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Sunday, January 20, 2008
Ligue 1: Leaders humbled at lowly Lens

LENS, January 20 (Ligue 1) - Ligue 1 leaders Lyon suffered a shock defeat at Lens on Sunday night.

Second-half strikes from Toifilou Maoulida, Milan Bisevac and Kader Mangane sealed victory for Lens, whose impressive performance belied their lowly league position.

Lyon's lead at the top of the table has now been reduced to three points, with second-placed Bordeaux beating Le Mans 2-1 on Saturday.

Lens gave Lyon a rough ride in the first half and had the best chance of the opening period when Maoulida beat the offside trap to go through on goal in the 13th minute, but the striker could not lift his shot over the onrushing Gregory Coupet.

The champions threatened in patches and Karim Benzema had the best chances, mis-hitting a good opportunity in the fourth minute and slicing a strike high and wide just before half-time.

Maoulida gave the hosts a deserved lead in the 55th minute when he rose above Fabio Grosso to head Yohan Demont's cross into the top corner.

The striker could only manage a weak header when he was unmarked in the box soon after but Bisevac made no mistake when he leapt to arrow an angled header past Coupet from a 70th-minute corner.

Grosso swerved a clever shot just wide and Hatem Ben Arfa forced a strong save from Vedran Runje late on but Lyon could not find a way through as Lens doggedly defended their lead.

Mangane added a simple third in injury-time when Lens took a quick free-kick while the Lyon players were still arguing a decision with the referee.




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