Ligue 1: Leaders Lyon open up 12-point lead

November 18, 2006

PARIS, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Olympique Lyon, who have shown signs of wear recently, stretched their lead to 12 points in Ligue 1 with a lucky 1-0 win at bottom club Sedan on Saturday.

The five-times champions, now on 37 points from 14 matches, benefited from an own goal by Sedan defender Nadjim Abdou 10 minutes from time.

In Saturday's early kickoff, second-placed Lille, whose trip to Sochaux ended in a 0-0 stalemate, dropped two points.

RC Lens moved up to third level on points with arch-rivals Lille after a 2-0 win over struggling Nantes, courtesy of a 47th-second goal by defender Adama Coulibaly and a second-half free kick by midfielder Seydou Keita.

Despite their win, Lyon were a shadow of their dominant selves. They were without injured forwards Fred and Karim Benzema and had winger Sylvain Wiltord sidelined with gastroenteritis.

Striker John Carew proved too clumsy in front of goal and Lyon eventually cracked the most porous defence in the league when Juninho pulled the ball back from the left into the middle of the box and it was deflected into his own net by Abdou.

'We never give up. Despite so many objectives, we are still there,' Lyon goalkeeper Gregory Coupet told Canal Plus.

'We knew they would put a lot of pressure on us and we struggled to approach their goal,' added Coupet, whose team will travel to Real Madrid for a Champions League showdown next week.

A second half goal by Sebastien Puygrenier earned Nancy a 1-0 victory over Troyes as the Easterners climbed up to fourth level on points with Lille and Lens.

St Etienne are fifth after first-half goals by strikers Frederic Piquionne and Pascal Feindouno gave Les Verts a 2-1 home win against Nice.

Paris St Germain were booed off their Parc des Princes pitch after an embarrassing 2-0 defeat by Girondins Bordeaux.

Brazilian midfielder Wendell and striker Lilian Laslandes scored Bordeaux's goals against a pitiful PSG side.

Jeremy Menez salvaged a 2-2 draw for struggling Monaco at home against Lorient when he scored the equaliser 10 minutes into the second half.

On Sunday, Olympique Marseille will be out to end a four-match losing streak when they host Valenciennes for the first time since they were involved in a match-rigging scandal 13 years ago.