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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 17, 2008

Ligue 1: Lyon held to 0-0 draw by Lorient

PARIS, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Olympique Marseille demolished Auxerre 4-0 in Ligue 1 on Sunday while Olympique Lyon were surprisingly held to a 0-0 draw by Lorient.

Marseille, among the teams tipped to challenge seven-times champions Lyon for the title, were looking for their first win this season after drawing 4-4 with Stade Rennes last week.

Coach Eric Geret's men were soon into their stride against a limited Auxerre side and took the lead when Ivory Coast striker Bakari Kone wrongfooted his marker after 15 minutes and floated in a perfect cross for captain Mamadou Niang to head home.

Marseille kept up the pressure in the second half and went further ahead when Auxerre's Swiss defender Stephane Grichting turned a mis-hit strike from Hatem Ben Arfa into his own net.

Kone was involved again in the third goal, providing a slick pass to Elliott Grandin who skipped past two defenders before chipping the ball over goalkeeper Remy Riou.

A free kick by Netherlands midfielder Boudewijn Zenden minutes before the end gave Marseille their fourth.

'The score's a little bit exaggerated but, on the other hand, the team have shown they can score good goals,' said Gerets.

Lyon, who started the season with a 3-0 home win over Toulouse, missed several chances at Lorient and had to settle for a share of the points.

'We were solid defensively but what counts is to take points and win matches,' said coach Claude Puel. 'We had opportunities there this afternoon and it's a shame we didn't take them.'

Grenoble held on to beat Stade Rennes 1-0 after taking the lead through a powerfully hit first-half goal from striker Nassim Akrour but had to fight to hold on to their lead.

Sunday's results left promoted Grenoble as the only team with maximum points and sitting proudly top of the table but coach Mecha Bazdarevic was under no illusions about how difficult it would be to stay up this season.

'If we want to stay in Ligue 1 we're going to have to focus on the quality of our game,' he said.

Lyon, champions for seven years in a row, are expected to be challenged by last year's runners-up Girondins Bordeaux, who lost 1-0 to Paris St Germain on Saturday, as well as Marseille.

In the weekend's other games, St Etienne showed flashes of class but had to work hard to beat Sochaux 2-1 while Nancy, who are also in the UEFA Cup this season, lost 2-1 at Nice.

Caen scored three times in the first half hour to wrap up a 3-1 home win against Valenciennes, whose former striker Steve Savidan grabbed one goal and helped set up the other two.

A Modibo Maiga double and a goal from Norway's Thorstein Helstad helped Le Mans to a 3-1 victory at Lille.

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