Mar­seil­laise rings out in Cor­sica as Caen held

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BAS­TIA: ‘La Mar­seil­laise’ rang out in Bas­tia yes­ter­day ahead of the muchan­tic­i­pated Cor­si­can Ligue 1 derby won 2-1 by Gaz­elec-Ajac­cio as Caen missed the chance to go sec­ond be­hind Paris Saint-Ger­main fol­low­ing a goal­less draw against Angers.

Tight­ened se­cu­rity checks were in place through­out France, just over a week af­ter ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Paris and the Stade de France left 130 peo­ple dead and more than 350 in­jured.

And de­spite threats by Cor­si­can na­tion­al­ists to boo the French na­tional an­them ‘La Mar­seil­laise’ was sang with gusto at the Ar­mand Ce­sari Sta­dium in Bas­tia in trib­ute to the vic­tims of the Paris at­tacks.

The club’s lead­ing supporters group Bas­tia 1905 an­nounced prior to the game that they would not en­ter the sta­dium un­til af­ter the na­tional an­them.

Only one soli­tary whis­tle could be heard in the stands dur­ing the ren­di­tion, be­fore the Cor­si­can chant “Diu vi salvi Regina” was sung and fol­lowed by the release of 130 white bal­loons, and a blue one for a club of­fi­cial who died the day be­fore the at­tacks.

“The si­lence as the play­ers walked out gave me the chills,” said Ajac­cio coach Thierry Lau­rey. “I would say that the best re­sponse has been given,” added Bas­tia coach Ghis­lain Prin­tant. In a match which had been post­poned from Satur­day be­cause of strong winds in the Mediter­ranean is­land, Bran­dao opened for the hosts af­ter five min­utes fol­low­ing good work by mid­fielder Ju­lian Palmieri.

But 14 min­utes later Cameroon in­ter­na­tional striker Jac­ques Zoua got the visi­tors on level terms, slot­ting home a penalty awarded when Bas­tia goal­keeper Jean-Louis Leca fouled Khalid Boutaib in the box.

Boutaib missed a golden chance to put the visi­tors ahead with half an hour to go but alone on front of goal it was Leca who won the duel. Ten min­utes later Boutaib made no mis­take vol­ley­ing in fol­low­ing a pin­point David Du­cour­tioux headed cross.

The win away lifts Ajac­cio out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone with neigh­bours Bas­tia tak­ing their place. In Nor­mandy, Caen were down to ten men af­ter half and hour af­ter Alaed­dine Yahia was given a straight red card for a dan­ger­ous tackle.

A win would have seen Caen move sec­ond be­hind PSG, who stretched their lead to 13 points on Satur­day with a 2-1 win at Lori­ent. “It’s a good point given the game,” said Caen coach Pa­trice Garande.

“Un­til the send­ing off we’d got­ten off to a bright start and things were look­ing good for the match.” Caen are now third, equal on 25 points with Lyon, who lost 30 to Nice on Fri­day, and are ahead on goal dif­fer­ence. Angers are sit­ting fifth.

Mar­seille travel to Saint-Eti­enne later as Rennes host Bordeaux. —AFP WEST BROMWICH: Arsene Wenger de­scribed Arse­nal’s 21 de­feat at West Bromwich Al­bion as the “per­fect night­mare” af­ter mid­field­ers Fran­cis Co­quelin and Mikel Arteta added to his in­jury prob­lems.

Arteta’s own goal, cou­pled with a late penalty miss by Santi Ca­zorla, ended the Gun­ners’ six-match un­beaten Premier League run and dented their ti­tle chal­lenge. And Gun­ners boss Wenger, al­ready with­out Alex OxladeCham­ber­lain, Theo Wal­cott, Aaron Ram­sey and Danny Wel­beck, suf­fered fur­ther set­backs as he lost Co­quelin to a knee prob­lem and Arteta to a re­cur­rence of a calf in­jury.

Both play­ers will be as­sessed and are doubts for Tues­day’s Cham­pi­ons League home match against Di­namo Za­greb, which Arse­nal must win to stand any chance of stay­ing in the com­pe­ti­tion.

“It was a very bad af­ter­noon for us. We had 70 per cent pos­ses­sion, we scored an own goal, we missed a penalty, we gave away a goal from a set piece. That’s per­fect to make the af­ter­noon a night­mare,” Wenger said.

“We missed open goal chances too. I be­lieve that West Brom fought with 100 per cent com­mit­ment as well. You have to give them credit for that. “We landed a huge blow when we scored. We just had to make sure that they didn’t come back with an easy goal.

“We lost a bit of fo­cus at 1-0. Af­ter 35 min­utes, we were 1-0 up. Af­ter 45 min­utes, we were 2-1 down. Our de­fend­ing on that level was very, very poor. “On top of that, we have two more in­juries. One is a re­cur­rence of a calf prob­lem for Arteta, one is a knee prob­lem for Co­quelin. I don’t know how se­vere that is. We’ll know tomorrow.” Wenger re­fused to blame Ca­zorla for his missed penalty, which came amid con­fu­sion, as it ini­tially ap­peared as though ref­eree Mark Clat­ten­burg had or­dered a re­take for en­croach­ment.

As it turned out, Clat­ten­burg had pe­nalised the mid­fielder for tak­ing two touches as he slipped; with the rules not al­low­ing a penalty taker to touch the ball again un­til an­other player has done so.

Highly fo­cused

Arse­nal were con­signed to de­feat de­spite an early goal from Olivier Giroud who, like France team-mate Lau­rent Ko­scielny, played eight days af­ter be­ing caught up in the hor­rific Paris at­tacks.

Giroud and Ko­scielny were play­ing for France in a friendly against Ger­many at the Stade de France, which was tar­geted by three at­tack­ers who blew them­selves up out­side the sta­dium, with the ex­plo­sions heard dur­ing the match. Wenger said that he had no doubts about field­ing ei­ther player, cit­ing their pro­fes­sion­al­ism. “They were highly fo­cused and had a de­sire to play,” Wenger said. “We pro­duced enough to win the game. I don’t know about the in­flu­ence of what hap­pened (in Paris) on the game.

“For my part, I would not ex­plain our de­feat by that. I think it’s sad. We are all down. But when you’re on the pitch, you’re on the pitch.” West Brom man­ager Tony Pulis, whose side drew level through James Mor­ri­son be­fore Arteta’s own goal, ac­knowl­edged that his play­ers had gained vic­tory de­spite not be­ing at their best.—AFP

CAEN: Caen’s French for­ward Andy Delort (R) vies for the ball with Angers’ French de­fender Yoann An­dreu dur­ing the French L1 foot­ball match be­tween Caen (SM Caen) and Angers (SCO Angers), yes­ter­day, at the Michel d’Or­nano sta­dium, in Caen, north­west­ern France. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.