Lyon's top-three challenge fades, Marseille held

Lyon's hopes of playing UEFA Champions League football next season suffered a blow on Wednesday after a 3-0 loss at Toulouse left them six points behind third-placed Lille in Ligue 1 with only six games remaining.

Lyon were bidding to bounce back from Saturday's extra-time loss to Marseille in the Coupe de la Ligue final, but another sterile performance saw them undone by goals from Pantxi Sirieix, Emmanuel Riviere and substitute Umut Bulut.

Victory for Toulouse, meanwhile, drew them level on points with fourth-placed Lyon, who now face a battle just to hold on to the consolation prize of a UEFA Europa League place. However, Lyon can secure a Europa League berth by beating third-tier Quevilly in the French Cup final on 28 April, while the fact that Lille must still play Montpellier and Paris Saint-Germain gives them a glimmer of hope in the battle for third.

"As long as things aren't over mathematically, I don't want to stop hoping," said Lyon coach Remi Garde. "On the other hand, if our level of play remains as mediocre as it has been in our last two matches, it'll be difficult. But I think we'll pick ourselves up and find solutions in our play so that we can see our intentions and our goals through to the end."

As long as things aren't over mathematically, I don't want to stop hoping.
Remi Garde, Lyon coach

Lyon coach Garde dropped Lisandro Lopez to the bench in order to match Toulouse's 4-1-4-1, but his side fell behind in the ninth minute when Sirieix volleyed home after Mouhamadou Dabo failed to deal with Adrien Regattin's cross.

Sirieix turned provider in the 22nd minute, shaping a cross into the box from the right that Riviere met with a firm header into the top-left corner. Garde introduced Lisandro and Michel Bastos at half-time, while Yoann Gourcuff came on in the 63rd minute to make his first league appearance since 21 December following a spell on the sidelines with a groin injury.

The substitutes did not make the required impact, however, and Bulut broke the visitors' offside trap in the 91st minute before lifting the ball over Hugo Lloris to seal Lyon's 11th defeat of the season.

Marseille held by Caen
Marseille's run of games without victory in Ligue 1 now stands at 11 after they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Caen that left them tenth and took the visitors a point clear of the relegation zone.

Caen went ahead in the 11th minute, with M'Baye Niang intercepting Nicolas N'Koulou's attempted pass and crossing for Frederic Bulot to score at the second attempt. Loic Remy equalised 15 minutes later, claiming his 11th league goal of the season from the penalty spot after a handball by Alexandre Raineau.