Olympique Lyonnais, looking to win the French title for the first time in five seasons, went top of the heap on Saturday with a 2-1 win at ES Troyes AC propelling them ahead of big spenders Paris Saint-Germain.
Lyon shrugged off the embarrassment of a Cup exit to third division Epinal after Maxime Gonalons and Samuel Umtiti, at the second attempt, found the net from two well-rehearsed corner routines — one from Steed Malbranque, the other from Arnold Mvuemba.
Benjamin Nivet gave Troyes brief hope with a fine volley, sandwiching the two goals for the visitors, but this latest reverse leaves them six points from safety after only two wins in their opening 20 league matches.
Also on Saturday, second half goals from Yoan Gouffran and Henri Saivet handed Girondins de Bordeaux an impressive 2-0 win at a Stade Rennais side who allowed their rivals to poach fourth place off them.
Lorient, hoping to trim a seven-point gap on Marseille, instead went down to a 2-0 loss to defending champions Montpellier Herault, who have struggled this term and were thumped at LOSC Lille Metropole just before the winter break.
Montpellier coach Rene Girard pulled a rabbit out of the hat in sending on Gaetan Charbonnier for Emanuel Herrera on the hour and he promptly scored twice in the final 11 minutes as the hosts moved up to eighth — just three points behind Bordeaux.
Elsewhere, rock-bottom AS Nancy-Lorraine settled for a 2-2 home draw with Lille after Thomas Ayasse grabbed an 82nd-minute equalizer.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
MEDIA RUMORS? With no pay agreement secured and players’ representatives calling for more financial information ahead of talks, the sport had another week of bad press Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle could be sacked in a matter of days, media reported yesterday, as the embattled governing body struggles to deal with a financial crisis compounded by a shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Castle this week took a 50 percent pay cut and laid off 75 percent of Rugby Australia (RA) staff members, saying that the body would face losses of up to A$120 million (US$71.95 million) if no more rugby was played this year. With no pay agreement secured with the players and their representatives calling on RA to provide more financial information ahead of negotiations, the
OLYMPICS Delay pushes rower to retire British rowing gold medalist Tom Ransley on Friday announced his retirement after deciding that the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to next year was a step too far. The 34-year-old was part of the men’s eight who won gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics and also a bronze in the 2012 London Games. “I have used up everything I had and I know that to get myself in the necessary condition to compete for a seat in 2021 is a step too far,” he told the BBC. The years of early starts, of three training