Lacazette sneaks Lyon by Lorient
Les Gones, who thumped Dinamo Zagreb 7-1 in Croatia on Wednesday to reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, made it four straight wins in the league thanks to Alexandre Lacazette's 54th-minute strike at the Stade du Moustoir.
Lorient had not conceded a goal at home since September, against Auxerre, and started the match brightly. They thought they should have had a third-minute penalty when the referee appeared to point at the spot following Cris' foul on Kevin Monnet-Pacquet down the right, but the official actually awarded only a free-kick on the edge of the area.
Defences were on top in a first half of few chances, but Lyon should have taken the lead in the 28th minute. Yoann Gourcuff swung a free-kick into the penalty area for an unmarked Dejan Lovren, but he failed to hit the target with only the goalkeeper to beat.
The deadlock was nearly broken five minutes into the second half when Lyon's Jimmy Briand received the ball on the right side of the area and tried to play it into the path of Lacazette. Mathieu Coutadeur's interception almost found its way into his own net, but goalkeeper Fabien Audard saved the day on the line.
At the other end, Hugo Lloris also had to be alert to push away a fierce Joel Campbell shot. The game's only goal arrived on the counter attack in the 54th minute. Lacazette looked to find Bafetimbi Gomis on the edge of the six-yard box, but Lorient made a hash of clearing the ball and it fell back to Lacazette, who finished confidently with a low cross-shot.
Lyon most likely
The visitors looked the more likely of the two teams to score thereafter, but could not add to their tally. Gomis fired just wide from Briand's cross, Lacazette was denied by the feet of Audard and Briand then lashed a half-volley just wide of the Lorient goal.
The hosts had one sight of an equaliser with two minutes to go, when Innocent Emeghara beat Cris in the left channel, but his shot lacked the power to trouble Lloris.
"I am very proud with the performance of my players tonight," said Lyon coach Remi Garde. "After our historic match in Zagreb, it could have been difficult especially in a complicated match such as Lorient."