PARIS - Leaders Olympique Lyon tightened their grip on Ligue 1 with a 2-1 home win over Girondins Bordeaux on Sunday that moved them seven points clear at the top of the table. Goals by Ligue 1 top scorer Karim Benzema and Kim Kallstrom gave the seven-times champions 33 points from 14 games despite Bordeaux, now sixth on 24 points, dominating throughout but only scoring late through Fernando Cavenaghi. Second-placed Olympique Marseille stayed on 26 points after wasting a two-goal lead when they slumped to a 3-2 home defeat by Lorient on Saturday. Stade Rennes moved up to third place after they extended their unbeaten streak to 12 league games with a 2-1 home win over Monaco on Sunday. The Brittany side, who won thanks to goals by Moussa Sow and Jimmy Briand before Leandro Cufre's penalty pulled one back for the visitors, have 25 points, the same as Nice and Toulouse but are ahead on goal difference. NINTH GOAL FOR BENZEMA The champions reached the interval with a two-goal lead despite being pressured by attack-minded Bordeaux for most of the first half. Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris twice saved the leaders early on, first clearing a close-range effort by Geraldo Wendel in the 10th minute before diverting a 30-metre drive by Yoann Gourcuff over his bar in the 23rd. Benzema then opened the scoring ten minutes later with his ninth league goal of the season after exchanging a neat one-two with Brazil's Fred to score from close range. Sweden midfielder Kallstrom made it 2-0 soon after with a 38th-minute deflected shot from the edge of the area that looped over the head of goalkeeper Matthieu Valverde. Bordeaux resumed their domination after the break only for Brazilian Wendel to volley just wide from inside the box in the 52nd minute. Last season's runners-up finally found the back of the net when substitute Fernando Cavenaghi turned in a free-kick from Wendel to score his eight league goal nine minutes from time. "We gave Benzema some space only once and it made the difference. That was the turning point in the game," Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc told French TV channel Canal Plus. "But even if they are nine points ahead of us tonight, I am still convinced we can catch up with them," he added.
16 November 2008
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