Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Canada and Russia exchange snarky tweets

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Niger: Top opposition figure to be questioned in baby-trafficking scandal

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

Lyon lead at winter break, Rennes close behind

Latest update : 2008-12-21

French champions Lyon will break for Christmas knowing the club is well on its way to an eighth title after a goal from Benzema secured a win against Caen. A win in Lorient gave Rennes a provisional second place, depending on Sunday's matches.

AFP - Lyon reached the midway point in their bid for a record eighth French league title in their customary position as leaders of the pack after a 1-0 win at Caen on Saturday.
  
Karim Benzema sent Lyon into the lead two minutes from the break, the France striker getting the better of keeper Vincent Plante from a three-man move featuring Argentinian Cesar Delgado and Juninho.
  
Lyon came into this game anxious for a result after garnering only two points from a maximum 12 from their last four games.
  
And while Caen may not have constituted the toughest possible rivals the Normandy club represented something of a bete noir for Claude Puel's champions who had not won at the Michel d'Ornano stadium since 1995.
  
Lyon will have considered themselves fortunate to come out after the break in front after being largely dominated by Caen in the first period.
  
The visitors went close to doubling their advantage though in the 51st minute but Benzema's shot after a Juninho freekick was pushed away by Plante with Jean II Makoun then shooting over the cross bar.
  
Caen had Plante's quick reflexes to thank for keeping out Juninho's dangerous strike on 59 minutes but shortly after the home side had the woodwork to thank for denying Fred.
  
The result lifted Puel's men up to 38 points going into the Christmas recess, four points clear of Rennes who moved into provisional second with a come from behind 2-1 win at Lorient.
  
The hosts had taken the lead with a first half stoppage time strike from Jeremy Morel before Ghana international Asamoah Gyan and Moussa Sow turned the game around late in the second half.
  
Rennes coach Guy Lacombe said: "It was infuriating to be led at half-time. But we came back and I pay tribute to my players after a very good second period. To arrive at the Christmas break with 34 points is great."
  
Rennes could be overtaken Sunday depending on how Bordeaux, Paris Saint Germain and Marseille get on against Monaco, Valenciennes, and Nancy respectively. These three are in a tie for third, two points behind Rennes.
  
Down at the other end of the table Le Havre jealously held on to bottom spot with a 3-1 loss to Lille for their 13th defeat of the campaign.
  
This was hardly the start coach Frederic Hantz, who on Thursday signed a new 18-month contract, was looking for as he seeks to turnaround Le Havre's season.
  
Struggling Soachaux did their fight to stave off relegation no harm at all with a 1-1 draw at Nantes which saw them move up one place into third from bottom on goal difference from Valenciennes.
  
Elsewhere Saint Etienne celebrated making it into the UEFA Cup round of 32 this week with a resounding 2-0 win over Auxerre.
  
Portugal's Paulo Machado put the former European heavyweights into a 12th minute lead with Bafetimbi Gomis wrapping up the points three minutes from time.
  
The result kept St Etienne in fourth from bottom but importantly lifted them five points clear of the relegation zone.

Date created : 2008-12-20

COMMENT(S)