- football - France - Ligue 1 - Olympique Marseille - PSG
AFP - French champions Lyon were in danger of seeing their season spiral into freefall on Sunday following a 2-0 loss to Auxerre.
However, they just managed to cling on to top spot when Paris Saint Germain were thrashed 3-1 by Marseille.
Barcelona's 5-2 midweek drubbing of Lyon to knock them out of the Champions League, plus their recent elimination by Lille while defending the French Cup title, has meant an eighth consecutive league title is now their only aim after four consecutive defeats in all competitions.
Goals from Auxerre's Ireneusz Jelen and then Thomas Kahlenberg in the third minute of injury time condemned Lyon to their first home defeat of the season following seven wins and six draws at their Gerland stadium.
Lyon's last home league defeat was way back in November 2007.
Lyon, on 53 points, still lead by one from both second-placed Marseille and third-placed Paris Saint Germain, and by three from fourth-placed Bordeaux.
Towards the end of an uneventful first half, Jelen made the most of a bad clearance by Lyon defender Jean-Alain Boumsong and a Kahlenberg pass to find the net before Kahlenberg scored himself by lobbing keeper Hugo Lloris, who had come too far off his line, in the third minute of injury time.
Two minutes before the second goal, Auxerre had failed to convert a penalty kick when Cedric Hengbart's effort was saved by Lloris, who had fouled Kevin Lejeune in the box moments earlier.
"We aren't going to make excuses," said Lyon coach Claude Puel.
"It's a major setback at home against an opponent whom we should be able to deal with. We need to regain mental and physical freshness and now have a full week to train.
"It's been a difficult season but it's through difficulty that you forge a squad. If Paris take over at the top it will make newspaper headlines but it's what happens at the end of the season that counts."
Those headlines will not be written following PSG's defeat to Marseille. Boudewijn Zenden scored Marseille's first in the 24th minute, finishing off a good move to shoot left-footed past Mickael Landreau.
Ludovic Giuly equalised for PSG just before the break to give the home side hope but drama was to come. In the 53rd minute, PSG's Zoumana Camara was sent off by referee Bernard Layec for a professional foul on Zenden on the edge of the box.
Zenden, often in the thick of the action, set up Marseille's second goal when his freekick was parried by Landreau but Bakari Kone was there to put the ball into the net 10 minutes after the break.
Albanian midfielder Lorik Cana then hit Marseille's third with half an hour to go.