Olympique Lyonnais missed the creative spark of injured playmaker Yoann Gourcuff on Friday as they dropped their first points of their new campaign with a 1-1 draw at modest Evian Thonon Galliard.
Lyon had won their two opening games, but fluffed their lines as only a Michel Bastos equalizer 16 minutes from time saved their blushes after Cedric Barbosa had given Evian the lead on 57 minutes with a neat volley.
Bastos had only minutes earlier replaced Lisandro when he pounced with a direct free-kick which flew through a poorly organized wall.
Wins over Stade Rennais and ES Troyes AC had taken Lyon to the summit on goal difference after thrashing Troyes 4-1, but Gourcuff sustained a knee ligament injury in that game and faces three months out of action.
Lyon, champions seven years in a row between 2002 and 2008, finished a disappointing fourth last term and have brought in only one new player — Serbian defender Milan Bisevac, from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) — in the transfer window.
Following the two dropped points Lyon — who earlier announced the 6 million euro (US$7.5 million) transfer of defender Aly Cissokho to Valencia — could now be overhauled at the weekend by Olympique de Marseille, SC Bastia and Girondins de Bordeaux.
Marseille, the champions in 2010, face reigning titleholders Montpellier Herault today with the latter still yet to win having drawn with Toulouse and then lost at Lorient.
The champions have Chilean midfielder Marco Estrada out injured and defensive midfielder Jamel Saihi is suspended, but new signing Anthony Mounier could make his first league appearance for the club after missing the opening two matches due to a thigh problem.
LOSC Lille Metropole, last year’s champions, and Paris Saint-Germain will hope to get on track, with the former struggling to reach the Champions League group stage after losing to FC Copenhagen in their play-off tie on Tuesday. The northerners were set to face a trip yesterday to Nice.
Qatari-backed PSG are already four points off the pace in Ligue 1 after behind held by first Lorient and then Ajaccio and will hope for their first win bonus at home to Bordeaux on Sunday.
PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti could hand a debut to Brazilian center-back Thiago Silva, who is yet to feature following his 42 million euro transfer from AC Milan.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very