Lucas Paqueta's sixth Ligue 1 Uber Eats goal of the season was enough to give Lyon a rare away win as they defeated Montpellier 1-0 on Sunday. Elsewhere, Rennes moved into second place thanks to a 2-0 Breton derby win at Lorient.
Lyon had triumphed just once — and lost four times — in six away games under Peter Bosz after going undefeated in 17 under the Dutchman's predecessor Rudi Garcia. No side had picked up fewer points away from home while Montpellier had gone unbeaten — winning four games — in six outings at the Stade de la Mosson, so the visitors started underdogs.
They could have found themselves behind early on: Stephy Mavididi beating Jason Denayer before cutting the ball back for Florent Mollet, whose shot smashed off the crossbar (9').
Both started cautiously before Paqueta broke the deadlock on 17 minutes. Malo Gusto's cross was met by Islam Slimani — the Algeria international striker's shot hit the crossbar, and Paqueta followed up to head home the rebound (17').
Montpellier boss Olivier Dall'Oglio had won just one of eight previous top-flight encounters with OL, and his teams had conceded an average of three goals in each of those games. His Montpellier side were more solid than that in this one, but without the suspended Téji Savanier, they were missing a creative spark.
They did produce a goal threat just before the hour mark. It was almost a carbon copy of when Mollet hit the woodwork in the first half, but this time after the ex-Metz man met Mavididi's pass, his shot was saved by Anthony Lopes (57').
Jonas Omlin blocked a Karl Toko Ekambi shot at his near post (79') to keep Montpellier in the game, but they were unable to break Lyon down as Bosz's men hung on to move to within six points of second-placed Rennes with a game in hand.
THE PLAYER: Lucas Paqueta
The Brazil international continues to show his worth to Lyon with another big goal. He has now got 14 goals and seven assists in 2021, better numbers than any other Brazilian — Neymar et al — in one of Europe's top five leagues.
THE STAT: 31
Lyon have scored in 31 of their last 32 league games, only failing to find the net in their 3-0 defeat at Angers in Round 2 this season.
Elsewhere, Laborde continued his excellent form this season as he and Jérémy Doku scored for Rennes in the final 15 minutes to claim a 2-0 win at Lorient and ease Bruno Genesio's men two points clear of Nice in second place, 12 behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain. Ghislain Konan's bullet of a strike in added time earned Reims all three points at home to Clermont while Jérémy Le Douaron struck twice as Brest came from behind to win 2-1 at Bordeaux. Monaco and Strasbourg traded penalties either side of half-time — Wissam ben Yedder (45+1') and Ludovic Ajorque (48') both scored from the spot in a 1-1 draw at the Stade Louis II.