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By ESPN Staff
Nov 4, 2006

Ligue 1: Leaders Lyon crash to first defeat

PARIS, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Olympique Lyon lost for the first time this season when they went down 1-0 at Stade Rennes and had midfielder Juninho sent off in Saturday's Ligue 1 clash.

The five-times champions, who had not lost in their opening 17 matches in all competitions, never recovered from Stephane M'Bia's early goal for lowly Rennes.

Gerard Houllier's side, who were gunning for a record 10th successive league victory, remain top of the standings with 31 points from 12 matches.

Olympique Marseille had a chance to cut the gap to eight points but the Provence side lost for the third straight game, losing 1-0 at home to Lorient, and dropped to fourth.

Lille won a northern derby 3-0 at Valenciennes courtesy of goals by Nicolas Fauvergue and Yohan Cabaye and an own goal by Patrick Pauuwe and moved up to second, 10 points adrift of Lyon.

Guiran Ndaw scored midway through the second half as Sochaux secured a 1-0 home win over Troyes and they are in third place level on 21 points with Lille.

St Etienne are fifth after thrashing Toulouse 3-0 with a double by Batefimbi Gomis.

Monaco goalkeeper Flavio Roma stopped an Ederson penalty four minutes from time as they salvaged a goalless draw against Nice. The principality side remain bottom on eight points.

Rennes, now 13th with 15 points, began brightly against Lyon with midfielder M'Bia heading home an Olivier Monterrubio corner after 13 minutes.

Monterrubio, however, was carried off on a stretcher after suffering an ankle injury and had to be replaced by Sylvain Marveaux in the 27th minute.

Lyon, who were thrashed 4-1 at home by Rennes last season, failed to get a shot on target in the opening 45 minutes.

Olivier Sorlin came close to doubling the home side's lead eight minutes from the interval but his 16-metre shot shaved Gregory Coupet's left-hand post.

Lyon, without suspended centre back Cris, stepped up a gear in the second half and Sylvain Wiltord's dazzling shot from 25 metres had to be parried away by goalkeeper Simon Pouplin.

The France winger had another chance in the 50th minute and Pouplin was lucky to see that attempt deflected by a defender.

Houllier strengthened his forward line when he replaced left back Jeremy Berthod with France winger Florent Malouda.

Twelve minutes from time Lyon striker Karim Benzema missed a great chance to equalise when his close-range shot was superbly saved by Pouplin.

Seconds later, a frustrated Juninho was shown a straight red card for elbowing Rennes midfielder Romain Danze.

Pouplin then ended a perfect display when he deflected away an effort by Kim Kallstrom who was set up by Wiltord.

'We could have managed a draw,' said Lyon right back Anthony Reveillere. 'We pushed a lot in the second half but we had a real bad start.'