Lyon claim first win of the season away to Rennes

Lyon’s Irish defender Jake O’Brien celebrates his goal which gave his side their first win of the season (Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS)

Seven-times French champions Lyon ended their wait for a first Ligue 1 victory of the season by beating 10-man Rennes on Sunday.

Fellow strugglers Clermont and Metz also won while a 90th minute goal from Jonathan Gradit gave Lens a 1-0 win over Marseille.

Irishman Jake O’Brien rose highest to nod in the goal that gave Lyon their first win this term on 67 minutes, after Rennes lost Guela Doue, sent off for a dangerous tackle just five minutes into the match.

“We managed to play a great game, we left our hearts on the pitch and everything we had in our bellies,” said Lyon coach Fabio Grosso.

Faced with 10 men, Lyon struggled to break down the 12th-placed side and a tetchy first half ended on a sour note with an altercation between Rennes coach Bruno Genesio, a former Lyon player and coach, and a member of the Lyon staff.

The second half was closely contested but offered up few big chances, until the decisive moment of the match arrived 22 minutes after the break.

Sael Kumbedi’s cross found the head of O’Brien who finally gave Lyon the breakthrough.

Despite some nervy moments at the end, when ‘keeper Anthony Lopes came to their rescue, Grosso’s men clung on to their first win of the Ligue 1 season.

Lyon remain bottom, but the result pushes them to seven points.

Although, the Italian said that he was “not happy today”, but would only be “happy in the end when I, hopefully, get the club out of this situation”.

Earlier on Sunday, Lille moved up to fourth after a 1-1 draw at home to Toulouse. Leny Yoro opened the scoring for the hosts after half an hour, only for the 2021 league champions to be pegged back by Thijs Dallinga, who got his third in three matches after netting against Le Havre and Liverpool.

– The strugglers win –

Lyon’s fellow strugglers Clermont also gained an important win at home against Lorient, who sit in 16th spot.

Shamar Nicholson’s penalty, in the 69th minute, was enough to seal his side’s second win of the season, lifting them to nine points.

Metz escaped from the relegation play-off position with a 3-1 home victory over Nantes. Kevin Van Den Kerkhof gave the hosts an early lead, but Moses Simon cancelled it out with 12 minutes gone.

Simon Elisor restored the Metz lead just before the half-hour and Joel Asoro secured the three points in the 85th minute as Metz moved up to 11th.

One place separated Lens and Marseille ahead of their clash on Sunday night, both sides needing a lift after a poor run going into the game.

Marseille had been under the microscope in recent weeks after the stoning of Lyon’s team bus and an insipid 0-0 draw last weekend at home to Lille, while Lens lost to PSV Eindhoven in midweek.

An uninspiring match was heading for a goalless draw until Lens defender Gradit popped up to head home Angelo Fulgini’s corner in the final minute to send the home crowd into raptures and lift Lens from tenth to sixth in the table.



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