PARIS - A superb first-half strike by Karim Benzema gave Olympique Lyon a 1-0 win at Caen on Saturday, making sure the seven-times champions reached the halfway stage of the Ligue 1 season in top spot. France forward Benzema grabbed his 10th league goal of the campaign when he fired in from a tight angle just before the break to give Lyon 38 points from 19 games. He was however lucky not to be sent off for a tackle from behind on Jeremy Sorbon with 20 minutes to go, escaping with a yellow card. Lyon, who had gone four matches without a win, are four points clear of surprise packages Stade Rennes. Two late goals gave Rennes a 2-1 comeback win at Brittany derby rivals Lorient. The home team opened the scoring through defender Jeremy Morel in first-half stoppage time before two goals in the last 16 minutes by substitutes Asamoah Gyan and Moussa Sow left Rennes on 34 points. Olympique Marseille, Girondins Bordeaux and Paris St Germain, all six points off the pace, play on Sunday. Lille are also on 32 points after a 3-1 home win over bottom club Le Havre, playing for the first time under new coach Frederic Hantz.
20 December 2008
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