PARIS (AFP) – Seven-time champions Lyon are the new Ligue 1 leaders after comfortably defeating Toulouse 3-0 at the Stade Gerland on Sunday.
Frenchman Alexandre Lacazette extended his lead at the top of the scoring charts with his 18th and 19th goals of the season while Nabil Fekir added further gloss to a perfect evening for Hubert Fournier’s side as they lead the table in January for the first time since 2012.
In Sunday’s other matches, Nantes were held to a 0-0 draw in Brittany by Metz, a result that lifts the Canaries up to seventh while Metz climb out of the relegation zone but only ahead of Evian on goal difference.
At the Louis II stadium, Monaco kept a grip on fifth place as they drew 0-0 with sixth-placed Bordeaux.
Previous leaders Marseille slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Montpellier on Friday while champions Paris Saint-Germain threw away a 2-0 lead and were beaten 4-2 by Bastia in Corsica on Saturday.
Those results left Lyon one point clear of Marseille with Saint-Etienne third, three adrift, and PSG surprisingly fourth and four points back.
“It’s great to be top after 20 matches but there’s a long way to go and it’s not finished yet,” said Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons.
“There are some big teams out there and we can’t let up because you never know what can happen in football.
“Things can change quickly and we just have to concentrate on our objectives. Alexandre (Lacazette) has been incredible and he brings a lot of quality, to score two goals in four straight games shows what he can do and it’s good for the club and our objectives.”
Lyon’s victory was their ninth straight home success and fifth straight league win as they edge closer to a first French title since 2008 when they won the last of seven in a row.
Lacazette’s closest rival in the scoring charts is Marseille’s Andre-Pierre Gignac who is now seven back on 12 goals for the campaign.
“The result is logical but severe,” bemoaned Toulouse coach Alain Casanova.
“We created some chances but made some mistakes which cost us, especially on the first goal which made the game more complicated for us and when they got the third goal it was all over.
“Today there was too much difference in quality between the two teams and Lyon definitely have the potential to be champions.”
Saint-Etienne extended their unbeaten league run to 10 games on Saturday, beating Reims 2-1 to climb up to third.