Lyon players gracious in defeat

Lyon's players congratulated lowly Epinal after they knocked them out of the Coupe de France yesterday.

The third-tier club beat the Ligue 1 leaders and cup holders on penalties after a 3-3 thriller, leaving Remi Garde and his players red-faced. "We had prepared for this match but we had a bad start and we paid for it," said Lyon's Bafetimbi Gomis, referring to the fact they went 2-0 down early on.

"It was hard to level the score but we did. We then led but failed to keep the advantage. That's football. We must congratulate the team of Epinal. Now it is up to us to concentrate on the next match against Troyes."

Michel Bastos shared his team-mate's disappointment, especially considering Lyon`s status as holders. "It is sad because we were the defending champions," he said. "We had fun playing the Coupe de France last year so it's a shame to be eliminated.

"We must congratulate the team that caused us problems. In this competition you need a bit of luck and we did not have it. The pitch was not easy to play our game, but we will not hide behind it."