Tue, May 10, 2011 - Page 18 News List

LFP: Late Cris goal hands Lyon victory

Reuters, PARIS

Olympique Lyonnais’ Cris, left, scores against Olympique de Marseille during their Ligue 1 match at the Stade de Gerland in Lyon, France, on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Olympique Lyonnais hurt Olympique de Marseille’s championship ambitions and fueled their own outside hopes after a thrilling 3-2 home win on Sunday in which the visitors had a perfectly good goal ruled out early on.

Third-placed Lyon moved seven points behind leaders Lille, who won 1-0 at Nancy on Saturday, to go four clear of defending champions Marseille with four games left.

Brazilian defender Cris grabbed the winner with a sweet strike six minutes from time after the hosts had surrendered a two-goal lead.

Argentine striker Lisandro Lopez netted a 25th-minute opener from the penalty spot for Lyon after referee Stephane Lannoy decided he was fouled by Marseille centerback Souleymane Diawara.

Lannoy had already disallowed an 11th-minute Marseille goal when he wrongly adjudged Andre Ayew to have handled the ball when in fact it struck his chest before forward Loic Remy, returning from a three-game ban, beat Hugo Lloris.

Lyon extended their advantage on 69 minutes through Cesar Delgado after a counterattack, but Marseille hit back a minute later when Lucho Gonzalez turned in a low cross, before Remy bagged an equalizer following a corner.

“It’s difficult, but if we had led 1-0 after 10 minutes who knows?” Marseille coach Didier Deschamps told reporters. “The referee saw what no one else saw. It could have put us in a perfect situation, but he saw a hand, I know there wasn’t one. It’s not been settled tonight. There are still 12 points to play for.”

Both sides had other chances in a high-quality encounter, but goalkeepers Lloris and Steve Mandanda were in excellent form, making several fine saves.

Miralem Pjanic also scuffed just wide from a great position for Lyon, humbled 2-0 at mid-table Toulouse last weekend to put their third and final Champions League qualifying spot at risk.

The absorbing victory though was a boost for Lyon boss Claude Puel, whose future at the Stade de Gerland is uncertain, but Lisandro going off with what looked like a serious thigh injury was not good news for the coach.

Valenciennes, fourth from bottom before kickoff, surged four points away from the drop zone with a 2-0 home win over fifth-placed Stade Rennais.

The defeat meant Rennes’ dwindling hopes of a Champions League berth now look over, but they have a four-point cushion in a probable Europa League spot.

This story has been viewed 2069 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top