A last-gasp goal from Troyes playmaker Benjamin Nivet added to the current mini-crisis of French champions Lyon, handing the five-time league winners their third loss of the new year on Sunday.
Nivet struck three minutes into injury time amid confusion following a late corner to hand his side just their fifth win of the season and a potentially key victory as they bid to avoid the drop.
Lyon still have a comfortable 11-point margin at the top of the table ahead of Lens but are winless in their past five matches from which they have taken just two points.
When the French league took a three-week winter break, Lyon looked unstoppable, 15 points clear and having only failed to win three times in 19 league matches.
But as the champions stumble, hosts Troyes seem to have got a new lease of life, with just one loss in their last nine games.
Their success on Sunday was mostly thanks to goalkeeper Ronan Le Crom who kept out a succession of shots from Lyon, starting with an effort from Fred, making after 10 minutes, followed by decisive saves from Patrick Muller (32) and a Juninho free kick (35).
Le Crom proved solid again after the break faced with an onslaught from Juninho (56), Fred (67) and Florent Malouda (71, 90), before Nivet made the breakthrough in the last action of the game.
Olympique Marseille missed a good chance to close the gap on Lyon when they drew 1-1 with arch-rivals Paris St Germain at the Stade Velodrome on Sunday.
Djibril Cisse gave the home side the lead in the 70th minute before Pauleta earned Paris St Germain a point with a goal in the 75th.
On Saturday, goals from Eric Carriere, Seydou Keita and Issam Jemaa lifted Lens back into second place with a 3-1 win at Valenciennes as Lille were held to a goalless draw at home by Nantes.
A Carriere header after 28 minutes put Lens ahead, with Keita strengthening their grip on the game with a volley just before half-time.
Steve Savidan pulled a goal back for Valenciennes with a 61st-minute penalty before Jemaa scored four minutes into injury time.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on