Lyon extend lead at top of Ligue 1 with victory over 10-man Metz

Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette enjoyed a mixed afternoon.


PARIS — Alexandre Lacazette scored his league-leading 21st goal of the season Sunday – and then limped off injured – as Lyon beat 10-man Metz 2-0 to maintain its four-point lead at the top of the French league.

Lacazette hurt his right hamstring as he stretched for the ball two minutes after putting Lyon ahead from the penalty spot in the 31st minute for his 13th goal in the past nine games.

Lyon’s star player will be a major doubt for the home match against title rival Paris Saint-Germain in two weeks’ time. Lyon coach Hubert Fournier expects him to miss at least next Sunday’s trip to fifth-place Monaco.

”Alex has probably pulled a muscle,” Fournier said. ”It’s the only negative point of the afternoon.”

Midfielder Corentin Tolisso – one of eight homegrown players in the side – added the other goal late in the second half.

Lyon’s defense was caught cold in the 10th when former France winger Florent Malouda put striker Kwame Nsor clean through, but center half Samuel Umtiti made a superb last-ditch tackle to stop him shooting.

Argentine defender Guidi Milan was sent off as the last man after he fouled Rachid Ghezzal, who went over under slight contact after running onto Lacazette’s clever pass.

Lacazette sent goalkeeper Johann Carrasso the wrong way with aplomb, but that was his last meaningful contribution as he was replaced by newcomer 18-year-old Maxwell Cornet – who only joined Lyon from Metz last week.


Tolisso grabbed his fourth goal of the season with a fine dipping strike into the bottom left corner from just outside the penalty area in the 84th.

”We were up against a tenacious and well-organized team. We needed to show patience to break Metz down,” Fournier said. ”Actually the sending off didn’t help us because Metz starting bunching together more. But we were well disciplined.”

Also, Evian picked up some valuable points in its battle against relegation after beating fellow struggler Toulouse 1-0, with striker Adrien Thomasson scoring in the fourth minute.

Meanwhile, struggling Caen moved above Lens and into 18th place after a morale-boosting 4-1 win at Rennes, while Lens drew 0-0 at Reims.