PARIS - Olympique Lyon's hopes of an eighth successive crown all but vanished when a double strike by Johan Audel led Valenciennes to a 2-0 home win over the champions. "It is over for the title," Lyon defender Cris told Foot Plus channel. "We were rubbish today. "Lyon are not a great team any more," added the Brazilian. Third-placed Lyon have 61 points while Toulouse are fifth on 58. Two deflected efforts by Mamadou Niang helped Olympique Marseille draw 2-2 with Toulouse to extend their Ligue 1 lead to three points on Saturday. The league's top scorer Andre-Pierre Gignac took his tally this season to 21 goals by twice putting visitors Toulouse ahead after the interval. Coach Eric Gerets received a warm welcome from Marseille's fans after he said this week he would leave the club at the end of the season. After a sluggish first half the leaders put Toulouse under heavy pressure in the second period but found their former goalkeeper Cedric Carraso in top form. CLOSE RANGE Gignac put the visitors in front when he scored from close range after dribbling past Marseille defender Hilton in the area. Marseille, who had won their previous six league games, levelled when a Niang header hit a Toulouse defender before going in after 63 minutes. Gignac restored Toulouse's advantage before Mauro Cetto deflected in a Niang shot that looked as if it was going wide in the 73rd minute. "We will see tomorrow if we have let two points slip from our fingers tonight," Belgian Gerets told Orange Sport channel. "But when you draw after being led twice by a good team you can be happy." At Valenciennes, Audel scored twice from close range midway through the first half. The unmarked Audel then wasted a hat-trick chance five minutes into the second period when his header from a few metres out flew over the bar.
2 May 2009
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