Lille hurt champions Lyon again
Lille beat seven-times reigning champions Lyon 2-0 at the Stade de France on 7 March, just three days after ending their opponents' hopes of retaining the double with a dramatic win in the French Cup. Lyon's season has become pear-shaped, though things will become clearer following Wednesday's UEFA Champions League first knockout round, second leg at Barcelona.
Slovakian substitute Robert Vittek's firm header past Lyon keeper Remy Vercoutre on the hour and then Michel Bastos's left-footed chip in the 89th minute sent Claude Puel's men home empty-handed. Lyon, who have 53 points, one ahead of PSG, four in front of Marseille and Toulouse and six ahead of fifth-placed Bordeaux, had been hoping to get revenge for Wednesday's 3-2 defeat at Lille in the French Cup last 16.
It was Lyon's fourth match without a victory, in all competitions, and especially surprising as coach Claude Puel had fielded the backbone of the team - Cris, Jeremy Toulalan, Juninho and Karim Benzema - which had not played in their midweek cup defeat. Puel appeared to have Barcelona in mind, too, when he took off Benzema at the break and freekick specialist Juninho midway through the second half.
Earlier Toulouse beat Bordeaux 3-0 to jump into fourth spot and bring European qualification a step nearer. Bordeaux fell to goals from Toulouse's Pantxi Sirieix, Andrei-Pierre Gignac and then Moussa Sissoko in injury time, leaving the southwestern club unbeaten in 15 matches in all competitions. Bordeaux just were not able to breakdown Toulouse's organised defence and found themselves in difficulty with their pressing tactics, conceding fouls and collecting yellow cards.
Elsewhere, Paris Saint-Germain consolidated second spot with a 1-0 victory at Lorient, through a Ludovic Giuly goal and Valenciennes are on a ten-match unbeaten streak after drawing 0-0 at Marseille. PSG proved they could win without veteran skipper Claude Makelele and Stephane Sessegnon, both suspended, as they tried to forget their midweek French Cup defeat at the hands of third division Rodez.