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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 3, 2008

Puel upbeat ahead of ''massive month'' for Lyon

LYON, November 3 (Ligue 1) - Lyon coach Claude Puel felt his side's 2-0 win over Le Mans was the perfect way to start another vital month of fixtures.

Top scorer Karim Benzema broke the deadlock midway through the first half and captain Juninho slotted home the second in the 57th minute as Les Gones eased past Les Manceaux to go four points clear of Marseille at the top.

It was a dominant display by the reigning champions and having picked up two wins in the space of five days, following their 2-0 victory over Sochaux on Wednesday, they look to be back in form after a recent sticky spell.

Lyon have a couple of key Champions League fixtures coming up in November while they play four Ligue 1 games, including a home match against last season's runners-up Bordeaux, and a Coupe de la Ligue last-16 tie over the next few weeks.

And Puel said: "This was the first match in a long series of fixtures.

"We wanted to start a massive month well and we have succeeded in doing that.

"This was a good match for us, well managed and with a high intensity."

Le Mans have lost their last two matches 2-0 and they are in danger of falling by the wayside after an encouraging start to the season.

Coming on the back of a home defeat to Auxerre, this result meant they slipped to ninth in the standings.

Yves Bertucci's side were never in the contest at the Stade Gerland and the Le Mans coach said: "Losing to Lyon is not serious but the way we did so is annoying.

"I had the feeling Lyon had the game by the scruff of its neck and we were way behind them. We weren't ready to produce a good match at Lyon.

"Until now we have shown enthusiasm and have been hard-working, but here we had trouble battling."

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