Lyon have title in sights
Alain Perrin's Lyon romp to a 4-2 win over relegation candidates PSG with goals from Fred (2), Govou and Juninho. It puts them a monster nione points ahead in the title race.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Fred 8, 36, Govou 65, Juninho 72
Camara 45, Rothen 52 (pen)
Lyon moved ever closer to a seventh consecutive Ligue 1 title with a 4-2 home victory over PSG; Fred, Sidney Govou and Juninho firing les Gones to victory. However, their joy in going nine points clear at the top of the table will have been tempered by the loss of star Karim Benzema to injury.
Bordeaux's 3-1 loss to Valenciennes on Saturday handed Lyon the chance to put daylight between themselves and Laurent Blanc's side and the champions grasped the opportunity with both hands.
A first-half injury to Benzema though will have Perrin worried with the striker now doubtful for international duty on Wednesday against England. The forward swapped places with Sidney Govou on 35 minutes after landing awkwardly in an aerial challenge with Zoumana Camara.
Before Benzema ceded his place however the damage had already been done with Fred providing a timely reminder that his young French colleague is not the only goalscorer on Lyon's books.
The Brazilian opened the scoring after just eight minutes with an instinctive header from a Fabio Grosso shot and added a second ten minutes prior to the break with a classy finish past a grounded Mickaël Landreau.
While industrious, PSG were finding it hard to break down the Lyon defence. A Clément Chantome shot which Grégory Coupet did well to sweep round the post and a Jérôme Rothen attempt were all the capital side had to show for their efforts.
That was before a Camara header in first-half injury-time handed the visitors a precious lifeline.
And when PSG began the second period with a penalty, given for a handball by Jérémy Toulalan in the area, a spectacular fight back seemed on the cards, Rothen converting the spot-kick to put the score at 2-2.
For a short while PSG matched their hosts but just 13 minutes later Lyon retook the lead with Govou firing a low shot under Landreau. A fourth followed soon after as les Gones turned the screw courtesy of Juninho, the Brazilian finishing off a smart move with an equally smart volley.
PSG huffed and puffed in the remaining quarter of an hour but Lyon shut up shop. The final whistle arrived to great applause from the Gerland crowd but for Paul Le Guen the shrill end signals another defeat and another step closer to an historic relegation for the capital club.