French title contenders Lyon and Bordeaux both suffered a bumpy ride on Sunday as reigning champions Bordeaux went down 2-0 at Lille only to stay top as Lyon drew 5-5 with Marseille in an extraordinary game. After momentous midweek showings saw both clubs advance to the second phase of the UEFA Champions League, but on Sunday they shredded their own nerves and those of their fans.
Laurent Blanc's men dislodged Lyon last season last season after seven championship wins on the bounce, and stayed top with 25 points from 12 matches despite second-half Lille goals from Yohan Cabaye and Florent Balmont from the penalty spot handing the Girondins their third reverse of the campaign.
Lyon should have gone two points clear but were left aghast by Stephane M'Bia's injury-time goal for Marseille, the final action of a rollercoaster of a game. Marseille were kicking themselves despite M'Bia's effort as they could easily have moved into the top six having led 4-2 with ten minutes to go.
Miralem Pjanic fired Lyon into a third-minute lead but Souleymane Diawara levelled on 11 only for veteran Sidney Govou to fire Lyon back in front three minutes later. Benoit Cheyrou made it 2-2 moments before the interval and two minutes after the restart Baky Kone had Marseille in front.
Brandao's acrobatic flick 11 minutes from time appeared to have sealed it for the southerners, France's only European champions after their 1993 European Cup triumph. But Lyon rallied and netted three goals in ten mad minutes - Lisandro Lopez twice on target - once from the spot - before Michel Bastos drilled home for 5-4.
M'Bia then bundled home off home defender Jeremy Toulalan as the clock ticked down as coaches Claude Puel and Didier Deschamps looked on incredulously from their dugouts. "It was a spectacular match," said Deschamps. "I think a lot of fans appreciated it. But as a coach, not me! I doubt whether (Lyon coach) Claude Puel appreciated it either."
The last ten-goal thriller in the French league came more than 50 years ago when Lille drew at Nice. Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc was furious with his side's limp showing in Lille. "I can't understand why my team just didn't show up. It was incomprehensible. We went from a very high level Tuesday (in winning at Bayern Munich) to being very feeble Sunday," he said.
Lille's opening goal came on 70 minutes after they had soaked up spells of early pressure from the leaders, Pierre-Alain Frau combining well with Gervinho and although the former's shot was blocked Cabaye bundled home the rebound. Balmont's spot kick three minutes from time after Mickael Ciani brought down Guinean forward Larsen Toure clinched the points.
Also Sunday, Toulouse beat Rennes 3-2 to join Lorient and Montpellier on 21 points and cement their hopes of a top six placing. On Saturday, strugglers Grenoble avoided equalling Manchester United's European club record losing streak of 12 matches when they drew 0-0 at Monaco to register their first point of the season. Grenoble remain seven points behind second bottom Le Mans, who went down at home 1-0 to high-riding Auxerre.