PARIS, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Newcomer Anthony Mounier turned 21 in style by setting up two goals to help Olympique Lyon beat Nancy 2-1 and pull six points clear at the top of Ligue 1 on Saturday.
Forward Mounier, who has played only a handful of matches for the first team, celebrated his birthday by feeding France's Karim Benzema for Lyon's first goal just after half-an-hour and Brazilian striker Fred for their second in the 37th minute.
Nancy pulled one back through midfielder Pascal Berenguer a minute later but Lyon, warming up for a Champions League match at Bayern Munich on Tuesday, were clearly the better side.
Mounier, who developed at the club and played in the youth teams with Benzema for years, heard the fans at Lyon's Gerland stadium chant his name after a spectacular performance.
"We played a good match, winning possession and holding on to our lead, even if it's true that we did waste a few chances in the second half," he said
"There are a lot of talented players in our squad and when I get a chance to play, I try to make the most of it," he added.
The seven-times champions moved on to 19 points from seven matches, six points ahead of second-placed Olympique Marseille, who drew 1-1 at Le Mans, and third-placed Grenoble, who won 1-0 away to Paris St Germain.
France forward Hatem Ben Arfa raced into the box to open the scoring for Marseille after six minutes but Le Mans levelled five minutes later, Norway striker Thorstein Helstad exploiting a blunder by defender Laurent Bonnart to head home.
Marseille, who visit Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday, have now gone five matches without a win in all competitions.
Promoted Grenoble extended a surprisingly strong start to the season with a 1-0 win over PSG courtesy of a superb drive from 25 metres by forward Nassim Akrour 14 minutes from time in the day's last match.
The capital club could now face a few games without former France midfielder Ludovic Giuly, who limped off with a thigh injury in the second half.