Le Championnat leaders RC Lens slipped to their first defeat of the year on Wednesday when they were beaten 1-0 at AJ Auxerre.
Superb winning goal
Auxerre dominated for most of the match and sealed the win with a superb goal by Olivier Kapo-Obou in the 66th minute. For Lens, it was only their second league defeat of the season, having won five of their last six outings. Their lead at the top of the French first division was cut to seven points after Sonny Anderson scored twice as Olympique Lyonnais salvaged a last-gasp 2-2 draw at lowly Stade Rennais FC. Brazilian Anderson, who opened the scoring on 18 minutes, got his second after a swift counterattack in injury time to save Lyon from a defeat which would have severely jeopardised their title chances.
Lyon finished the match with ten players after Anderson's fellow countryman Edmílson was sent off on the half-hour mark for a foul on striker Toifilou Maoulida that resulted in a penalty. Laurent Battles converted the spot-kick, six minutes after he set up Dominique Arribagé's 24th-minute equaliser.
Like Lens, defending champions FC Nantes Atlantique saw their unbeaten run this year halted at FC Metz, where they lost 2-0 in a one-sided game. Grégory Proment scored just before the break and Christophe Bastien sealed victory with the second in injury time to give Metz their first win under new coach Gilbert Gress. Inconsistent Olympique de Marseille won 2-1 at home against En Avant Guingamp, thanks to goals from new signings Lamine Sakho, in the 21st minute, and Spaniard Alberto Rivera, in the 70th. Guingamp finished the game with ten men after defender Romain Ferrier went off after two bookings.
FC Lorient were the only other victors on a busy night of French football. A Nicolas Esceth-N'Zi goal three minutes from time saw off the challenge of Montpellier Hérault SC, while CS Sedan-Ardennes failed to ease their relegation fears as they were held 1-1 at Lille OSC. Sedan's Julien Poueys opened the scoring nine minutes in but his effort was cancelled out by Mile Sterjowski just before the interval.
A second-half goal from Alex Nyarko rescued a point for AS Monaco FC at SC Bastia, who had opened the scoring through a Tony Vairelles spot-kick in the 33rd minute. FC Sochaux-Montbéliard and ES Troyes Aube Champagne shared four goals in Wednesday's remaining game.
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