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Lyon flex their muscle, Bordeaux still in the race

Latest update : 2009-04-05

By beating Le Mans by 3 goals to nil, reigning champion Lyon show they will fight to keep their crown for another eighth year in a row. Bordeaux win against Nancy (1-0) in extra-time and are still in the race by lagging just 3 pts behind Lyon.

AFP - Karim Benzema scored twice for seven-time reigning champions Lyon in a 3-1 victory at Le Mans on Saturday to boost their French title chances and ensure they finished the weekend at the top of the table.

Bordeaux, meanwhile, warned they were still up for a fight with a last-gasp 1-0 victory at home to Nancy to give them second spot thanks to Marouane Chamakh, three points behind the leaders.

Lille are also in the title hunt and their 2-0 win at Nantes left them fourth while Toulouse drew 0-0 at lowly Caen in the late match for fifth place.

Third-placed Marseille, who travel to St Etienne on Sunday without president Pape Diouf who had an emergency eye operation on Saturday, would tuck in a point behind Lyon in second spot should they win.

Benzema's 13th and 14th league goals for Lyon ended a mini-drought as he had not found the net since February 21 but hapless Le Mans keeper Pele, who will be leaving the club at the end of the season, hardly gave his future employers a good impression.

Lyon boss Claude Puel, who has endured huge criticism lately, admitted afterwards: "The result was flattering."

Former Glasgow Rangers striker Jean-Claude Darcheville scored after just 26 seconds in Valenciennes' 2-0 victory over Auxerre to register the fastest goal in the French championship this season.

It beat the previous fastest goal this season of 52 seconds, which was scored by Thomas Kahlenberg for Auxerre against Le Havre on February 21.

The fastest goal of all time in the French top flight was scored by Michel Rio after eight seconds playing for Caen against Cannes in February 1992.

Another striker who has been catching the eye lately is Lille's Michel Bastos, who scored his 13th goal of the season from the spot in their 2-0 win at Nantes.

On Sunday, apart from the St Etienne versus Marseille battle, attention will be drawn to the Parc des Princes where PSG, who have major absentees in defence, host Nice hoping to keep in touch with the leading teams.

 

Date created : 2009-04-04

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