15.02.2015 23:24 h

Lorient stop Lyon for Ligue 1 status quo

Leaders Lyon failed to take advantage of stalemates by chasing Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille being held to a 1-1 draw at Lorient in Ligue 1 action on Sunday.

PSG and Marseille, who were both held 2-2 over the weekend, remain two points behind Lyon, who have 51 points from 25 games.

A Jordan Ayew header early in the second half stunned the French leaders before they grabbed a point when Clinton N'Jie levelled with 12 minutes to go.

The Ghanaian forward, playing his first game since losing to the Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations final, was at the end of a Benjamin Jeannot cross to net his seventh goal of the season just five minutes after coming on at halftime.

Struggling in Brittany, Lyon relied on N'Jie to find the net at a time when a goal seemed unlikely.

The young forward profited from a Wesley Lautoa mistake, exploited by Yoann Gourcuff and Henri Bedimo, to apply a low finish past keeper Benjamin Lecomte.

Jeannot, who has netted six goals in his last ten Ligue 1 games, was the first in action.

Just three minutes into the game, the Lorient forward went through on goal but was denied by a diving Anthony Lopes at the first attempt and Samuel Umtiti on the rebound.

Ten minutes later, it was Rafidine Abdullah's turn to give Lyon a fright with a 25-yard screamer that rattled Lopes' crossbar.

Lyon had to wait for the 35th minute to get their first chance, but Nabil Fekir's low shot didn't worry Lecomte.

Before that, Jeannot was again at the end of a superb collective display from Vincent Le Goff, Walid Mesloud and Raphael Guerreiro.

But Umtiti was on hand to deflect the effort.

The U23 France defender could only watch minutes later as Jeannot's glancing header flew just wide of the far post.

Lorient played with fire after N'Jie's equaliser and can thank keeper Lecomte for a fine save as Christophe Jallet's curled strike looked like it was looping into the top corner with only five minutes remaining on the clock.

The draw prevents Lyon from widening the gap at the top of the table, but it allowed Lorient to leapfrog Toulouse to sit 16th with 28 points, two points above the first relegation spot.

Earlier, Bordeaux defeated Saint-Etienne 1-0 to help their chances of European football next season.

A 42nd minute strike from Diego Rolan, which 'handcuffed' goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier, lifted Willy Sagnol's side level on 40 points with Monaco and one point behind fourth-placed Saint-Etienne.

It was Bordeaux's first win at home since December 6, while Saint-Etienne failed to win in the league for the fifth straight outing.

"It's a great success against one of our direct rivals," said delighted Bordeaux coach Sagnol.

"We knew the importance of this match and could have been seven points back but now we're only one back which is within our capacities."

Guingamp added to Metz' woes with a 2-0 victory away from home. Goals from Christophe Mandanne and Jeremy Pied helped the Brittany side jump to the 10th place.

Metz, who are in search of the first goal in five games, remain bottom of the league.