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Lyon trying to bounce back from rare blip against Nice

Lyon trying to bounce back from rare blip against Nice

French league leader Lyon is winless in three matches and experiencing a rare blip ahead of Saturday's home match against struggling Nice.
Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Bordeaux was Lyon's first at home this season and marked the first time the five-time defending champion endured a second straight defeat since September 2002.
Club president Jean-Michel Aulas preferred to blame it on Bordeaux's rough playing style rather than any shortcomings from his own team.
"I didn't find our opponent's attitude very fair play," Aulas said. "Our opponents were giving out a lot of blows."
Although Lyon still has 50 points and a 14-point lead over second-place Marseille, midfielder Juninho feels the team "must react" against Nice.
Since the 4-0 win at Lens on Dec. 17 coach Gerard Houllier's team has scored once in the league _ through Fred against Bordeaux.
"At the moment, things are not going as well," Houllier said. "We have less success but I know that this will change."
Injuries have blighted Lyon, with forwards Sylvain Wiltord and Karim Benzema joining goalkeeper Gregory Coupet and midfielder Alou Diarra on the sidelines.
New signing Milan Baros came on as a second-half substitute against Bordeaux and looked threatening, and Houllier may start the Czech Republic forward against 19th-place Nice.
While Lyon wobbles, things are looking up for Marseille.
Franck Ribery scored twice and again combined well with Djibril Cisse in Wednesday's 3-1 home win over Auxerre.
Ribery would consider staying if Marseille secures a Champions League spot, but will likely leave otherwise.
Defender Julien Rodriguez believes the team has the right balance between talent and spirit.
"We know that if we are performing in defense, we have the quality in attack to make the difference," Rodriguez said. "There is a real group forming here."
In other matches this Saturday, it is: Sedan vs. Monaco; Bordeaux vs. Lille; Nantes vs. Lorient; Toulouse vs. Troyes; Paris Saint-Germain vs. Sochaux; and Rennes vs. Valenciennes.
PSG coach Paul Le Guen is already feeling the strain barely a week after taking over.
The two-time French champion is only one place above the relegation zone after Wednesday's 1-0 loss at Lille _ and is only that high because it has a better goal difference than 18th-place Troyes.
"The whole group was be united to achieve our objective of staying up," Le Guen said. "The future of the club depends on it."
Like his predecessor, Guy Lacombe, Le Guen has also taken to blaming referees.
"PSG has had an unbelievable run in terms of refereeing," he said.
In Sunday's games, Auxerre hosts Nancy, and Lens plays Saint-Etienne.


Updated : 2021-05-15 23:15 GMT+08:00