Lyon maintains lead after beating Saint-Etienne
PARIS (AP) -Michel Bastos scored from a free kick as 10-man Lyon won 1-0 at bitter local rival Saint-Etienne on Sunday, maintaining its five-point lead over Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille at the top of the French league.
Lyon was the better side in a close match but was dealt a blow in the 55th minute when defender Mouhamadou Dabo was shown a straight red card for butting Saint-Etienne forward Max-Alain Gradel in the stomach in retaliation over a foul.
But 10 minutes later, Bastos hit a swerving free kick through Saint-Etienne's wall to wrong-foot goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier and seal an impressive win.
Saint-Etienne has not beaten Lyon at home since 1994 and will rue the fact it squandered early possession.
Earlier, Marseille lost 3-0 at home to Lorient.