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Lyon take another step towards Champions League return

  • Published at 07:42 am April 21st, 2018
  • Last updated at 03:06 pm April 21st, 2018
Lyon take another step towards Champions League return
Captain Nabil Fekir scored a superb goal as Lyon stayed on course for a return to the Champions League by romping to a 5-2 win at Dijon in Ligue 1 on Friday. Memphis Depay, Houssem Aouar, Bertrand Traore and Maxwel Cornet were also on target for the visitors in Burgundy, as a rampant Lyon claimed a sixth consecutive league victory. Bruno Genesio's side -- who missed out on a Champions League place this season -- are now just a point behind second-placed Monaco, who visit Guingamp on Saturday. Crucially, they are also three points ahead of fourth-placed Marseille, who entertain Lille in another Saturday game. "The aim was to win and that's what we did. This is never easy in Dijon," said Genesio. "We are pleased with the victory and to have scored five goals, but there are still a lot of things to fix." Only the top three sides qualify for the Champions League in Ligue 1, and OL looked to be out of the running after a poor run of form in February and into March. However, they have come roaring back on a winning run that has included a dramatic away victory at Marseille and has seen them score 19 goals while taking 18 points from a possible 18. This was the fifth away game this season in which they have scored five times, with Depay setting them on the way when he turned in a cross from fellow former Manchester United man Rafael early on. The Dutchman has now scored 15 Ligue 1 goals this season, with six coming in his last five games. A terrific Naim Sliti strike meant the scores were level at the interval, but Depay helped on another Rafael cross for Aouar to put Lyon ahead again five minutes after the break. French international Fekir, making his first start since returning from a knee injury, then dribbled into the penalty area before finishing neatly into the roof of the net at the end of a counterattack to make it 3-1 in the 53rd minute. Dijon still made a fight of it, with Sliti scoring again to reduce the deficit before the hosts were left furious when Wesley Said went down under a Rafael challenge in the box but no penalty was given. However, substitute Cornet came on to set up former Chelsea forward Traore to side-foot in Lyon's fourth, and Cornet himself completed the scoring with seven minutes left. Elsewhere on Friday, Rennes came from behind to draw 1-1 at derby rivals Nantes in a meeting of two sides fighting for Europa League qualification. Adrien Thomasson put Claudio Ranieri's Nantes in front before the break, but they then had Emiliano Sala sent off just after the restart, and James Lea-Siliki got Rennes' leveller. Rennes are fifth, in a Europa League qualifying slot, while Nantes are two points behind in eighth. Reims secured promotion back to Ligue 1 after a two-year absence, with the former European Cup finalists beating Ajaccio 1-0 to clinch the Ligue 2 title. After winning a fifth Ligue 1 title in six seasons last weekend, champions Paris Saint-Germain are at Bordeaux on Sunday.
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