Lyon win to move to top of French league, pres­sure PSG

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY JEROME PUG­MIRE

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.

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