Lyon returned to the top of the French first division on Saturday after comimg back from a goal down to defeat Rennes 2-1 and depose Champions League quarter-final opponents Bordeaux in the process.
Lyon lead the way on goal difference from Montpellier who were held to a 0-0 draw by Monaco. Defending champions Bordeaux lost 2-1 at home to Nancy and are a point off the pace although they still have two games in hand. Lyon coach Claude Puel gambled by resting a number of key players ahead of Wednesday's all-French Champions League second leg clash against Bordeaux, where they will be defending a 3-1 lead.
With Cris and Jeremy Toulalan on the bench, Lyon slipped a goal down after just 14 minutes when Ghanaian international Asamoah Gyan found the net following Jimmy Briand's shot coming back off the post. Brazilian midfielder Michel Bastos levelled for Lyon in the 52nd minute before Argentine centre-forward Lisandro headed in a 61st-minute winner from Ederson's cross.
It was Lisandro's 13th league goal of the season. "It's not important to be first in the table, not with this schedule. For us, the most important thing was to win," said Puel. "It's important to continue to have ambition in this championship. It was a match between two Champions League games, so I say 'bravo' to the players who showed their desire and quality."
Lyon have a one-point lead over Laurent Blanc's defending champions Bordeaux who were defeated 2-1 at home by Nancy. Blanc, with one eye on the midweek Champions League clash with Lyon, started with star striker Maroune Chamakh on the bench and the decision quickly backfired when Youssouf Hadji gave Nancy a 17th-minute lead.
Argentine striker Fernando Cavenaghi levelled 10 minutes later, but Issiar Dia made sure of the three points for the visitors 20 minutes from time with a fine piece of individual skill. The striker took the ball on a mazy 30-metre run, dribbling past central defenders Mathieu Chalme and Carlos Henrique before calmly beating Cedric Carrasso in the Bordeaux goal. "Bordeaux will be hurting," said Puel. "Wednesday's match is another competition and it will be a difficult game."
Bordeaux midfielder and skipper Alou Diarra criticised his team. "We needed to be more intelligent in this match and we were not," said Diarra. "We have lost top spot and on Wednesday we will have to show something else. We will see if we can qualify for the semi-finals, but words are all very well - actions are better."
Auxerre, who are fourth, can go top of the table if they defeat Paris St Germain on Sunday.