Lyon win to move to top of French league, pressure PSG
Lyon kept the heat on Paris Saint-Germain in a close-fought French title race thanks to beating Guingamp 3-1 with a goal each from strike duo Nabil Fekir and Alexandre Lacazette on Saturday.
Forward Clinton Njie grabbed the other goal in the second half, meaning all of Lyon’s scorers were homegrown players.
Lyon’s title challenge has gained momentum because of Lacazette and Fekir, who have 36 league goals between them, with Lacazette on a league-high 24.
“I firmly believe that something (special) is happening and that we can go all the way,” said long-serving Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, who oversaw its French record seven straight titles from 2002-08.
Lyon featured nine homegrown players in the starting lineup, and all three substitutes who went on were also developed within the club.
“We’re right in it. We have nothing to envy anyone and we’ll hold on until the end,” Lyon coach Hubert Fournier said. “We have seven games remaining, seven battles.”
The contrast between Lyon and cash-rich PSG could not be greater.
Bankrolled by Qatari investors since June 2011, PSG boasts star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and five players costing more than 40 million euros each.
PSG is two points behind Lyon and must win at bitter rival Marseille on Sunday to reclaim top spot.
A win for Marseille, meanwhile, would move it above PSG and into second spot — one point behind Lyon, which has the best goal difference — in a title showdown that looks like going down to the last round. “We’ll watch tomorrow’s match calmly,” Fournier said.
Fekir, who recently broke into the France team after deciding against playing for his father’s homeland of Algeria, struck midway through the first half with a shot from outside the area that goalkeeper Jonas Lossl misjudged.
Lacazette, who scored his first international goal for France in last weekend’s 2-0 win against Denmark, slotted home a penalty, which he earned, shortly before halftime. Moments later, Guingamp defender Christophe Kerbrat was sent off for a dangerous tackle on midfielder Jordan Ferri.