Ligue 1: Lyon win at Lorient to go top of table

September 16, 2006

PARIS, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Olympique Lyon returned to domestic duties in convincing fashion on Saturday, winning 3-1 at Lorient to move top of Ligue 1.

Three days after opening their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 win over Real Madrid, the champions earned their fifth victory from six league matches.

Portugal midfielder Tiago tapped in from close range after a corner in the sixth minute to put the visitors in the lead.

Brazilian forward Fred doubled the advantage by heading home a Francois Clerc cross after 62 minutes.

France midfielder Florent Malouda then exploited a blunder from Lorient's defence to make it 3-0 three minutes later.

Lorient reduced the arrears with a headed goal from a free kick by defender Michael Ciani in the 69th.

'We could have scored another goal in that first half,' said Lyon coach Gerard Houllier.

'We looked a bit tired in the second half but that's only normal after what happened in midweek,' he added, referring to their impressive win over Real Madrid.

'We controlled the match and there were two or three beautiful moves,' said the former Liverpool manager, who had decided to rest his captain, Brazil midfielder Juninho.

'It's early days in the championship still but it's looking good. The players are very serious, very professional.'

Lyon, chasing a sixth successive title, have 16 points, three more than Olympique Marseille, who are in second place before hosting Girondins Bordeaux on Sunday.

Toulouse jumped seven places to third, a further two points adrift, with a 3-1 win at Lille featuring two goals from Brazilian midfielder Fabinho.

Unheralded Le Mans climbed five places to fourth, level on 11 points with Toulouse, courtesy of a 2-1 win at promoted Sedan.

Le Mans's Guinean forward Ismael Bangoura opened the scoring after four minutes with an angled effort from inside the box.

Brazilian defender Paulo Andre doubled their lead with a header from a corner in the 26th.

Algeria defender Nadir Belhadj then pulled one back for the home side from the edge of the box after 78 minutes.

Le Mans were reduced to 10 men in added time when substitute midfielder Stephane Sessegnon was sent off for a dangerous tackle.

Easterners Sedan are still without a win and lie third from bottom with just three points.