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Lyon, Marseille snatch lead from wee Grenoble

Latest update : 2008-08-24

Grenoble's short stay at the top of France's Ligue 1 came to an abrupt end Saturday as the newly promoted side lost 2-0 to title holders Lyon, who now share top spot with Marseille, winners of a hard fought clash with Le Havre.

 

PARIS - Seven times champions Olympique Lyon joined Marseille at the top of the table after brushing aside Grenoble 2-0 in their Ligue 1 match on Saturday.

 

First-half goals by Cameroon's Jean Makoun and France striker Karim Benzema plus Lyon's third clean sheet in a row put an end to promoted Grenoble's brief stint at the top.

 

Makoun opened the scoring after just six minutes, heading in a corner from Norwegian Kim Kallstrom and Benzema sealed the result shortly before the break, bustling in a perfectly hit free kick from Juninho with his knee.

 

Lyon's victory makes them top on seven points along with Olympique Marseille, who beat Le Havre thanks to a powerful free kick from Dutch midfielder Boudewijn Zenden.

 

Marseille, who scored eight goals in their first two matches of the season, dominated but had to work hard to break down a well-organised Le Havre defence and it was not until the 55th minute that they took the lead.

 

Kickoff was delayed for a minute's silence for two Marseille supporters killed in a bus accident before the match and Zenden paid tribute to the fans after the match.

 

"Everyone knows what happened today," he said. "We're all sad and our only way of giving something was to win the match. It's a pleasure to score, it's a pleasure to win, especially for our supporters."

 

Paris Saint Germain, aiming for a fresh start after last season's relegation struggle, had the upper hand for much of their match against Sochaux but had to settle for a 1-1 draw after falling behind to a 50th minute Mevlut Erding penalty.

 

They equalised 13 minutes later when Ludovic Giuly, a constant threat on the right wing, fed Stephane Sessegnon, who lashed the ball home from 25 metres to save the Parisians from a second defeat this season.

 

A 1-0 victory over Saint Etienne put Le Mans in third spot, while Valenciennes beat Lorient 3-1 to move into fourth place.

 

Girondins Bordeaux, one of the teams expected to push Lyon in the title race this season, host Nantes on Sunday while Auxerre play Nice and Stade Rennes take on Lille.

Date created : 2008-08-24

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