Lyon move ahead of PSG as Marseille slip up

Lyon reclaimed top spot in Ligue 1 from PSG on Sunday after an uninspiring win over Nantes. Third placed Marseille lost ground once again after only managing a draw at rivals Saint Etienne.

Lyon move ahead of PSG as Marseille slip up
Lyon's players celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match Lyon (OL) vs Nantes (FCN). Photo: Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP

A Nabil Fekir goal was enough for Lyon to beat Nantes 1-0 on Sunday and move back to the top of the Ligue 1 table, while Marseille had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Saint-Etienne.

Lyon broke the deadlock midway through the second half against Nantes at the Stade de Gerland when Yoann Gourcuff and Alexandre Lacazette combined to set up Fekir, and he was credited with the goal despite defender Kian Hansen appearing to get the final touch.

It was Lyon's first attempt on target but the goal allowed them to make it 11 league games without defeat as they reopened a two-point gap to reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain, who briefly went top after beating Toulouse 3-1 on Saturday with Adrien Rabiot scoring twice.

"It is a relief after a difficult match against a well-organised Nantes team who left us very little space," said OL coach Hubert Fournier, whose side now have consecutive away games to come at Lille, Montpellier and Marseille.

"This victory was important before we have three straight away matches against difficult teams. It would be wiser to wait until after these games to see if we can still trouble Paris and stay on the podium."

Lyon had drawn their last three matches in the absence of 21-goal leading scorer Lacazette, but he returned after a hamstring injury to lead the line against a Nantes side still looking for their first league win of 2015.

In a game of few clear chances, Lyon almost broke the deadlock five minutes before the interval as Fekir crashed a free-kick against the junction of bar and post.

Apart from that, Nantes 'keeper Remy Riou was never really troubled until the goal, although he was called into action to deny substitute Clinton Njie before he conceded a penalty in stoppage time for bringing down Fekir in the box.

However, with the last kick of the game, Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons missed the opportunity to score his first Ligue 1 goal in over two years as he put the penalty wide.

Erding denies Marseille

That result piled the pressure on faltering Marseille, and Marcelo Bielsa's side end the weekend in third place, four points off top spot, after they drew 2-2 at Saint-Etienne despite a brace from substitute Michy Batshuayi.

They fell behind when Max-Alain Gradel converted a 54th-minute penalty at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard after Jeremy Morel brought down Romain Hamouma in the box.

However, a triple substitution just after the hour mark by Bielsa turned the game on its head.

Belgian striker Batshuayi replaced Andre-Pierre Gignac and equalised 55 seconds later with practically his first touch before finishing off a low cross from fellow substitute Romain Alessandrini to make it 2-1 on 67 minutes.

Yet Saint-Etienne hit back in injury time when another substitute, Mevlut Erding, headed in from practically on the line following a scramble in the Marseille penalty box.

Top of the table at Christmas, Marseille have taken just nine points from seven games in 2015 and have not won away from home in 10 attempts in all competitions since early October.

As a result, Marseille end the weekend outside the top two for the first time since early September.

"There is frustration because the win was within our grasp," said Bielsa.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Montpellier boosted their chances of qualifying for Europe with a 2-0 win against Guingamp in Brittany.

Morgan Sanson and Kevin Berigaud got the goals for the visitors and condemned Guingamp to a first defeat in eight games in all competitions and a first loss at home since November.

Meanwhile, Metz remain bottom of the table on goal difference after seeing their run without a league win extended to 14 games as they drew 0-0 at Reims.

Amongst the other games this weekend, Monaco warmed up for their Champions League trip to Arsenal on Wednesday with a 1-0 win at Cote d'Azur rivals Nice that leaves them in fourth spot.

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In Pictures: Lyon street food festival pulls in crowds and a star chef

Mauro Colagreco, the multiple award-winning Italian-Argentinian chef, joined 80 of his fellow cooks on Saturday to serve food at the Lyon Street Food Festival in southeast France.

In Pictures: Lyon street food festival pulls in crowds and a star chef
Photos: AFP

Colagreco, the chef at the Mirazur in Menton on France's ritzy Cote d'Azur, is the only foreign chef working in France to have been awarded three stars in the Michelin guide.

In June, his restaurant was named the best in the world by an influential trade list, the World's 50 Best Restaurants.



But on Saturday he was serving up dishes in one of Lyon's squares, at the fourth edition of this four-day event.

He was joined by chefs from around the world, with professionals coming from Canada, Turkey and four destinations specially featured at this year's festival: Kobe, Hong Kong, Madrid and Finland.

Those attending only had to pay four or five euros ($4.40-5.50) for their meals.

Colagreco served portions of Galician squid with new potatoes and vegetables in a Mexican Pico de Gallo style.



“It wasn't easy, precisely because we use quality products, like squid, which are fairly expensive products,” he said.

“But we always manage — especially when we do them in large quantities — to get to an acceptable price,” he said.

Other Michelin-starred chefs taking part included Romain Meder, chef of the Plaza Athenee in Paris; Mathieu Vianney, chef of the Mere Brazier in Lyon; and Serge Vieira, who cooks at the Chaudes-Aigues in the central French town of Cantal.

Emeric Richard, co-organiser of the festival, said the event was about introducing great cooking in a simple way to the general public.


The organisers even asked this year's participants to serve slightly larger portions. That way, visitors could have a three-course meal with drinks for no more than 20 euros.

The festival attracted 24,000 people last year.