at home to Lyon. Une histoire compliqué, as the French might say and Eric knows he’d be a fool to rely on one of the results elsewhere going his way.
Lille, the champions (and Coupe de France winners, repeating a 1946 double), can end the season in style with a win at home to Asamoah Gyan’s old club, Rennes.
Last night, my city-in-law, Le Mans, where I married and where Stéphane Sessegnon played before he joined PSG, suffered bitter disappointment. Having been promotion contenders all season, if rarely convincing, they managed to beat Nantes at home (3-2) but Ajaccio also won, 2-1 at Nimes, to restore Ligue 1 football to Corsica. Another SAFC interest, the mustard producers of Dijon, managed by our former full back Patrice Carteron, clung to a promotion place despite losing at Angers (they had a better goal difference than Le Mans).
Evian TG – see their remarkable story in a comment to this posting – clinched the championship with a 4-3 win over Metz.
And finally, for now, bravo to the girls of Olympique Lyonnais who, having conquered Arsenal Ladies in the semis, beat Potsdam 2-0 in the women’s Champions’ League final, played at Fulham on Thursday night.
… but no babysitter.