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Lyon at top of Ligue 1 after Sochaux victory

Latest update : 2009-03-23

Olympique Lyon re-established themselves as Ligue 1 leaders with a 2-0 victory at home against struggling Sochaux, their first victory after a three-game winless streak.

AFP - Lyon returned to the top of the French first division with a 2-0 home win over Sochaux on Sunday, their first victory after a three-game winless streak that had threatened to derail their title defence.
   
Marseille's 2-0 victory over Nantes on Saturday had taken them two points above Lyon at the Ligue 1 summit, but goals from Brazilian striker Ederson and midfielder Anthony Mounier at Stade Gerland set Lyon's bid for an eighth consecutive title back on track.
   
Injuries to Jean-Alain Boumsong and John Mensah, and the suspension of Cris, forced Lyon coach Claude Puel to field an unfamiliar centre-back pairing of Jeremy Toulalan and Mathieu Bodmer, but Ederson eased home fans' nerves when he struck the opening goal in the 13th minute.
   
Mounier made sure of victory in the 71st minute, sealing only Lyon's second win in their last eight home matches.
   
Renato Civelli and Brandao fired Marseille to their 2-0 victory over Nantes on Saturday evening, temporarily shooting Eric Gerets's men to the top of the table.
   
Argentinian defender Civelli netted 10 minutes after the break and Brazilian Brandao doubled Marseille's advantage four minutes later.
   
Lyon's victory means Marseille slip back to second in the table, while Bordeaux - who also briefly went top after winning 3-0 at Le Havre earlier on Saturday - slip to third.
   
Marseille coach Eric Gerets said he wasn't afraid to think about the title.
   
"I am somebody who dares to say it. It makes me laugh when I hear our rivals say that they are not thinking about the championship," said Gerets.
   
Marseille, who beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 at the Parc des Princes last weekend and who moved into the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in midweek at the expense of Ajax, now sit just a point off the lead.
   
With eight games of the season remaining, Lyon have 56 points, Marseille 55 and Bordeaux 53.
   
Fifth-placed PSG can go level on points with Marseille if they win at sixth-placed Toulouse later Sunday.
   
Dutchman Boudewijn Zenden created both goals for Marseille against Nantes.
   
His free-kick found the head of Civelli for the first goal and then another cross shortly afterwards allowed Brandao to convert a header for the second.
   
This form gives Gerets's men hope of a successful season run-in though they will surely hope to improve their home record of just seven league wins out of 14 at the Stade Velodrome this season.
   
Goals from star player Yoann Gourcuff, Souleymane Diawara and Brazilian Wendel earned Bordeaux's win over Le Havre.
   
Coach Laurent Blanc had said before the Marseille result was known: "Our sitting on top of the league is no fluke. The notion of winning the title is not taboo to me.
   
"On the other hand, I would say that perhaps realistically we do not have the capability of winning it but perhaps I will have a different opinion with four or five matches to go to the end of the championship."
   
Meanwhile, mid-table Monaco had a useful away win, with South Korean Park Chu-young on target in a 1-0 victory at Nancy.
 

Date created : 2009-03-22

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