Mon, Mar 23, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Lyon lose, Torres nets for Atletico

AFP, PARIS

Paris Saint-Germain went top of Ligue 1 for the first time this season after title rivals Olympique Lyonnais lost 2-1 at home to ten-man OGC Nice on Saturday.

Lyon coach Hubert Fournier accepted his side, rich in players from their youth academy, might have made a critical blunder.

“We’ve lost three points at a crucial part of the season, but how can you be angry when your forward line has an average age of 21 years, and your entire team lacks the depth of experience to deal with the pressure of that kind of game,” Fournier said.

“We knew it could be tricky with Nice battling relegation, while we were playing without some of our senior players,” he added.

Lyon had their star striker and talisman Alexandre Lacazette suspended for the match, but visitors Nice were reduced to ten men when Lloyd Palun was sent off on 56 minutes. The resulting penalty saw Maxime Gonalons equalize from the spot after the visitors had gone ahead when Carlos Eduardo converted a corner in acrobatic fashion on 23 minutes.

However, a late penalty saw Nice reclaim the lead on 86 minutes with Valentin Eysseric stepping up to clinch three points and topple Lyon from the summit. Claude Puel, the ex-Lyon coach now at the helm of Nice, had no sympathy for his former club as his Riviera outfit notched up vital points in the battle against relegation.

“The relegation battle is still going to be close. In terms of the title race that will slow Lyon down and I’m happy about that because it means we won, and won with quality football despite everything,” said Puel, whose side are now provisionally five points above the first relegation spot.

New Toulouse coach Dominique Arribage saw his relegation-threatened side collect three potentially crucial points with a 2-1 home win against Girondins de Bordeaux, featuring a fine opening goal from Wissam Ben Yedder after 18 minutes.

Bordeaux reduced the deficit ten minutes later through striker Diego Rolan. However, defender Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik headed in the winner for the hosts after 61 minutes after picking up a pass from Francois Moubandje that left Cedric Carrasso with no chance in the Bordeaux goal.

Elsewhere, Evian Thonon Gaillard beat Montpellier Herault 1-0 thanks to a Clarck N’Sikulu goal six minutes from time.

Nantes were held to a goalless draw at fellow Brittany side Stade Rennais, while SC Bastia and Stade Malherbe Caen Calvados also had stalemates at home at the hands of visiting En Avant de Guingamp and Metz respectively.

LA LIGA

AFP, MADRID

Fernando Torres scored his first La Liga goal for eight years as Atletico Madrid moved back to within a point of third-placed Valencia with a 2-0 win over Getafe on Saturday.

Torres produced a towering header from Koke’s free-kick to get the hosts off to a perfect start after three minutes.

Tiago then nodded home from Raul Jimenez’s flick-on a minute before half-time to lift Atletico to just six points behind leaders Barcelona.

Atletico boss Diego Simeone was without the injured Miguel Angel Moya, Mario Mandzukic and

Raul Garcia, as well as Miranda through suspension, as he made six changes in all.

However, the crowd inside the Estadio Vicente Calderon roared when Torres rose highest to loop home a wonderful header for his fourth goal since returning to Atletico in January.

The hosts were desperately unlucky not to be 2-0 up inside the first 10 minutes when Koke’s thunderous shot came off the inside of the post and somehow did not rebound into the net after hitting goalkeeper Vicente Guaita on the back.

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