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Sports

Lyon knock out Monaco to keep Champions League hopes alive

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-13

Lyon took a big step towards Champions League qualification for next season by thumping Monaco 3-0 on Wednesday. They moved up to third in the rankings on 69 points with one game in hand. The team is one point behind Lille.

REUTERS - Miralem Pjanic scored one and set up another as Olympique Lyon kept their Champions League hopes alive with a 3-0 home win over Monaco in their Ligue 1 game in hand on Wednesday.

Lyon moved up to third in the standings on 69 points with one game left, one point behind Lille but one ahead of fourth-placed AJ Auxerre.

The top two teams in Ligue 1 get an automatic spot for next season's Champions League while the third-placed side will go into the qualifying round.

"We did our job tonight. We had little choice but to take all three points," defender Aly Cissokho told French TV channel Foot Plus.

"The fans expect us to be in the Champions League every season."

Bosnia midfielder Pjanic put the hosts ahead in the 27th minute with a superb volley from the spot that took a slight deflection off team mate Jeremy Toulalan.

Winger Michel Bastos, who was picked in Brazil's 23-man squad for the World Cup, came close to doubling the tally on the stroke of halftime but his low shot hit Stephane Ruffier's post.

Lyon kept pushing after the break and striker Bafetimbi Gomis beat Ruffier from close range from a Pjanic cross three minutes into the second half.

Claude Puel's side were barely threatened by a toothless Monaco team, who have nothing to gain or lose this season.

Ruffier produced a couple of stunning saves to deny Bastos and Lisandro Lopez, with the Argentine striker even congratulating the keeper after he blocked a perfect header on his line.

Lisandro, who was voted the best Ligue 1 player of the season by his peers last Sunday, had the last word when he outpaced the Monaco defence before dribbling past Ruffier and poking the ball into the empty net three minutes from time.

Lyon will be at home against relegated Le Mans in Saturday's final round of matches with Lille travelling to Lorient. Auxerre will be away at Sochaux.

 

Date created : 2010-05-13

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