Larbi brace lifts Ajaccio past Lyon, Saint-Etienne edge past Angers
Lyon lost 2-1 away to Gazelec Ajaccio on Sunday, heaping the pressure on beleaguered coach Hubert Fournier after a fifth defeat in six league matches.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas recently said he was considering whether to replace Fournier, and this latest loss could spell the end of his reign after he guided Lyon to second place last season.
"I’m going to meet with the directors during the winter break and then we’ll see what happens," said the 48-year-old Fournier, who played 68 games for Lyon as a defender from 1998-2000. "We need to look at what’s best for the interests of the players and the club. Lyon’s situation is of much more concern than my own."
Despite doing so well in his first season in charge, Fournier accepts the performances have been way below par this term amid dressing room frictions. Although an early injury to key playmaker Nabil Fekir has not helped Fournier’s cause.
Seven-time champion Lyon is in ninth place, one place above Marseille — which is also struggling for consistency and drew 1-1 away to Bordeaux in Sunday’s night game.
"Mathematically we’ve picked up one point from a possible 18, so it’s hard to do worse," Fournier said. "We need to do much better. We’re finishing the year with a squad that’s worn out from such a difficult half of the season."
Midfielder Mohamed Larbi scored a goal in each half for Gazelec, while Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier pulled a goal back with 20 minutes left.
Meanwhile, Marseille’s last win away to Bordeaux was in 1977, and it has lost 30 and drawn 11 since then.
That barren run looked like it might end when Marseille’s defensive midfielder Alaixys Romao headed in Abdelaziz Barrada’s corner in the 55th minute.
But Bordeaux equalized two minutes later through attacking midfielder Wahbi Khazri, who latched onto striker Enzo Crivelli’s pass behind the defense and finished confidently past goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.
Earlier, Saint-Etienne beat third-place Angers 1-0 to move up to sixth place, with winger Benjamin Corgnet grabbing his first league goal of the season.
Unbeaten leader Paris Saint-Germain heads into the winter break with a massive 19-point lead over second-place Monaco.
But former France right back Willy Sagnol’s Bordeaux side is in 14th spot, just four points above the relegation zone.