Lens stun Lyon for first Ligue 1 win; St. Etienne draw Rennes

Lens players celebrate after ending their poor Ligue 1 run after defeating Lyon 1-0 at Stade de Gerland.


LYON, France —

Struggling Lens stunned Lyon 1-0 on Sunday for its first win of the season in the French league.

Lens winger Lalaina Nomenjanahary slotted the ball into an empty net to finish off a counterattack in the 11th minute. For Lyon it was a third straight defeat in all competitions.

”We put ourselves in trouble by conceding an early goal. Afterwards, we couldn’t find the solution to score,” Lyon defender Christophe Jallet told BeIn Sports television. ”The trouble is that our confidence is eroding with such performances.”

Lens won promotion after finishing as runner-up in the second division but has been barred from signing new players by the French league’s financial watchdog.

Saint-Etienne played Rennes later Sunday while Monaco visited Nantes.

On Saturday, it was: Guingamp 0, Marseille 1; Bastia 1, Toulouse 0; Lille 2, Lorient 0; Montpellier 2, Metz 0; Nice 1, Bordeaux 3; and Reims 0, Caen 2.


Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain was held 0-0 at Evian on Friday.

Lens converted its first scoring chance when winger Yoann Touzghar outpaced the Lyon defense to feed Nomenjanahary for the winner.

The visitors had several opportunities to increase their lead in the second half. Touzghar bore down on goal in the 58th but was denied by Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes. Lens midfielder Wylan Cyprien then hit the bar with a free kick a minute later.

Lyon was vulnerable on the fast break and was lucky to see Touzghar send a sliding effort over the bar from close range in the 61st.

The hosts could have salvaged a draw in the 80th but Lyon midfielder Steed Malbranque struck the post from a tight angle.

Saint-Etienne missed the chance to join Bordeaux at the top of the early Ligue 1 standings as a missed penalty proved costly in a 0-0 draw against Rennes.

Moments after Rennes’ Pedro Henrique struck a post, St Etienne looked poised to take full advantage when Mevlut Erding won a 40th minute penalty, but he saw his shot saved by Benoit Costil.

St Etienne continued to push in the second half but created only a handful of chances and Rennes held out for a point.