Representative image

Lyon moves to top in Ligue 1 before winter break

Dec 24, 2020

Paris (France), December 24: Lyon climbed top of the Ligue 1 table after beating a struggling Nantes 3-0 on Sunday, ahead of former leader Lille on goal difference heading into the winter break.
It is the first time that Lyon has been at the top at the end of a year since the 2008-2009 season when Bordeaux ultimately ended its run of seven straight titles.
Lille also continued its winning streak on Sunday, but a 3-2 victory at Montpellier was not enough for the northern France outfit to maintain the pole position.
"This rewards a fairly exceptional 2020 even with the league cut short in the spring," said Lyon head coach Rudi Garcia, whose team has missed the continental competitions for the first time in 24 years after a seventh-place finish in the curtailed 2019-20 season.
"We also played a League Cup final, a French Cup semifinal, and a Champions League semi-final. Now we need to come back healthy after the holidays," Garcia added. "With this pandemic, the players had better be careful."
Cameroonian striker Karl Toko Ekambi scored only four minutes into the game to gift Lyon a promising start, before Tino Kadewerer and Lucas Paqueta added another two before the break to secure the victory.
Elsewhere, Christophe Galtier's Lille had to rely on a Burak Yilmaz's 86-minute winner to take three points at La Mosson stadium.
American forward Timothy Weah - the son of former Balon D'or winner George Weah - opened the scoring for Lille only before Gaetan Laborde scored the equalizer in the 57th minute.
Nanitamo Ikone's penalty put Lille ahead again, but the lead was canceled only two minutes later by Andy Delort. The decisive moment came in the 86th minute, when Turkish striker Yilmaz, who came off the bench, grabbed a winner to seal the match for Lille.
Also, on Wednesday, Paris Saint-Germain dominated the game against Strasbourg at Parc des Princes as Timothee Pembele, Kylian Mbappe, Idrissa Gueye and Moise Kean scored four goals to secure a convincing win for Thomas Tuchel's side.
The defending champion stays third in the standings, with one point off Lyon and Lille, four ahead of fourth-ranked Rennes, who pocketed its fourth straight league win after beating Metz 1-0 at home.
Source: Xinhua