Ligue 1: Lyon see off St. Etienne with narrow win

August 26, 2007

PARIS, Aug 26 (Reuters) - A Karim Benzema goal allowed Olympique Lyon to get back to their winning ways with a 1-0 victory over arch-rivals St Etienne in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

After two consecutive defeats, France striker Benzema secured the points for the six-times champions with his effort in the 53rd minute.

Lyon, who have a game in hand, moved up to 10th in the standings with six points from four games.

Les Verts, who have not beaten Lyon in a league match in 13 years, are 12th on five points.

Juninho forced St Etienne goalkeeper Jeremie Janot to pull off a superb save with one of his trademark free kicks from 35 metres on 15 minutes.

Janot's counterpart Remy Vercoutre was also made to work five minutes later on a Pascal Feindouno 20-metre free kick.

Lyon opened the scoring eight minutes into the second half when a Juninho cross from the right was deflected by Efstathios Tavlaridis on his right post.

Benzema then just had to poke the ball into the empty net.

Earlier on Sunday, Paris St Germain were still looking for their first win of the season after being held to a 1-1 home draw by Lille.

The Parisians, who have drawn four games and lost one, lie 14th in the standings while Lille are ninth on seven points.

The visitors went ahead three minutes from the interval when Cameroon midfielder Jean II Makoun headed home from a Ludovic Obraniak free kick.

Last season's top scorer Pauleta had a penalty saved on 71 minutes by Lille goalkeeper Tony Sylva but fellow striker Pierre-Alain Frau levelled with five minutes remaining after being set up by midfielder Jeremy Clement.

On Saturday, surprise package Nancy thrashed AJ Auxerre 4-1 to take command of the league with 13 points from five matches.