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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 17, 2008

Ligue 1: Lyon held to a stalemate by Lorient

PARIS, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Olympique Lyon were held to a 0-0 draw by Lorient in their Ligue 1 match on Sunday, while newly promoted Grenoble held on to beat Stade Rennes 1-0 after a first-half goal by striker Nassim Akrour.

French champions Lyon failed to find a cutting edge as they were held to a goalless draw at Lorient in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Set-piece specialist Juninho hit the bar with a free-kick and striker Karim Benzema squandered a couple of opportunities, but the hosts defended well and merited the point they picked up at a sun-kissed Le Moustoir.

Both sides are now on four points after two games, and neither have conceded a goal so far.

Lorient, as hard-working and resilient as ever, limited Les Gones to just a few half-chances in a hard-fought first 45 minutes.

Cris headed a Juninho free-kick wide before Benzema swivelled and shot over from 15 yards.

A few minutes later, home goalkeeper Fabien Audard produced a superb save to keep out Fabio Grosso's long-range piledriver.

The only opportunity Les Merlus had before half-time fell to Ulrich Le Pen in the 43rd minute, but the left-winger blazed over with the goal at his mercy following Yann Jouffre's pull-back from a free-kick.

Lyon cranked up the pressure after the break and in the 47th minute, Juninho crashed a curling free-kick against the bar from 25 yards.

The rebound fell to Benzema but Audard did brilliantly to tip over the France striker's effort from six yards out.

Les Gones continued to press but Lorient's obdurate defence held firm and they were dangerous at times at the other end, Jouffre cutting in and smashing a 20-yarder just over the bar.

Lyon substitute Cesar Delgado had a shot cleared off the line with two minutes remaining but Lorient deservedly held on to remain unbeaten.

Grenoble took the lead against Stade Rennes after 20 minutes with a powerful 30-metre strike by Akrour but had to fight to hold off a determined Rennes assault in the second half.

In Sunday's late game Olympique Marseille thrashed Auxerre 4-0 at the Stade Vélodrome.

Mamadou Niang opened the scoring after 17 minutes and OM went in one up at the break.

Stephane Grichting's own goal gifted OM a second on 63 minutes before late strikes from Eliot Grandin and Boudewijn Zenden put the gloss on an impressive home win.

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