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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 24, 2007

Ligue One: Lyon slump to defeat, Ribery magic

PARIS, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Olympique Lyon slumped to their second Ligue 1 defeat in succession and their first of the season at home when they lost 2-1 at home to Girondins Bordeaux on Wednesday.

Lyon, who had started the year with a 2-0 defeat at Toulouse on Jan. 13, have now lost three out of 21 games but still comfortably top the standings on 50 points.

The champions were controversially denied a penalty in added time after Brazil defender Cris appeared to be fouled by Bordeaux goalkeeper Ulrich Rame in the box.

Coach Gerard Houllier's team remain ideally placed to become the first side from a major European league to win six consecutive league titles but they appear to be slowing down after a fantastic start to the season.

Olympique Marseille moved into second, 14 points back, with a 3-1 home win over Auxerre featuring two goals from France attacking midfielder Franck Ribery.

The former European champions overtook Racing Lens on goal difference after the northerners lost 1-0 at Lorient.

Bordeaux, runners-up to Lyon last season, opened the scoring on three minutes with a penalty by Argentine midfielder Pablo Francia after striker Jean-Claude Darcheville was brought down by Remy Vercoutre, deputising for the injured Gregory Coupet in the Lyon goal.

Playmaker Johan Micoud doubled the visitors' advantage with a header on 27 minutes.

After the break, Houllier sent on Czech striker Milan Baros, making his Lyon debut after joining from Aston Villa, but it was Brazil forward Fred who reduced the arrears from close range on 64 minutes.

Bordeaux, who then resisted sustained pressure to hold on to the points, will face Lyon again on March 31, in the French League Cup final at Stade de France.

Lille moved up to fourth on 35 points when a Jean Makoun header secured a 1-0 win over Paris St Germain, who have not won in nine league matches.

The troubled capital side remain 17th with 20 points, just one spot away from the drop zone.

Marseille's game was played behind closed doors after a fireman was hurt by a firebomb thrown by a Marseille fan at Nice earlier this season.

'This is a sweet victory in a weird game,' Marseille chairman Pape Diouf told reporters.

'We did not have the usual atmosphere, it made our task more difficult. We had to do everything we could to keep our rhythm.'

Meanwhile, Maurice Cohen, chairman of Ligue 1 strugglers Nice, stepped down on Wednesday after shareholders asked him to quit.

Cohen told a news conference that one of those shareholders, Franck Guidicelli, would take his place.

Nice lost 1-0 at home to Toulouse on Wednesday, a defeat which left the club second from bottom and means coach Frederic Antonetti faces a tough task to keep his job.