Grenier goal boosts Lyon’s Champions League ambitions

Reuters, PARIS

Sun, Apr 21, 2013 - Page 19

Olympique Lyonnais’ Champions League bid received a big boost when Clement Grenier’s last-gasp goal earned them a 2-1 win at champions Montpellier Herault in Ligue 1 on Friday.

Lyon, who moved up to second on 59 points with five games left, opened the scoring through Lisandro Lopez, but Younes Belhanda equalized before the break, only for Grenier to strike three minutes into stoppage time.

Lyon now occupy the last spot to reach the Champions League proper and lead third-placed Olympique de Marseille, who were due to host Stade Brestois 29 yesterday, by a point.

They still trailed leaders Paris Saint-Germain by eight points.

Montpellier’s hopes of playing in Europe next season have almost vanished as they remain seventh on 48 points, trailing sixth-placed LOSC Lille Metropole by five points.

Lyon, who had ended a three-game losing streak by beating Toulouse last weekend, got off to a good start with Lisandro netting for the first time in over a month.

The Argentine striker headed home at the near post from a Grenier cross in the 29th minute.

Belhanda, however, leveled four minutes before the break with a low shot from 20m.

Montpellier continued to press hard after the interval, but Anthony Mounier’s lob went just over the bar shortly before the hour.

In the closing stages, Lyon goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre pulled off a save to deny Remy Cabella from close range.

Montpellier eventually paid dearly for their profligacy as Grenier unleashed a powerful 25m shot from a bad clearance after his team had been awarded a last-gasp corner kick.