Posted: Sunday December 9, 2012 5:14 PM

Lyon maintains lead after beating Saint-Etienne

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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.

 
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