Lyon rise above squabbles to beat Grenoble

Lyon returned to form with a 2-0 victory over bottom side Grenoble on Saturday, taking them to fourth in the French top flight ahead of their Champions League date with Bordeaux.

Lyon's 2-1 defeat at Marseille last weekend seriously undermined their title bid but they are now just two points behind league leaders Bordeaux, who nonetheless have two games in hand, after second-half goals by Michel Bastos and substitute Cesar Delgado.

It was Lyon's first victory in March and sets them up well for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at home to Bordeaux on Tuesday.

"This allows us to concentrate on Tuesday's match against Bordeaux," said Lyon coach Claude Puel. "I really enjoyed the second half, when we had much more movement around the man on the ball."

The match with Grenoble had been scheduled to take place on Friday but was pushed back to Saturday by the league, amid much Lyon dissent, after Bordeaux complained that Lyon would have longer to prepare for their European game. Bordeaux face Marseille in the final of the French League Cup later on Saturday, with the Ligue 1 programme concluding on Sunday and Monday.

I really enjoyed the second half, when we had much more movement around the man on the ball.
Lyon coach Claude Puel reacting to his team's performance

Lyon largely dominated the first half at the Stade Gerland but found debutant Brice Maubleu in commanding form in the Grenoble goal. The 20-year-old was making his professional bow after injuries to Grenoble's first- and second-choice goalkeepers and he demonstrated an impressive command of his penalty area in the game's early exchanges.

Maubleu was beaten just three minutes into the second half though, when Bastos fired a shot inside the near post from Bafetimbi Gomis's lay-off after Ederson's long-range strike had been parried by the goalkeeper.

Grenoble centre-back Bostjan Cesar was sent off 14 minutes from the end after picking up two yellow cards in quick succession for tussling with Ederson and then arguing with the referee.

Delgado wrapped things up in the last minute when he cut inside David Sauget on the edge of the area before curling the ball into the net off the base of the right-hand post.