Mon, Jan 19, 2009 - Page 18 News List

LFP: Lyon beat Grenoble to retain top spot

AFP , PARIS

Lyon’s 2-0 victory over neighbors Grenoble on Saturday assured Claude Puel’s men of the French league top spot this weekend and helped them reassert themselves after a run of just one win in six matches.

Ederson’s opener in the 15th minute and then Cesar Delgado’s strike toward the end of the match will have helped the seven-times reigning champions in their self-belief.

Lyon star Karim Benzema fed Ederson who shot firmly past keeper Gregory Wimbe for the first goal and then Delgado hit the second in the 77th minute after finding the net at the far post following a cross from Kim Kallstrom.

Puel said that it was important that Lyon stayed out in front in the title race.

“It’s important to stay ahead and we are comfortable out in front,” he said. “We have had difficulties lately but the squad has responded in a difficult situation, when things aren’t going so well. We need to be more consistent, to be capable of the same high performance.”

Laurent Blanc’s Bordeaux pulled back to just one point behind Lyon with a 2-1 victory at Nantes in Saturday’s late game after yet another goal by attacking maestro Yoann Gourcuff for their fifth consecutive victory, including a top-draw, 4-0 thrashing of Paris Saint Germain last weekend.

Gourcuff was once more majestic from start to finish and got the first goal. Brazilian Wendel fed Benoit Tremoulinas on the left whose perfect cross from the left was met by Gourcuff at the near post who headed home in the 11th minute. Marouane Chamakh got Bordeaux’s second with 20 minutes left though the Canaries’ Filip Djordjevic got a consolation in the 89th minute.

Marseille moved up a place to third following a 2-0 win over Le Havre. Mathieu Valbuena hit their first goal in the 25th minute after receiving the ball from Benoit Cheyrou and, running into the box, fired right-footed across goal into the net.

Ronald Zubar then headed home the second on the hour at the far post following a freekick on the left from Karim Ziani.

Marseille coach Eric Gerets said his side could have scored more.

“We could have scored one or two more goals,” Gerets said. “It could have been 3 or 4 nil for example. But I’m still pleased that we won a home match and that we did not concede a goal. We could have scored more goals at important moments but at the end of the day it was a deserved victory for us.”

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