Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - Page 19 News List

PSG end wretched week with loss at Lyon

AFP and AP, PARIS

Olympique Lyonnais midfielder Jordan Ferri, left, is congratulated by teammate Jimmy Briand after scoring in their Ligue 1 match against Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday at the Stade de Gerland in Lyon, France.

Photo: AFP

Paris Saint-Germain ended a wretched week which saw them turfed out of the Champions League by Chelsea with a rare Ligue 1 loss that saw Laurent Blanc’s side fall 1-0 at Olympique Lyonnais’ Stade de Gerland on Sunday.

Sorely missing injured star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG were undone by Jordan Ferri’s first-half goal and the capital side’s mood was not improved after they put the ball in the back of the net twice only for both to be ruled offside.

PSG’s second loss of the season left the expensively assembled Qatari-backed team on 79 points, 10 clear of AS Monaco at the top of Ligue 1 with five games remaining.

While it is inconceivable that they will fail to successfully defend their Ligue title, Sunday’s defeat coming on the back of their Champions League failure may raise questions about Blanc’s future.

He is planning to decide on whether to extend his contract after next Saturday’s Coupe de la Ligue final at the Stade de France in Paris, where they will seeking revenge against Lyon.

“We thought we had got over the disappointment of our Champions League elimination, but in view of tonight’s result, this is not the case,” Blanc said. “We need to put this behind us.”

For Lyon, the victory cemented their grip on fifth place and was a welcome consolation after they were knocked out of the Europa League by Juventus last week.

On Sunday, PSG had the ball in the back of the net in the sixth minute, but defender Lucas Digne was adjudged to be offside.

Shortly after that decision, a shot from Lyon striker Bafetembi Gomis hit the post.

Coach Remi Garde’s men were unsettling PSG after the Parisian side’s bright start and took the lead in the 31st minute.

Ferri nabbed the ball off PSG’s Argentine attacker Ezequiel Lavezzi, with the France Under-21 midfielder then looking up briefly before chipping right-footed over the head of advancing PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.

The ball thudded into the bottom right corner of the visitors’ net to put a broad smile on the face of the home side’s fans.

PSG went on the attack, trying to level before the break and could have pulled it off with a move involving Javier Pastore, Digne and Edinson Cavani, but the Uruguayan’s effort once he found space failed to trouble Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

On 63 minutes, PSG had the ball in the back of the Lyon net for the second time, but as in the first half, Lavezzi’s effort was disallowed after both him and Cavani were ruled offside.

On 70 minutes, Sirigu’s quick reflexes denied Ferri doubling up with a shot from the right of the area.

Blanc shuffled his pack with 10 minutes to go in a bid to unlock Lyon’s defense, which despite some close calls held firm.

In the Brittany derby on Sunday, Serge Gakpe fired Nantes to a 1-0 win over En Avant de Guingamp, helping his team inch closer to safety and handing Guingamp their fourth straight league loss, dropping them to 17th place, just five points above the relegation zone.

Elsewhere, AS Saint-Etienne lost ground in the race for a Champions League spot by drawing 2-2 at Stade de Reims to trail third-place LOSC Lille Metropole by seven points.

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