LIGUE 1: Olympique Lyonnais go top after Marseille, PSG flop

AFP, PARIS

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 - Page 18

Olympique Lyonnais moved out in front in the Ligue 1 title race on Sunday, sending promoted Stade de Reims packing 3-0, while Olympique de Marseille went down to a 1-0 loss at Girondins de Bordeaux after previous leaders Paris Saint-Germain slumped to a home loss to nine-man Stade Rennais.

An Anthony Weber own-goal on the stroke of halftime set Lyon, who won all of their seven league crowns consecutively between 2002 and 2008, on their way and Bafetimbi Gomis, who struck the winner for France in midweek in their friendly away to Italy, hit the clincher with 17 minutes remaining.

Argentine striker Lisandro Lopez added the gloss with the third in the final minute.

The three points moved Lyon provisionally two points clear of PSG, who were lethargic in the extreme on Saturday in bowing 2-1 to a Rennes side who had Benoit Costil and Cameroon midfielder Jean II Makoun dismissed in quick succession, but who held on after Julien Feret’s free-kick before the break proved to be the winner.

PSG were missing suspended Sweden international striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but coach Carlo Ancelotti, whose side have now dropped eight points from their past three games, said there could be no excuses.

“It’s incredible — we didn’t have a good attitude out there. Something will change — the attitude of the players will change. I am very annoyed,” the Italian coach said.

Marseille, title winners in 2010, were unable to take advantage of PSG’s slip after a Yoan Gouffran goal for Bordeaux seven minutes after the interval lifted the latter into second place, a point behind Lyon and a point clear of PSG and Marseille.

To make matters worse for Marseille, who suffered their third loss of the campaign, France international midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, on target alongside Gomis in the win over Italy, limped off with a knock late on.

The visitors missed injured strikers Loic Remy and Andre-Pierre Gignac, as well as the suspended Jordan Ayew, and to add insult to injury they had Brazilian Lucas Mendes sent off in the closing stages.

Earlier on Sunday, struggling OGC Nice edged a Toulouse side who missed out on going level on points with AS Saint-Etienne 1-0.

Les Verts had just missed going top for a few hours on Saturday night after they were held 2-2 at modest Evian Thonon Gaillard, despite a brace from Ivorian striker Max Gradel, while reigning champions Montpellier Herault, just three wins in their opening dozen league games and already out of contention in their maiden season in the UEFA Champions League, could only manage a 1-1 draw at Valenciennes.