Posted: Sun March 31, 2013 9:25PM; Updated: Sun March 31, 2013 9:24PM

Ligue 1 Sunday: Lyon's slim title hopes evaporate with loss

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
Lisandro Lopez
Lisandro Lopez of Lyon reacts in his side's 2-1 loss to Sochaux, a result that ended Lyon's title hopes.
Laurent Cipriani/AP

PARIS (AP) -- Lyon's slim title hopes have all but extinguished after losing 2-1 at home to relegation-threatened Sochaux in the French League on Sunday.

A defensive howler from Lyon defender Dejan Lovren allowed Cedric Bakambu to score the winner in the 88th minute.

Giovanni Sio gave the visitors the lead in the 50th minute, but Bafetimbi Gomis leveled for Lyon from the penalty spot in the 68th.

Lyon has slipped to third, eight points behind leader Paris Saint-Germain, which beat Montpellier 1-0 on Friday.

Marseille rose to second, seven points behind PSG, after an earlier 1-0 win over fierce southern rival Nice.

"It was a difficult match,'' Marseille coach Elie Baup said. "We could have scored a second to seal it because it wasn't easy to resist Nice's pressure.

"I know my team and it has a lot of qualities. People often criticize our game, which isn't always perfect. There are still eight matches to play, the fight will last to the end. They will be tense matches like today, we have to continue to fight for everything.''

Sochaux's first win in five matches lifts it out of the bottom three. It is two points above Brest, which lost 2-1 at home to Lille.

Sochaux almost took the lead in the 26th minute but Lyon goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre did well to deflect Sio's header onto the post. However, Sio headed Sochaux in front in the 50th after beating Lyon defender Samuel Umtiti to Ryad Boudebouz's corner.

Lyon upped the pressure and almost leveled in the 67th, but Alexandre Lacazette's fierce effort crashed off the crossbar.

The hosts were back on level terms moments later when David Sauget fouled Lacazette in the area. Gomis stepped up and squeezed the penalty into the bottom right corner, under the body of goalkeeper Simon Pouplin, who guessed the right way.

Lisandro Lopez headed onto the post as Lyon searched desperately for the winner. However, it was Sochaux which claimed all three points. Sio stole the ball off Lovren, raced forward and then put the ball between the Lyon defender's legs in a pass for Bakambu to sidefoot home.

Lyon hit the woodwork on a third occasion in stoppage time, with Pouplin pulling off a stunning save to turn Clement Grenier's free kick onto the frame of the goal.

Lyon is a point behind Marseille, which scored at Nice in the 14th minute when Andre-Pierre Gignac headed in Mathieu Valbuena's corner for his 10th league goal of the season.

Nice almost leveled shortly afterwards when Marseille defender Rod Fanni headed Eric Bautheac's free kick off his own post. Seconds later, Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda pulled off a stunning save to deny Kevin Anin.

Nice upped the pressure in the second half, and Didier Digard's free kick was deflected just past the right upright 15 minutes from time.

Lille leapfrogged Nice into fifth, after former Brest striker Nolan Roux came back to haunt his old team.

Substitute Roux, who spent three years at Brest, scored the winner 12 minutes from time, collecting a long ball over the defense from Benoit Pedretti and slotting past goalkeeper Joan Hartock.

Brest took the lead in the 10th minute. Lille goalkeeper Steeve Elana did well to keep out Florian Raspentino's header, but the ball fell for Benoit Lesoimier to cross for Raspentino to fire into the back of the net.

Salomon Kalou headed Lille level eight minutes later, however.

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2013/soccer/wires/03/31/2080.ap.soc.french.roundup.4th.ld.writethru.567/index.html#ixzz2PAbFyuqW

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

SI Videos
Videos from the Web
 
SI.com
Hot Topics: NBA Draft Yasiel Puig NHL Playoffs NBA Playoffs Mark Cuban Jabari Parker
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint