You're nobody without a Traore

How many players can boast a comedy back-catalogue?  John Dobson reckons Djimi ‘Crazy Legs’ Traore has one.  Here he is now with a look back at the last round of Ligue 1 games.  John, not Djimi.

Auxerre 2-0 Nice

Brest 2-0 St Etienne

Caen 2-3 Nancy

Lorient 2-0 Arles

Lyon 2-1 Sochaux

Toulouse 1-1 Lens

Marseille P-P Rennes

Valenciennes 1-1 Lille

Montpellier 1-1 PSG

Monaco 2-2 Bordeaux

The promised battle of first versus second didn’t quite happen. Rennes went into round 11 atop of the standings and travelled to Marseille on Sunday, but torrential rain-washed the game out. The previous day, up in the far north-west corner of the hexagon, St Etienne – third before kick-off – were at Brest and lost which sent the Bretons top. Bear in mind they were promoted from Ligue 2 last season and this stands out as a tremendous achievement. St Etienne shaded the game for the most part, though Jeremie Janot had to pull off a couple of top saves to keep his side in it, but two goals in the last quarter hour sent Brest on their way and to the top of the league. With half the St Etienne defence complaining about Nolan Roux’s claim for a penalty, Bruno Grougi got on with it and crossed for Mario Licka to head in the opener. Romain Poyet got the second, a perfectly placed curling effort into the top corner from the edge of the box.

It wasn’t just in Marseille that it rained on Sunday, but all along the south coast, which meant the Monaco v Bordeaux game was also postponed. With neither club having European involvement this season, they took the chance to have another bash on Tuesday and Bordeaux were ahead in ten minutes thanks to yet another comedy own goal from the burgeoning catalogue of Djimi ‘Crazy Legs’ Traore who couldn’t get out of the way of a deep, bobbling cross and knocked it in at the back post. Park Chu-Young equalised after the interval, the ball falling kindly for him after Dieumerci Mbokani headed against the bar. Mathieu Coutadeur put Monaco ahead with one of those free-kicks that evades everyone and nestles in the bottom corner, the keeper anticipating the touch, but Jussie got round the back at a corner to level once again. Coutadeur got himself sent off for a second bookable offence as the game petered out. A point helps neither side, especially Monaco who still languish in the bottom three with Lens and Arles.

Arles’ run of two straight draws came to a shuddering halt at Lorient with the home side dominated throughout. The breakthrough had to come, it arrived ten minutes after half time, the Arles keeper unable to hold a long range shot, and Kevin Gameiro was on hand to prod it in. Gameiro turned provider for the decisive second, standing a cross up at the back post for Lynel Kitambala to head home. Lens did at least get a point out of their trip to Toulouse who were ahead very early on through Paulo Machado’s penalty after a foul on Etienne Didot. Midway through the first half, Toulouse failed to deal with a corner, which presented Alaeddine Yahia with an easy opportunity at the back post, and, though Machado hit the bar late on, the lack of strikers once again ensured TFC couldn’t convert pressure into more goals.

Lyon got back to winning ways by beating Sochaux and were ahead with a swift counter-attack, Yoann Gourcuff prominent in it, which ended with Michel Bastos cutting in off the left and firing in from 18 yards. Bastos didn’t last the first half, limping out with a hamstring pull, and Sochaux were level twenty minutes into the second, Ideye Brown latching onto a loose ball and finally get it past Hugo Lloris who was having a fine game. They were level for just three minutes though as Alexandre Lacazette got a second bite at it after his initial shot was saved. Auxerre won their second in a row and are finally moving up the table after brushing a lacklustre Nice aside. The breakthrough didn’t come until a couple of minutes from half-time as Benoit Pedretti got to the byline and crossed for Valter Birsa to head in and Pedretti himself got the second from long range, Birsa teeing him up.

Two late goals ensured the spoils were shared between Valenciennes and Lille. The opener goes down as a Nicolas Penneteau own goal, but the VA keeper could do precious little about it. Moussa Sow hit a fierce shot on the turn that beat Penneteau, but it came crashing back off the bar, hit the keeper on the back and rolled gently over the line. That was four minutes form time, but Lille hit straight back from the kick off and won a free-kick wide on the right. It was floated into the box where Mickael Landreau got in a tangle with his defence and pushed it out right to Gregory Pujol who needed no second invitation.

PSG were also held to 1-1 down on the south coast at Montpellier (this was Saturday when it wasn’t raining quite so hard). Ludovic Giuly had the Parisians ahead in the 37th minute, bringing the ball down from a corner and flicking it past the keeper from four yards. They were ahead for only five minutes though as a long ball forward eventually fell kindly for Marco Estrada who drove it low past Edel Bete. Caen lost and drop out of the top half for the first time this season, Nancy inflicting just their second home defeat of the campaign. Youssef El Arabi had the Normans in front after a bit of a goalmouth scramble 13 minutes in, but the sides would turn around with Nancy ahead after Youssouf Hadji converted a penalty and Gregory Tafforeau put through his own net. Kandia Traore levelled it back up early in the second half, beating the keeper at the near post after initially looking like he’d lost control, but another Traore, Bakaye this time, won it in the 70th minute after being teed up for a tap-in by Julien Feret. You’re nobody in Ligue 1 without a Traore.

No date has yet been set for the Marseille v Rennes game to be played, so Brest start round 12 on top of the standings and they’re at Lille. Rennes stay second and are at home to Lyon while St Etienne are at home to Lorient and looking for their first win in five. Marseille are in Paris, Bordeaux at home to Valenciennes while Toulouse and Montpellier could both go top should they win by enough at Nice and Lens respectively.

Arles v Caen

Bordeaux v Valenciennes

St Etienne v Lorient

Sochaux v Auxerre

Rennes v Lyon

Lens v Montpellier

Lille v Brest

Nancy v Monaco

Nice v Toulouse

PSG v Marseille

John is part of the backbone of IBWM and you can follow him on Twitter @Euroballs

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