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Lyon looks to bounce back against Sochaux

Lyon looks to bounce back against Sochaux

Lyon hopes to snap its three-match winless streak in the French league and maintain its lead at the top when it travels to last-place Sochaux on Wednesday.
Lyon is without a win in the league since beating Nancy on Sept. 27. Since then Claude Puel's team has lost 3-0 to Rennes, and drawn 2-2 at home to Lille and 0-0 away to Auxerre on Saturday.
Still, after Marseille lost 4-2 at home to Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday, Lyon maintained its two-point lead over Marseille _ which plays at Nantes in Wednesday's 11th round of games.
"It (winning) will come back, we are not worried," Lyon defender Jean-Alain Boumsong said. "We know we're not brilliant at the moment, but I know through experience that there is always one low spell during a season. It's not the end of the world."
Boumsong has been heavily criticized for some of the sloppy goals Lyon has conceded.
"Whenever you let in goals, the defense is open to criticism," Boumsong said. "That is the case. But I don't want to go any further."
Lyon has 21 points from 10 rounds, while Marseille has 19 points and Le Mans, Bordeaux and Toulouse all have 18. Bordeaux hosts Le Havre in Tuesday's only match.
Sochaux's problems are far worse. Stuck at the bottom with six points, it is the only team without a win.
"I don't think this Sochaux team is in its rightful place," Boumsong said. "They are a very good team, and last season they had a tremendous second half to the season. They've started badly this year, but they have the ability to get into the top half again."
Meanwhile, Marseille coach Eric Gerets has been trying to appease tensions with star winger Hatem Ben Arfa, who refused to warm up when requested on Sunday.
Ben Arfa, who grew up in Paris, was upset at being left on the bench against PSG. He has since apologized.
"What I did was out of place but it was because I am competitive. As a kid you dream of playing matches like this," Ben Arfa said. "I have had time to apologize to the coach, to my teammates and the fans."
Gerets has forgiven him.
"We had a very long chat with the player," Gerets said. "The problem is resolved, for me the page is turned."
Also Wednesday, it's: Caen vs. Nice; Grenoble vs. Lille; Le Mans vs. Auxerre; Monaco vs. Nancy; PSG vs. Toulouse; Valenciennes vs. Rennes; and Saint-Etienne vs. Lorient.
PSG, going for its third straight win, will be assured of a rousing reception at Parc des Princes after beating its bitter rival Marseille so convincingly.
PSG also seems to have successfully replaced Pauleta in attack, having relied on his predatory instincts around the penalty area for years.
But new signing Guillaume Hoarau has added a different dimension to the attack by scoring three of his six goals from powerful headers _ making PSG a potent force on free kicks and corners taking by Jerome Rothen's accurate left foot.
Hoarau is tied at the top of the scoring charts with Lyon's Karim Benzema.


Updated : 2020-12-04 10:27 GMT+08:00