Ligue 1 title contenders Lyon lose at home to Nice

Nice players celebrate scoring a goal in their 2-1 win over Lyon.


PARIS (AP) Lyon stayed one point behind leader Paris Saint-Germain in the French title race after losing 2-1 at home against 10-man Nice, which sealed an unlikely victory with a late penalty on Saturday.

Lyon played with an extra man after defender Lloyd Palun was sent off in the 53rd minute for a second yellow card after fouling Nabil Fekir.

”The team is disappointed with the performance and the result, especially because we lacked maturity in the last 30 minutes,” Lyon coach Hubert Fournier said. ”Instead of taking our time, we hurried things.”

Midfielder Carlos Eduardo put Nice ahead in the 23rd, and in the absence of 23-goal league top-scorer Alexandre Lacazette, who was suspended, captain Maxime Golanons scored the penalty to level.

”The title isn’t over,” Gonalons said. ”We can dream about it but PSG is very strong this year. Monaco is coming back well and so is Marseille.”

Playmaker Yoann Gourcuff limped off injured early in the second half and, as Lyon pushed for a winner, Nice midfielder Valentin Eysseric scored from the spot in the 86th.


”It hurts a lot. I’m not quite sure what to say. We played well in the second half and we could have avoided giving away a penalty,” Lyon defender Christophe Jallet said. ”We had the chance to gain some confidence at home after three away games but we wasted it.”

Two-time defending champion PSG beat Lorient 3-1 at home on Friday, thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s hat trick.

PSG, which is chasing a domestic treble and is also through to the Champions League quarterfinals, has a far tougher schedule than Lyon, which has only the title to play for. Jallet hopes the defeat serves to wake the players up.

”It puts us under pressure now. We’ve got eight games to go,” he said. ”It’s down to us to go and get the points left on offer.”

Third-place Marseille can close the gap on Lyon to two points if it wins at relegation struggler Lens on Sunday.

Nice’s Eduardo caught the eye earlier this season when he scored five goals away to Guingamp, and enhanced his reputation with a superb bicycle kick against Lyon for his 10th league goal of the season.

He was involved in the winning goal, too, when he was clumsily fouled by defender Bakary Kone in the penalty area.

Nice goalkeeper Simon Pouplin made a spectacular save from Jallet as Lyon almost scored in the fifth minute of injury time.

Lyon’s defeat was made worse by yet another injury for Gourcuff, who has regularly been sidelined through injury since joining Lyon four years ago.

Gourcuff, who was making his return from a hamstring injury, pulled up after halftime and walked straight to the dressing room before Lyon could line up a replacement. Mohamed Yattara went on three minutes later.

”It was a rubbish afternoon, we lost Yoann to an injury,” Gonalons said. ”We will have to look at what didn’t work today to make sure that we finish the season well.”

Also, Evian moved two places above the relegation zone after beating seventh-place Montpellier 1-0.

Wissam Ben Yedder scored his 10th league goal of the season as 18th-place Toulouse gained a valuable win in its fight against relegation, beating local rival Bordeaux 2-1 to move to within two points of 17th-place Lorient.

Elsewhere, it was Bastia 0, Guingamp 0; Caen 0, Metz 0, and Rennes 0, Nantes 0.