Posted: Sunday April 28, 2013 10:50 AM

Lyon fights back to earn draw against St.Etienne

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PARIS (AP) -Lyon held onto third place in the French league after fighting back to earn a 1-1 draw at home to bitter local rival Saint-Etienne on Sunday.

A win would have moved fourth-place Saint-Etienne above Lyon in the chase for a European place, and the visitors scored in the 29th minute when center back Kurt Zouma headed in Yohan Mollo's corner.

Yoann Gourcuff, making a rare start for Lyon, equalized in the 55th after swapping passes with fellow midfielder Clement Grenier and flicking the ball past goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier.

Ruffier made a point-blank save from Bakary Kone's header from a corner in the last seconds, moments after Saint-Etienne midfielder Mathieu Bodmer's goal-bound effort was blocked.

Later Sunday, leader Paris Saint-Germain looked to restore its nine-point lead with a win at Evian.

The draw leaves Saint-Etienne two points behind Lyon and one ahead of Lille as the race for third place intensifies with four matches remaining.

"When you come to Lyon for a derby, it's always good to take a point,'' Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier said. "We're winning at home and we're not losing away. We will have to get a win (at home to) Bordeaux (next week) if we want to keep the pressure on the others.''

Saint-Etienne, which won the League Cup last weekend, was playing its fifth match in 15 days, but did not look particularly jaded and top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang went close several times after using his pace to make runs from deep.

Aubameyang, who has 19 league goals this season, went clean through either side of half time, but for once his finishing let him down as he put both shots wide.

"We created a lot of chances, but `Aubam' didn't have any luck today,'' Galtier said. "I think we could have scored more than one goal.''

Winger Romain Hamouma also forced `keeper Anthony Lopes into a save midway through the second half, while Gourcuff and Steed Malbranque also went close for Lyon.

Also Sunday, sixth-place Nice hosts last-place Troyes.
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