Lyon sniff title on record breaking weekend

16th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 15, 2007 (AFP) - Lyon ensured they can wrap up a record sixth consecutive league title on Wednesday after securing a 1-0 home victory over Sedan on Sunday, a result that ensured another record was set in France.

PARIS, April 15, 2007 (AFP) - Lyon ensured they can wrap up a record sixth consecutive league title on Wednesday after securing a 1-0 home victory over Sedan on Sunday, a result that ensured another record was set in France.

Lyon hold a 17-point lead at the top of the table and can clinch the title if they beat Rennes at home on Wednesday.

However, the most remarkable statistic of this weekend of matches was the lack of goals. With just eight goals scored in the 10 games, six of which finished 0-0, the French league produced an average of just 0.8 goals per game over the weekend programme, beating the previous record of 0.9 set early in the 1986/87 season.

It is perhaps fitting that the French league has found itself in such a drab situation this season, where the most remarkable event is the breaking of an unwanted record.

The season seemed effectively over before teams had played even 10 matches.

By then, Marseille's early season promise had proved a false dawn - they had won five and drawn one of their opening six matches - and the dominant champions Lyon had opened up a sizeable gap by the quarter-season mark.

Since then the league has been nothing more than a procession with Lyon steadily incresing their lead up to Christmas, after which it has remained largely unchanged.

The victory over Sedan, courtesy of Hatem Ben Arfa's volley from Anthony Reveillere's cross a minute before the break, was hardly a surprise.

Lyon dominated throughout and should have won by a much larger margin with Sylvain Wiltord, Kim Kallstrom, Juninho, Jeremy Toulalan and Ben Arfa all missing good chances.

ortugal midfielder Tiago almost denied the French league it's new dismal statistic but his audacious lob deep into injury time hit the woodwork.
  
It all means that Lyon can start their celebrations if they beat Rennes in midweek, although for them not to be celebrating at the season's end they would have to lose every remaining game and Toulouse, second after a 2-0 win over Auxerre on Saturday, would need to claim a maximum three points in their remaining six games.

Saturday's action was anything but that with six of the eight games played ending in goalless stalemates.

Other than Toulouse's two goals from Achille Emana and Fode Mansare, Lille managed a brace in their 2-0 win over Sochaux.

That was all the scoring on Saturday but Nice and St Etienne played out the highest scoring game of the weekend on Sunday.

Nice eased their relegation worries and moved out of the bottom three with a vital 2-1 victory over the visitors, whose record 10 French league titles may soon be coming under threat from Lyon.

On Saturday, PSG also eased their drop zone concerns by gaining a valuable point at Bordeaux.

The point did little to help Bordeaux's Champions League push, although at least they did not drop any further out of contention as their main rivals were all held to draws.

For PSG, though, the draw kept them three points ahead of the relegation zone and manager Paul Le Guen looked at it as a point gained rather than two lost.

"That shows we're still in there with the rest of them, we're in the battle," said Le Guen.

"The fact that we've taken seven points from a possible nine in the last three matches is good for us but it's not enough, we need seven more points but at least it allows us to be in a better position."

The result left the capital giants in 16th place but having been deep in the relegation zone a couple of weeks ago, Le Guen will be far from unhappy about the result.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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