Lyon return to French summit

After two and a half months in the unusual position of second, Olympique Lyonnais are on top in France after a derby win at AS Saint-Étienne took them above FCF Juvisy Essonne.

Wendie Renard's volley got Lyon going
Wendie Renard's volley got Lyon going ©AFP

Reigning European champions Olympique Lyonnais are back on top in France after overtaking FCF Juvisy Essonne at the summit.

Lyon, who did not drop a point in 2010/11 while also winning the UEFA Women's Champions League for the first time, fell to second on 30 October when they were held by Paris Saint-Germain FC to drop a point behind Juvisy, a gap maintained until Sunday. Lyon cruised to a 3-0 derby win at AS Saint-Étienne while Juvisy drew 0-0 at Montpellier Hérault SC and are now a point adrift with eight games remaining, four in front of PSG, who pipped the Essonne team to second and a European spot last season.

Wendie Renard volleyed Lyon in front at St-Étienne just before half-time and the player who helped set up that goal, Eugénie Le Sommer, made it 2-0 on 48 minutes. Substitute Lotta Schelin claimed the third with 20 minutes remaining.

Patrice Lair, yet to taste defeat over 90 minutes since taking over as Lyon coach in summer 2010, said: "That was great, the girls had a big game in difficult conditions. The determination of Wendie broke the deadlock. We are at the top of the league, we are in our rightful place. I knew Juvisy would be pegged back by Montpellier, who are a better team in my opinion. Now we must stay ahead by negotiating the last games well."

Lair's side, who face Brøndby IF in the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals in March, are the only one of the eight European contenders not currently on winter break or in close season.