Lyon secures first win in new stadium in French league
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 10, 2016 11:53 AM
Supporters wait for the start of the French League One soccer match between Lyon and Troyes, which is the first soccer match at the new Lyon's stadium in Decines, near Lyon, central France, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
AP Sports writer
PARIS (AP) — Lyon celebrated its first match at its new Stade des Lumieres home with its first French League win in two months, 4-1 over last-place Troyes on Saturday.
Continuing its recovery under new coach Bruno Genesio, Lyon earned goals by France striker Alexande Lacazette, Rachid Ghezzal, Jordan Ferri, and Claudio Beauvue in the 58,500-capacity arena.
"It might be the most emotional day in my life," longtime Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said. "Tonight, the stadium was nearly filled out."
Lacazette, the league top-scorer last season, slotted home the first goal ever in the stadium that will host Euro 2016 matches, with an angled shot. Lyon's domination was then total, but Genesio's players lacked a cutting edge until Fabien Camus levelled for Troyes from 25 meters.
Ghezzal — an Algeria international who scored a brace last weekend in the French Cup — gave Lyon a 2-1 lead in mid second half with a superb strike in the top right corner. Ferri and Beauvue gave Lyon more room to breathe with 10 minutes left.
"I was born in Decines and I live nearby," said Ghezzal, referring to the area where the stadium was built. "It's a strong emotion, it's a stunning stadium. We really wanted to open with a win."
Genesio replaced Hubert Fournier during the winter break, and secured a second consecutive victory following the 7-0 thrashing of Limoges in the Cup.
The win ended a six-match winless run in the league, and provisionally lifted Lyon to sixth place, five points behind second-place Angers. Troyes remained at the bottom of the standings, 13 points below safety.
Unbeaten domestically this season, runaway leader Paris Saint-Germain has a 20-point lead over Angers after defeating Bastia 2-0 on Friday.
In the match between the league's two surprise outfits, Angers beat fourth-place Caen 2-0.
Monaco dropped to third place after coming back from two goals down to draw with visiting Gazelec Ajaccio 2-2. Ricardo Carvalho scored his first goal in the French league with a header to salvage a point for the hosts.
Former France midfielder Yoann Gourcuff did not score for Rennes but played his first game since March after recovering from a foot injury, going on as a substitute with less than 20 minutes left of a 2-2 draw with Lorient.
Forward Cheick Diabate scored the winner as Bordeaux beat Montpellier 1-0 away, and Toulouse prevailed at Reims 3-1.