Lyon beats Troyes to move above PSG into 1st place
PARIS (AP) — Lyon took advantage of Paris Saint-Germain's unexpected slip up by beating Troyes 2-1 away from home to move into first place in the French league on Saturday.
Both of Lyon's goals came from corners as midfielder Maxime Gonalons and center half Samuel Umtiti scored either side of veteran Benjamin Nivet's equalizer.
While PSG's expensively assembled team labored to a 0-0 draw against relegation battler Ajaccio on Friday, both of Lyon's goals were scored by players who came through the youth ranks and cost nothing. It was the 19-year-old Umtiti's first league goal and Gonalons' third of the season.
The win moved Lyon two points ahead of PSG and three ahead of Marseille, which can leapfrog PSG and move level on points with Lyon if it wins at Sochaux on Sunday.
Lyon coach Remi Garde was pleased to see his team bounce back from last weekend's French Cup defeat to non-league Epinal, but was far from happy with the overall performance.
"It was a hard week for us. The players really wanted to make amends but felt a certain amount of pressure," Garde said. "We're aware that the level we played at tonight won't be enough to win matches in the future."
At Stade Gerland, Lyon took the lead in the 11th minute when Gonalons made a run to the near post and headed in Steed Malbranque's corner, and forward Lisandro Lopez almost made it 2-0 midway through the half when he just failed to turn in Michel Bastos' cross.
But the 36-year-old Nivet grabbed his seventh league goal of the season with a volley in the 38th to draw the home side level, and he then shot narrowly wide at the start of the second half as Troyes pressured Lyon's defense.
"It was difficult for us," Lyon defender Milan Bisevac said. "We have to be honest and say that we didn't play well in the first half. We were better organized in the second."
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