PSG beat Lyon to claim lead, Lille win
Paris: Javier Pastore`s cheeky second-half goal helped Paris St Germain to a 2-0 win over rivals Olympique Lyon and sent the big-spending hosts three points clear in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
The two sides had been locked together at the top before kick-off but Argentine playmaker Pastore, French football`s most expensive signing, continued his fine form by embarrassing Hugo Lloris at his near post following a powerful run.
Lyon`s Bafetimbi Gomis missed a great chance when his unmarked header drifted wide but PSG, who should have had a penalty in the first half, made sure of the win in stoppage time through Christophe Jallet.
"Both sides played well," Lyon coach Remi Garde, without five first-team players, told a news conference. "Right now PSG are ahead of us but there are still 30-odd games to go."
Champions Lille are just a point behind Lyon after ending a run of five successive draws in all competitions with a comfortable 2-0 win over Stade Rennes, whom they leapfrogged up into fifth.
Moussa Sow, Ligue One`s top scorer last season, settled home nerves with a seventh-minute strike following good play from England`s Joe Cole and Florent Balmont flicked in Eden Hazard`s free kick just after the half hour mark.
Last term`s runners-up Olympique Marseille, in good form in the Champions League but floundering in Ligue 1, could only muster a 1-1 at home with Stade Brest to lie 13th after nine games.
Andre Ayew, almost as important for Didier Deschamps` side as his famous father Abedi Pele was for Ghana, grabbed the 19th-minute equaliser at the Stade Velodrome following a well-worked move.
Romain Poyet had given Brest an early lead thanks to a mistake from home keeper Steve Mandanda and the visitors managed to frustrate Marseille throughout a disjointed game.
"We lacked the freshness to change rhythm and to put them under pressure a bit more, especially in the second half," Deschamps said.
"The situation is complicated. I hope nothing happens to my players during international week."
Montpellier and Toulouse failed to seize top spot on Saturday after a 2-2 draw at Girondins Bordeaux and 3-0 loss at Sochaux respectively, meaning they stay on 17 points with Lyon.
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