Lyon keeps pace in European spot race

Lyon hit back after a poor run of results with a thumping 3-0 win on the road at Auxerre.

Remi Garde’s side went into Sunday’s match on the back of successive league defeats and a frustrating home draw with Ajax in midweek which as good as sealed their exit from the Champions League.

Respite arrived Sunday in the form of three much-needed points courtesy of a Lisandro Lopez brace and Michel Bastos’ late solo strike.

The win leaves Lyon fifth in the standings while Auxerre are now just two places and one point above the relegation zone.

A slow burning match sparked into life with the first presentable chance on 20 minutes, Bastos’ burst down the right ending with a cross into the box which Lisandro met with a powerful header beyond Olivier Sorin.

A minute later Auxerre had a penalty shout when Dennis Oliech was caught by Dejan Lovren in the area but the the referee was unmoved and waved play on.

The hosts went close on 28 minutes when Alain Traore’s free-kick from the edge of the area forced Hugo Lloris to tip over the bar.

Auxerre continued to push after the break and Cedric Hengbart was unlucky to see his header from a Traore corner flash over.

The final third of the match belonged to Lyon, starting on 61 minutes when the impressive Bastos burst beyond Traore and Stephane Grichting before firing in a shot at Sorin’s near post that the keeper did well to turn away.

The second goal arrived on 68 minutes, Jimmy Briand springing the Auxerre offside trap to send through Lisandro, who coolly beat Sorin in the corner.

And the win was assured two minutes from time when Bastos received the ball from Kim Kallstrom, beat his marker Willy Boly and powered a shot beyond Sorin.

”It was important to win,” Lisandro Lopez told the club’s website. ”This result does good to the whole squad and makes up for the three points lost against Rennes (last weekend).”