Lyon, Lille lose way in French title race

06 November 2011 07:47

Lyon's hopes of ending a three-year barren run in the French title race took a knock Sunday after they went down 2-1 at Sochaux to leave the easterners six points off leaders Paris Saint Germain.

With PSG targeting a seventh consecutive league win when they take on struggling Bordeaux in the late game, there was every chance the loss would leave Lyon with even more ground to make up.

Other results went PSG's way with second-placed Montpellier held to a 1-1 draw at Saint Etienne and reigning champions Lille only managing a home draw Saturday against promoted Evian.

Lyon, who won their first ever title a decade ago and promptly embarked on a streak of seven in a row, shot themselves in the foot as Anthony Reveillere put through his own net under pressure in a goalmouth melee after just ten minutes.

A Bafetimbi Gomis cross allowed Alexandre Lacazette to nod in the equaliser just four minutes later.

But two minutes before the break Lyon again fell behind as Aly Cissokho fouled Ryad Boudebouz, who dusted himself down to score from the spot.

The visitors were unable to find a second equaliser as Sochaux held them gamely at bay after the break to hand Lyon their fourth reverse of the season and deepen the gloom after their morale-sapping midweek loss to Real Madrid which leaves the French teetering on the brink of exiting their Champions League pool.

Lyon's loss was a crumb of comfort for Lille as the defending champions -- also struggling in the Champions League where they are winless -- were a pale shadow of their best selves in Saturday's stalemate with Evian.

English midfield man Joe Cole had a goal chalked off after Sabeur Khlifa had stunned the hosts with a fourth-minute opener for the visitors, promoted for the second straight year last season and who only three years ago were a fourth tier outfit.

The northerners rescued a point thanks to substitute Benoit Pedretti's fortuitous freekick but coach Rudi Garcia was not happy as he slammed his team's lack of ruthlessness following their sixth draw to date.

"We should have seen it coming, but it's complicated when you have a valid goal ruled outm," said Garcia.

"We have dropped two points tonight and we will have to get them back elsewhere."

Montpellier provisionally trail PSG by three points after their own failure to see off Saint Etienne, for whom Romanian Banel Nicolita opened the scoring on 31 minutes before Joris Marveaux levelled on the hour.

Marseille are meanwhile slowly shrugging off their sluggish start to the campaign as the only French side to win the European Cup made it three wins on the bounce, 2-0 at home to Nice, to move up to eighth, 11 points behind PSG.

Didier Deschamps' side huffed and puffed but did enough with goals from Ghanaian Jordan Ayew -- son of former star and 1993 European champion Abedi Pele -- and an injury time Loic Remy penalty.

"I am pleased with the attitude and the result -- we have much better rhythm now than we had at the start of the season," said Deschamps.

Source: AFP

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