Seven times French champions Lyon and former French champions Auxerre were the biggest top division casualties of the French League Cup Round of 16 matches on Tuesday, as they lost 3-1 and 2-0 to second division sides Metz and Vannes respectively.
Auxerre, who have won just one of their previous seven matches in all competitions, followed fellow Ligue 1 side Valenciennes in becoming scalps for Vannes, who were tasting welcome revenge for two previous French Cup defeats, both by Auxerre. Vannes, unbeaten at home this season, will now face Metz in the quarter-finals.
Metz, who are fourth in Ligue 2, took full advantage of a Lyon side that rested several of their stars, including defenders Jean-Alain Boumsong and Anthony Reveillere and French internationals Jeremy Toulalan and Karim Benzema. Metz opened the scoring in the 21st minute through a header by Victor Mendy from a cross by Sebastien Renouard, and then the former returned the favour by setting up the latter before half-time.
Lyon reduced the deficit shortly after the break with a header by Brazilian defender Cris from a Kim Kallstrom corner, but it was game over in the 66th minute when Romain Rocchi took advantage of the hesitation of reserve goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre following a poor back pass by Cameroon international Jean II Makoun.
Lyon coach Claude Puel said that depsite fielding a weakened side, his team still had no excuses for such a poor display. "It is still a huge disappointment to be eliminated from any competition," said the former Monaco and Lille boss. "When one begins a campaign one wants to go to the very end.
"This evening, we were not good. We did not produce enough quality in our game to deserve to qualify," added Puel, who guided Monaco to the title in 2000. The other Ligue 1 outfit to lose to lower league opposition on Tuesday were struggling Sochaux, who went down 1-0 to second division Lens, for whom defender Ala Eddine Yahia scored the decisive goal with a header in the 109th minute.
Wednesday features the last two matches, with the feature game that of French giants Paris Saint Germain hosting Nancy.