French League: Lens at second place

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Seydou Keita, Eric Carriere and Issam Jemaa scored to give Lens a 3-1 victory at Valenciennes and second place in the French league.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Seydou Keita, Eric Carriere and Issam Jemaa scored to give Lens a 3-1 victory at Valenciennes and second place in the French league. Former France midfielder Carriere headed Lens ahead in the 28th minute, and Keita got his second goal in successive games just before halftime after a defensive error. Steve Savidan got a goal for Valenciennes with a penalty in the 61st, but Jemaa completed the win deep into injury time with a solo run and finish. Lens has 40 points from 23 games and is 11 points behind leader Lyon, which will attempt to snap a four-game winless streak when it plays at Troyes on Sunday. Lille, which drew 0-0 at home to struggling Nantes, is in third place with 39 points. Nicolas Plestan and Jean Makoun both hit the crossbar for Lille with headers from corners, and Nantes goalkeeper Tony Heurtebis saved a header from Mathieu Bodmer. Missed from close range Midway through the first half, Lille's Nigeria striker Peter Odemwingie chipped over Heurtebis only to see the ball land on the top of the net. He also missed from close range in the second half. Heurtebis was replacing veteran Fabien Barthez, who was rested because of a minor injury. In other matches Saturday, it was: Lorient 2, Le Mans 1; Monaco 2, Auxerre 1; Nancy 2, Toulouse 1; Nice 2, Bordeaux 1; Saint Etienne 1, Sedan 2; Sochaux 0, Rennes 0. Saint-Etienne, which dropped to sixth place, took the lead through Batefimbi Gomis in the ninth minute, but Joseph-Desire Job leveled for last-place Sedan in the 48th. An own goal from Lamine Diatta helped last-place Sedan secure only its third win of the season. Cameroon forward Job has scored seven goals in his last eight games for Sedan. Lorient climbed up to seventh place with Steve Marlet winning the match in the 88th minute. At Monaco, Frederic Piquionne scored on his debut after joining from Saint-Etienne last week, and Serge Gakpe hit the other. Kanga Akale grabbed a late consolation for Auxerre. Bordeaux's inconsistent form continued as Ederson scored two first-half goals for Nice, with Johan Micoud pulling a goal back for Bordeaux. Nancy returned to form with goals by Gaston Curbelo and a debut strike from Marc-Antoine Fortune. Bryan Bergougnoux replied for Toulouse. Nantes stays in 18th place with 21 points, followed by Nice on 20 and Sedan with 18. On Sunday, a high police presence will be in operation around Stade Velodrome for Marseille's home game against fierce rival Paris Saint-Germain.