Toulouse dent Lyon title hopes
Nine-man Lyon's Ligue 1 title aspirations suffered a major setback after a listless performance on the road ended in a convincing 2-0 defeat at the hands of Toulouse.
Mauro Cetto's first-half effort and an Aly Cissokho own goal after the break were sufficient to hand the three points to Toulouse, who began the day flirting dangerously with the relegation zone but end it in the relative comfort of mid-table.
Michel Bastos and Cissokho saw red in the second half to cap a miserable day for the visitors. Defeat for Lyon leaves them eight points off the summit following Marseille's draw with Auxerre, but with just five games remaining time is running out for Claude Puel's men to claw back that deficit.
Lyon's bid for UEFA Champions League football is also under renewed threat with this loss, with the club now level on points with fourth-placed Paris Saint-Germain having now played the same number of games as the capital club.
Toulouse went ahead on 28 minutes when Franck Tabanou's free-kick was met by the head of Cetto, who sent a firm header beyond Hugo Lloris. It was almost two 60 seconds later when Daniel Braaten pounced on a defensive error to run clean through on goal but Lloris was alert to snuff out the danger.
Lyon struggled to make a breakthrough in the opening period, but did at least force Ali Ahamada into action eight minutes from the break when Bastos' long-range effort resulted in a good save.
Tabanou might have extended the lead on the hour when he was played through but Lloris saved well, while the Toulouse man then saw his follow-up effort cleared off the line by a defender. Bastos lost his cool three minutes later, picking up two yellow cards in the space of a minute to leave Lyon down to ten men.
The game was put to bed on 68 minutes when Cissokho's attempted clearance from Moussa Sissoko's forward surge ended with the Lyon defender looping the ball over his own goalkeeper. And Cissokho's misery was complete a minute from time when he picked up a straight red for a bad challenge on Braaten.