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Bordeaux caps French renaissance
March 18th, 2010 1AM

TAGS:  france, uefa champions league


[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] For only the second time since the launch of the Champions League in 1992, France's Ligue 1 has two teams in the quarterfinals. After Lyon, which knocked off Real Madrid last week, Bordeaux moved into the final eight with a 2-1 win over Olympiakos Wednesday to complete a series sweep.

The only other time two French clubs made the final eight was in 2004 when Lyon and Monaco advanced. No French team had made the quarterfinals in 2007, 2008 or 2009.

Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc wasn't ready to say French soccer has arrived.

"You can think that because of the teams now qualified for the Champions League quarterfinals, and those doing well in the Europa League, that this proves that French soccer is in good shape," Blanc said. "But to confirm this we will have to see how this develops over time to see if this can happen again, and to see how regularly French teams get through to the quarterfinals."

Only once before has Bordeaux reached the final eight, losing to eventual champion PSV in 1988.

Bordeaux, the defending French champion, clinched its series on goals by young French star Yoann Gourcuff and Moroccan Marouane Chamakh.

On both goals, they had some help from goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis. The Greek let Gourcuff's free kick from a sharp angle fly over him into the goal at the far post, and he failed to catch Benoit Tremoulinas' cross, allowing Chamakh to head home at the far post.

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