Ligue 1: Stuttering Lyon's sterile stalemate

October 25, 2008

PARIS, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Olympique Lyon extended a poor run of form in Ligue 1 with a dismal 0-0 draw at Auxerre on Saturday.

The seven-times champions, now without a win in three league games, still lead with 21 points from 10 games, but Olympique Marseille could go top when they host arch-rivals Paris St Germain on Sunday. The Provence side have 19 points.

Le Mans, Girondins Bordeaux and Toulouse all failed to take advantage, remaining third, fourth and fifth respectively, three points behind Lyon, after they also drew.

Surprise package Le Mans were held 2-2 at Stade Rennes while Bordeaux squandered a two-goal lead in the final minutes of a 2-2 draw at Nice, whose equaliser by Loic Remy came deep in stoppage time.

Toulouse failed to break Monaco's defence despite many opportunities and had to settle for a goalless draw at home. The result ended a three-game losing streak for Monaco.

Lyon struggled to create chances at Auxerre four days after a thrilling 5-3 Champions League win at Steaua Bucharest.

Kader Keita hit the bar with a fine angled lob from outside the box in the early minutes of the game but Auxerre created the best opportunities.

An effort by Auxerre's Poland striker Ireneusz Jelen bounced off the post after the break and Lyon survived a scare when goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre brought down Kenya's Dennis Oliech outside the box but escaped punishment.

"It was a tough game," Lyon coach Claude Puel was quoted as saying on his club's website (www.olweb.fr).

"We are not going to look for excuses but it was an away game and we will settle for one point."