Paris (AFP) – Ten-man Lyon survived a late onslaught to earn a 2-1 away win at high-flying Toulouse in Ligue 1 on Saturday with Alexandre Lacazette scoring both goals.
It was just Lyon’s fifth win in 11 league outings this season, after coach Brunio Genesio was handed an ultimatum last week by club owner Jean-Michel Aulas to notch up 31 points before the winter break or face the chop.
Last year’s runners-up now have 16 points with eight games still to come before Christmas.
Lyon star striker Lacazette opened the scoring with a nervously struck spot-kick on 15 minutes against the run of play.
Toulouse’s central defender Christopher Jullien then produced a towering header, rising above the Lyon back four to meet a free-kick to level the game on 26 minutes.
But after the break Lacazette sped past two defenders to latch onto a long ball, skip round the 17-year-old Toulouse ‘keeper Alban Lafont and fire Lyon back in front on 52 minutes.
“Consistency makes all the difference at a big club and makes an institution strong,” Aulas told French television after the game.
“And I’d like to extend his contract,” he said of Lacazette, who scored his 100th and 101st goals for the club.
The 25-year-old French international was Ligue 1 top scorer in 2014-2015 with 27 goals in 33 games.
Toulouse went into the game in fourth and Pascal Dupraz’s side took advantage of Rafael’s sending off for two yellows with 30 minutes to go to lay siege to Lyon’s goal, without getting the goal they probably deserved.
On Friday a thunderous second-half strike from Edinson Cavani gave Paris Saint Germain a 1-0 win over Lille, as the French champions were made to fight all night.
The result saw Unai Emery’s PSG climb to second on 23 points, behind Ligue 1 leaders Nice, who have 26 ahead of hosting Nantes on Sunday.
Third-placed Monaco, on 22 points, travel to St Etienne for the Saturday late match.
It was a real moment of magic from 29-year-old Cavani as the Uruguayan controlled Angel di Maria’s pass with his chest, swivelled and unleashed an unstoppable shot for his 10th league goal of the campaign.