Lyon held by lowly Valenciennes

(Updates after Bordeaux game)

By Jean-Paul Couret

PARIS, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Frustrated Ligue 1 leaders Olympique Lyon were held to a goalless draw in driving rain by lowly Valenciennes at Stade Gerland on Saturday.

Lyon coach Claude Puel complained he had asked for the game to be postponed but was rebuffed by referee Bruno Coue.

"It was dangerous for the players. Luckily they were intelligent enough to avoid injuries. We'll write that game off," Puel told reporters.

Four days after qualifying for the Champions League last 16 thanks to a 2-1 win at Fiorentina, the seven times French champions struggled without suspended captain Juninho and injured Ligue 1 top scorer Karim Benzema.

Lyon had most of the possession against Valenciennes, who are now third from bottom, but the waterlogged pitch prevented the home side bypassing a steadfast visiting defence.

Their best chances came soon after the break when Fred brushed the post and Ederson hit the angle of the goal.


Lyon top the table with 34 points after 10 wins, four draws and two defeats and their main rivals could not take immediate advantage of their failure to pick up all three points.

Nice, second on 28 points, saw their game against Grenoble postponed after rainstorms also hit the Cote d'Azur.

Olympique Marseille, third with 27 points, visit Toulouse on Sunday while fourth-placed Stade Rennes host Paris St Germain who also have 26 points.

Girondins Bordeaux have 25 points after also being held to a 0-0 draw at struggling Sochaux in Saturday's late game.

Bordeaux, who can still reach the Champions League knockout stage when they play at AS Roma next month after drawing 1-1 with Chelsea on Wednesday, had a setback before kickoff when France playmaker Yoann Gourcuff withdrew with a thigh injury.

In Saturday's other games, Monaco recorded their first win at AJ Auxerre in eight years thanks to Croatian midfielder Nikola Pokrivac's strike from 25 metres in the 24th minute.

Monaco are 10th with 22 points, two behind Le Mans who beat visitors Caen 2-0. Auxerre remain 14th.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)