La­cazette gives Lyon a much-needed win over Reims


Lyon striker Alexan­dre La­cazette re­ceived a welcome con­fi­dence boost as he scored a sec­ond league goal this sea­son to give his strug­gling club a much-needed 1-0 win over in­form Reims on Satur­day.

La­cazette’s fine fin­ish sealed Lyon’s sec­ond win in seven matches in all com­pe­ti­tions fol­low­ing back-to-back losses against Bordeaux in the league and Va­len­cia at home in the Cham­pi­ons League.

La­cazette, the French league’s top goal scorer last sea­son, missed a penalty when he hit the cross­bar in the 41st minute but made amends be­fore the in­ter­val with a low shot into the cor­ner.

La­cazette’s goal lifted the club to fifth in the stand­ings, level on points with Reims but with a bet­ter goal dif­fer­ence. Fourth­place Rennes also has 15 points ahead of Sun­day’s match in Monaco.

The three clubs are five points be­hind leader Paris Saint-Ger­main, which hosts Mar­seille Sun­day.

Un­der heavy showers at the Stade Ger­land, Lyon put on a spir­ited and of­fen­sive dis­play that im­me­di­ately put the visi­tors on the back foot.

Hu­bert Fournier’s team cre­ated three good chances within the first 25 min­utes be­fore La­cazette earned a penalty as he fought for the ball with Jaba Kankava in the box. But La­cazette, who has re­cently con­fessed con­fi­dence strug­gles, missed the tar­get from the spot for the sec­ond time this sea­son.

La­cazette was clin­i­cal four min­utes later, though, when his strike took a slight de­flec­tion off de­fender Franck Sig­norino and went into the back of the net to fin­ish a swift coun­ter­at­tack ig­nited by Sergi Darder’s long ball. La­cazette cel­e­brated his first goal from open play since last April by pre­tend­ing to re­lease an arrow from a bow be­fore his team­mates jumped on him and yelled.

“It makes me feel good, they are all be­hind me,” said La­cazette, who was flagged off­side in the 67th minute af­ter di­vert­ing Steed Mal­branque’s shot into the net.

Lyon for­ward Clau­dio Beau­vue smashed the cross­bar with a header in the 56th minute and keeper An­thony Lopez en­sured Lyon re­mained within rea- son­able dis­tance of PSG with a last-minute save that de­nied Prince Oni­angue’s inspired half-volley.

Tor­ren­tial rain played havoc in Nice, where the hosts were tied at 2-2 with Nantes af­ter 46 min­utes when their match was sus­pended. Af­ter Jules Iloki put the visi­tors ahead, Valere Ger­main scored a brace for Nice and Adrien Thomas­son lev­eled with a header five min­utes be­fore half­time. The French league said that the pitch was flooded and un­playable and de­cided that the match will be re­played at a date still to be de­ter­mined.

Angers con­tin­ued its ex­cel­lent run of form with a 1-0 win over Bas­tia for its fifth league vic­tory, a re­sult that pro­vi­sion­ally lifted the pro­moted side to sec­ond place in the stand­ings, two points be­hind PSG. Billy Ketkeophom­phone scored the win­ner in the 41st minute against a Bas­tia side which had only four at­tempts at goal.

Else­where, last-place Ajac­cio failed to hold on to its lead in a 2-2 draw against Toulouse af­ter de­fender Is­si­aga Sylla scored an own goal by di­vert­ing a shot from Martin Braith­waite into the net and Guingamp won 1-0 at 10-man Troyes.

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