Ligue 1: Auxerre keep up chase of runaway leaders Lyon

December 3, 2005
By Pierre Serisier

PARIS, Dec 3 (Reuters) - In-form AJ Auxerre kept up their chase of runaway leaders Olympique Lyon when they demolished Nantes 4-0 in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Unbeaten Lyon maintained their 11-point lead over Auxerre with a 2-0 home win over Paris St Germain. Lyon have 43 points and second-placed Auxerre 32 after 17 matches.

A first half double by striker Peguy Luyindula and a goal by midfielder Luigi Pieroni before the break secured the Burgundy club's victory with Bruno Cheyrou completed the rout in injury time.

Girondins Bordeaux laboured to a 1-0 victory over improving Lille to remain in third place on 31 points.

Lyon once again looked in a class of their own dominating from the start to smother the Parisian side at Gerland stadium.

Brazilian striker Fred volleyed home the opener after five minutes and substitute John Carew wrapped it up in stoppage time to take revenge on PSG, who were the last side to beat Lyon in a Ligue 1 match - 1-0 at Gerland in April.

PSG slumped to fifth on 27 points, the same number as Monaco but behind them on goal difference.

Monaco beat Le Mans 2-0 with first half goals by Francois Modesto and Olivier Sorlin.

BRAVE FIGHT

'We are rather disappointed because we tried a lot tonight and it didn't pay off,' said PSG midfielder Modeste M'Bami, whose team lost 4-3 at home to RC Lens last week.

'We conceded more ground in the title race. We must now try to react swiftly to keep our hopes alive to secure a berth for the Champions League next year,' he said.

PSG coach Laurent Fournier said: 'Our first half was terrible. When we were down 1-0, it looked almost impossible to come back.'

Lyon's inspirational playmaker Juninho could have added to their tally early in the second half but his superb lob hit beaten goalkeeper Lionel Letizi's far post.

Paris put up a brave fight but Lyon were in a class of their own and the visitors never managed to create a clear chance.

'We didn't suffer much tonight as we dominated the midfield battle for most of the game,' Lyon's goalkeeper Gregory Coupet said.

Lyon look well on their way to a record fifth title in a row but Auxerre showed they cannot be taken lightly in the race for a Champions League berth.