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Lyon leapfrog Saint-Etienne with Derby du Rhône win

Publish on 20/01/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS

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Olympique Lyonnais climbed above AS Saint-Etienne and into third in Ligue 1 Conforama after Nabil Fekir (pen. 65') and Moussa Dembélé (90+5') fired them to a 2-1 win at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

 AS Saint-Etienne 1 - 2 Olympique Lyonnais 

THE MATCH

The game got off to a blistering start, with Sainté's top scorer Wahbi Khazri seeing a penalty claim waved away by referee Benoît Bastien (3') before Memphis Depay had a fine volley tipped over the bar by Stéphane Ruffier at the other end (12'). Rémy Cabella then curled an effort towards the OL goal which Ruffier's opposite number Anthony Lopes saved in instalments (14') before Romain Hamouma finally found a way past the Portugal goalkeeper, heading home Gabriel Silva's cross from the left (21').

Lyon didn't let their heads go down and came close to getting back onto level terms when Fekir got the break of the ball on the edge of the home side's box, but Ruffier was well positioned to make the safe (34'). Memphis then spun a free-kick narrowly off-target (39') and the sides went in for the half-time break with Hamouma's goal all that separated them.

Lyon fight back

ASSE came close to making it two at the start of the start of the second half when Khazri wriggled past Kenny Tete and squared for Ole Selnaes, but Jason Denayer managed to get his toe to the ball before the Norwegian, conceding a corner instead of a second goal (51'). OL coach Bruno Génésio brought Dembélé on for Bertrand Traoré soon after (58') and the change in attacking personnel would work for the visitors, but not before Khazri had forced another save from Lopes (61').

OL equalised just past the hour. Saint-Etienne captain Loïc Perrin handballed in the box and Nabil Fekir stepped up to stroke home the resulting penalty for 1-1 (65'). Léo Dubois sent in a cross looking for Dembélé late on, but Neven Subotic got to it first (82'), but there was to be no denying the former Celtic man, who crashed home a header from another Dubois cross at the death (90+5') as it ended 2-1.

THE PLAYER: Nabil Fekir

Fekir was a hair's breadth away from joining Liverpool in the summer, failing a medical at the 11th hour, but he proved his club captain credentials once again on Sunday, refusing to let his teammate's tempo drop after Hamouma's opener, dictating pace of the game from the classic No.10 position, and scoring the equalising goal to boot.

THE STAT: 5

Saint-Etienne's home winning run was stopped at five games. Lyon are now a point above their great rivals, who are fourth. This this could prove to be a decisive result in the race for the European places come the end of the season.