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Lyon slumps to another embarrassing loss amid fan anger

April 6, 2019

PARIS (AP) — Lyon jeopardized its chances of direct qualification for the Champions League next season with a 3-1 home loss to Dijon in the French league on Saturday, casting further doubt on coach Bruno Genesio’s future at the club.

The defeat came only four days after the seven-time French league champions exited the French Cup in poor fashion — losing 3-2 to Rennes in the semifinals at home — and provoked the ire of Lyon fans. They whistled their own players in the final minutes on Saturday, called for Genesio’s departure and even encouraged the rival team.

“It hurts a lot,” Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said. “It’s not acceptable to be against your own players. We are in third place, we’ll do the math at the end.”

Genesio, who was appointed in December 2015, will be out of contract at the end of the current season. He has been facing fans’ discontent throughout the season and Aulas has yet to say whether he wants him to continue.

“It’s a dark week for the club, we need to spring back,” Genesio said.

Lyon remained third in the standings, four points behind Lille, which has a game in hand and travels to Reims on Sunday. The top two teams automatically qualify for the Champions League group stage.

Dijon, which started the day at the bottom of the standings, moved to 18th in its fight against relegation.

The match started at a fast pace for Lyon, which quickly took the lead when Martin Terrier connected with a fine cross from Nabil Fekir down the right.

But Lyon’s usual defensive inadequacies were also on display and the hosts could not hold onto their lead for more than a minute as Wesley Said made the most of a headed cutback from Julio Tavares to level in the third. Said capitalized on loose marking inside the box to play a one-two with his teammate, dribble past two defenders and then beat Anthony Lopes with a clean finish.

Said struck again four minutes later on the break with a left-footed strike that took a deflection off Marcelo.

Lyon dominated the rest of the first half and Dijon goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson made two decisive stops, including an impressive reflex save that denied Marcelo’s powerful header from close range.

Lyon pushed hard for an equalizer and put on a fine display of attacking football after the interval but their profligacy in front of goal kept Dijon in the lead.

Runarsson made another great save to stop a header from Moussa Dembele on his line in the 61st, and Lyon was finally made to pay for its sterile attack when defender Rafael inadvertently diverted a cutback from Said to beat his own goalkeeper.

With a 20-point lead at the top, PSG is just two wins away from a sixth title in seven years and could secure the title on Sunday if it beats Strasbourg, and Lille fails to win at Reims.

JOVETIC SALVAGES DRAW

Stevan Jovetic snatched a late equalizer for Monaco against Guingamp to salvage a crucial point in the fight against relegation.

Without Monaco’s top scorer Radamel Falcao, Jovetic took the scoring responsibilities to cancel out Felix Eboa Eboa’s opener with a strike deep in stoppage time.

Monaco is 16th in the standings, eight points above last-placed Guingamp.

OTHER RESULTS

Despite playing with 10 men for about an hour following Jordan Lefort’s sending off, Amiens managed a 2-2 draw with Saint-Etienne after Moussa Konate scored twice. Amiens came close to securing all three points until Remy Cabella equalized in stoppage time.

Hatem Ben Arfa also netted a brace for Rennes in a 3-3 draw at Angers, and Nimes beat Caen 2-0.

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