Montpellier beats Ajaccio to take provisional lead

TRUNG LATIEULE Associated Press Published:

PARIS (AP) -- Striker Olivier Giroud's league-leading 16th goal helped Montpellier beat Ajaccio 3-0 to take the provisional lead in the French league on Saturday.

Morocco playmaker Younes Belhanda converted a penalty in the 53rd minute before midfielder Remy Cabella doubled the lead with an angled shot in the 64th. Giroud sealed the win in the 67th.

Montpellier is level on points with Paris Saint-Germain, which visits Nice on Sunday, but leads on goal difference.

Also, it was: Lyon 1, Caen 2; Auxerre 1, Lorient 1; Valenciennes 1, Nancy 0.

The match between Evian and Marseille was postponed because of a cold snap.

Rennes played Sochaux later Saturday while Dijon visited Brest.

Caen snapped a 10-game winless streak in all competitions and dealt a hard blow to Lyon's league title hopes.

Romain Hamouma beat Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris with a low shot to open the scoring for Caen in the 13th.

Caen forward Livio Nabab made it 2-0 in the 73rd with a long-range strike that looped over Lloris in the 73rd.

Lyon striker Lisandro Lopez converted a penalty in the 86th for consolation after Caen fullback Aurelien Montaroup fouled Alexandre Lacazette.

In Auxerre, defender Willy Boly nodded in a corner for the hosts in the 18th.

Lorient was down to 10 men from the 20th when goalkeeper Fabien Audard handled the ball outside the area to deny Israeli forward Tahar Ben Sahar.

But Lorient striker Innocent Emeghara scored an equalizer with a header in the second minute of stoppage time.

In Valenciennes, substitute Mamadou Samassa netted the winner from close range following a goalmouth scramble in injury time.

On Sunday, defending champion Lille hosts Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne faces Toulouse.