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Lyon thrash Lorient to move into Ligue 1 top three

Paris (AFP) – Lyon moved into the Champions League places and kept their slim Ligue 1 title hopes alive on Saturday as midfielder Bruno Guimaraes scored twice in a 4-1 victory over Lorient.

Rudi Garcia’s men edged two points ahead of Monaco, who visit Reims on Sunday, in the race to finish third.

Lyon can mathematically still win the title, but trail leaders Lille by six points with two matches remaining.

Second-placed Paris Saint-Germain can move within a point of Lille when they travel to face Rennes on Sunday.

Lyon boosted their Champions League hopes by dealing Monaco a severe blow in the title race with a 3-2 win in the principality last weekend, and they backed that up with a strong second-half display against Lorient.

They struggled to break down their relegation-threatened opponents in the first half, but burst into life after the break.

Houssem Aouar put the hosts ahead in the 53rd minute, before Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta’s header doubled the advantage 12 minutes later.

Bruno saw his penalty saved by Paul Nardi with 20 minutes remaining, but the Lorient goalkeeper had stepped off his line and the Brazilian scored at the second time of asking.

The 23-year-old completed the first brace of his professional career in the 77th minute, latching onto Islam Slimani’s clever flick-on to slot the ball past Nardi.

Thomas Monconduit drilled in a late consolation for Lorient, but they remain in danger of the drop.

Nantes, who occupy the relegation play-off spot, beat fellow strugglers Bordeaux 3-0 earlier on Saturday to move within one point of 17th-placed Lorient and Strasbourg in 16th.

Goals from Kalifa Coulibaly, Imran Louza and Randal Kolo secured the Canaries a third straight win as they bid to avoid dropping out of the French top flight for the first time since their promotion in 2012/13.

Bordeaux sit just one point above Lorient and Strasbourg.

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