Lille pull clear as Lyon stung by 10-man Rennes

Updated: 20 March 2011 10:14 IST

Lille provided further proof of their French league title credentials on Saturday by coming from behind to win 2-1 at Brest, while Lyon remain third following a 1-1 draw at home to second-place Rennes.

Lille pull clear as Lyon stung by 10-man Rennes

Paris:

Lille provided further proof of their French league title credentials on Saturday by coming from behind to win 2-1 at Brest, while Lyon remain third following a 1-1 draw at home to second-place Rennes.


It was Lille's third 2-1 victory in succession, after injury-time wins against Marseille and Valenciennes, and extended their lead at the top of the table to five points after 10-man Rennes snatched a late draw at Stade Gerland.

Champions Marseille will now go second if they defeat arch-rivals Paris Saint-Germain in Sunday's 'clasico'.

Brest took a deserved 18th-minute lead at Stade Francis Le Ble, with Benoit Lesoimier rapping a low shot into the bottom-left corner from Jonathan Ayite's back-heel.

Gervinho equalised with a lovely goal six minutes before half-time, weaving infield from the left flank and exchanging passes with Eden Hazard before beating Steeve Elana at his near post.

Elana denied Moussa Sow shortly before the interval but the Senegalese striker was not to be denied in the 53rd minute, rolling his marker and lifting the ball over the Brest goalkeeper for his 19th league goal this term.

"For me we only played for one hour, from the 30th minute onwards," said Lille coach Rudi Garcia.

"We were in big trouble before that. But we showed resourcefulness and sang-froid, and despite being under pressure we managed to turn things around."

Brest were denied a penalty in the 29th minute when a shot from Ayite struck Lille defender Pape Souare on the arm.

The hosts were leading 1-0 at the time and coach Alex Dupont labelled referee Damien Ledentu's failure to award a penalty "a refereeing mistake".

Lyon, humbled by Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday, were fortunate not to concede an early penalty in their game with Rennes after Victor Hugo Montano was sent sprawling by Aly Cissokho.

Bafetimbi Gomis put Lyon ahead in the 36th minute but there was a slice of luck about his strike, as he deflected a fizzing shot from Lisandro Lopez past a stricken Nicolas Douchez.

Rennes' hopes of rescuing a draw were dealt a blow when Montano was shown a straight red card in the 64th minute for kicking out at Dejan Lovren.

There was a sting in the tale for the hosts, however, as Rennes left-back Kevin Theophile-Catherine headed in the equaliser from close range in the 87th minute after John Verhoek nodded a free-kick back across goal.

"It's hard to accept such a result," said Lyon coach Claude Puel.

"That's football. There's 10 matches left. It's still a long way.

"It's true that, at home against a direct rival, we could have gone up to second place. It's an opportunity that we weren't able to seize.

"The disappointment is strong tonight."

Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti felt aggrieved by the failure to award his side a penalty, the dismissal of Montano and an ugly foul on Montano by Miralem Pjanic that went unpunished.

"Three major incidents. It's a lot and it was important in the match and for the future," said Antonetti.

"If Puel is very disappointed, I'm not very satisfied."

Earlier, Saint-Etienne climbed one place to sixth following a goalless stalemate at Lorient, while Bordeaux held onto eighth place by coming back from 2-0 down to claim a 2-2 draw at Valenciennes.

An injury-time own goal from Mauro Cetto saw Nice snatch a 1-1 draw at Toulouse, while Montpellier fell to seventh after a surprise 4-1 defeat at home against second-bottom Lens.

Auxerre hauled themselves out of the relegation zone and up to 15th place as last season's top scorer Ireneusz Jelen claimed a brace -- the first a delightful lob -- in a 2-0 home win over Sochaux.



Topics : Football Paris SG Lyon Marseille
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