Down to ten men, six-time reigning champions Lyon nonetheless hung on to beat Paris Saint Germain 3-2 in Ligue 1 on Sunday. The victory put Lyon four points ahead at the top of the French standings, while this fourth consecutive home defeat for PSG left them in 15th place.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Marseille had a forgettable outing. They
slumped to a humiliating 2-1 defeat at Sochaux, which included two
headed own goals and a penalty miss and left them third from
Hatem Ben Arfa scored twice for Lyon and though Pauleta also scored twice for PSG in the second half, it was not enough to level the scores in spite of the visitors' Anderson being sent off six minutes after the break.
Marseille's French league slump continued also. Mamadou Niang even put the Riviera club ahead after just nine minutes but own goals from both Ronald Zubar on the half hour and then Laurent Bonnart seven minutes after the break, and a Djibril Cisse missed penalty late on, meant they remained in the relegation zone.
UEFA Champions League action has shown Marseille on top form however as they lead Group A with seven points after wins over Besiktas and Liverpool before their 1-1 draw against Porto on Wednesday. Marseille are struggling in France however and are not living up to their mantle at the start of the season of being the main challengers to the supremacy of six-time reigning champions Lyon.
Nothing has visibly changed on the pitch however since the sacking of Albert Emon and the installation of new coach Eric Gerets of Belgium. Gerets policy of not picking the out-of-form Cisse, who was on the bench at kick-off, plus the return of young sensation Samir Nasri after several months out of action, has not helped.
"This match is far from being the worst since I arrived," said Gerets. "This type of defeat is difficult for a coach to take. Is this a crisis? It's certainly not a party. There can be no excuse after a match like this."
Monaco troubles continue
Marseille might soon be joined near the bottom by Monaco whose 0-0 draw against promoted Caen on Saturday came after five defeats in a row to bring about a worrying situation in the Principality.
Monaco coach Ricardo said: "My team was very tense and nervous and we were not able to break the sequence with a victory. We need to regain our confidence and move forward with hard work because after five defeats, you start to doubt your ability."
In other games, Bordeaux won 2-1 at home to Valenciennes, Strasbourg had a 3-0 awayday victory at Lille, and three goalless draws came in the matches between Metz and Nancy, Lorient and Nice, plus St Etienne and Auxerre.