Lyon beats Nancy 3-1 in French League

Aug 29, 2009 - 9:46 PM By SAMUEL PETREQUIN AP Sports Writer

PARIS(AP) -- Lyon grabbed the provisional lead in the French league with a 3-1 win over Nancy on Saturday.

After a hat trick midweek to help Lyon qualify for the Champions League group stage, Lisandro Lopez celebrated his second Ligue 1 goal and contributed to his club's fifth consecutive win in all competitions.

Bafetimbi Gomis opened the scoring for Lyon after 36 minutes and Lopez scored five minutes into the second half when the Argentine international beat Nancy goalkeeper Gennaro Braciglinao with a shot from 18 meters. Youssouf Hadji replied for Nancy and Michel Bastos earned the home team's last goal with a blast from the edge of the box.

With 10 points from four games, Lyon topped the standings, one point ahead of Bordeaux, which meets Marseille at Stade Velodrome on Sunday.

Troubled Saint-Etienne moved away from the relegation zone after its first victory of the season, 1-0 against fellow struggler Grenoble.

Christophe Landrin's goal gave 10-time champion Saint-Etienne its first win and lifted the club from 19th to 16th in the 20-team standings.

Following Saint-Etienne's woeful start this season, the home fans finally had something to cheer about when midfielder Landrin fired low past Grenoble goalkeeper Jody Viviani after 23 minutes.

Saint-Etienne coach Alain Perrin was unable to field Argentine striker Gonzalo Bergessio, who was not allowed to play for administrative reasons after signing this week from San Lorenzo. Following Gomis' departure to regional neighbor and archrival Lyon during the offseason, Saint-Etienne tried to refuel its attack by recruiting Bergessio less than a week after luring Ivory Coast striker Boubacar Sanogo from Werder Bremen.

After last week's 1-0 loss at home against promoted Boulogne, about 200 angry Saint-Etienne fans invaded the field at the final whistle and demanded the resignation of Saint-Etienne's board of directors.

"Until the end we stayed under Grenoble's threat," Perrin said. "It's a big relief for everybody."

Without key defender Emil Spahic, diagnosed with swine flu this week, Montpellier maintained its unbeaten record with a 3-0 win at Nice that propelled the club to third place.

The match was suspended for about 15 minutes in the second half after Montpellier supporters threw flares onto the pitch. All Montpellier fans were evacuated before the game restarted.

"I'm disgusted, those incidents don't reflect the club's image," Montpellier president Louis Nicollin said. "We don't speak about proper supporters. Those people are stupid."

Following a blunder by Nice's Larrys Mabiala, Geoffrey Dernis recovered the ball and lobbed goalkeeper David Ospina just four minutes into the game. Striker Victor Hugo Montano doubled the visitor's lead with his first goal this season before Lilian Compan capped Montpellier's triumph with a powerful strike.

In other matches, it was: Lens 2, Rennes 2; Lorient 1, Le Mans 0; Boulogne 0, Auxerre 0; Sochaux 1, Monaco 0.

Rennes went ahead after four minutes with forward Ismael Bangoura beating Vedran Runje from close range only for Yohan Demont to level from the spot after Issam Jemaa was fouled in the box in the 20th. Lens was set for a third consecutive win after Jemaa headed past Rennes keeper Nicolas Douchez but Asamoah Gyan kept Rennes' unbeaten streak alive with a goal in stoppage time.

Sochaux secured its second win with a penalty by Vaclav Sverkos in the first half.

At Lorient, Marama Vahirua's free kick left Le Mans goalkeeper Didier Ovono dazzled.

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