Lyon striker Lacazette scores 2 to take pressure off coach
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 30, 2016 09:23 AM
Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette, center, challenges for the ball with Guingamp's Christophe Kerbrat, left, during their French League One soccer match in Decines, near Lyon, central France, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports Writer
PARIS (AP) — Alexandre Lacazette scored twice to pass the 100-goal mark for Lyon and take some pressure off his coach in a much-needed 2-1 win at Toulouse in the French league on Saturday.
With Lyon having lost five of its last six games, coach Bruno Genesio was under the spotlight and reportedly close to being replaced. After his second goal, Lacazette went straight over to him and high-fived him with both hands.
"We wanted to show the coach that we're all sticking together, even in the difficult moments," Lacazette said. "People will talk about me because I scored, but you shouldn't forget the work the others did."
Lacazette's first came from the penalty spot in the first half, and the second came in the 53rd minute after he ran onto midfielder Corentin Tolisso's defense-splitting pass and rounded the goalkeeper.
Having come through the club's youth ranks, the 25-year-old Lacazette has 101 goals in all competitions in 239 games. He is fourth on the list of Lyon's all-time scorers, one goal ahead of Brazilian free kick specialist Juninho.
"What he has done at his age, scoring so many goals, is remarkable," long-serving Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said. "We hope he signs a new contract."
During the offseason, Lyon turned down offers for him from English sides Arsenal and West Ham, with West Ham offering more than 40 million euros ($44 million).
He has nine goals in seven league games this season, but Lyon's poor defending is undoing much of his work.
Moments after his second goal, Lyon right back Rafael was sent off for a clumsy late challenge. But Lyon held on with 10 men, with Lacazette often tracking back to help out the midfield and almost setting up a third goal late on.
Toulouse dropped to fifth place while Lyon climbed up to eighth.
"It was a very difficult game, PSG and Monaco struggled here," Lacazette said.
SAINT-ETIENNE 1, MONACO 1
Monaco did enough to move above Paris Saint-Germain and into second place on goal difference, but missed two late chances to win.
Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier thwarted 17-year-old winger Kylian Mbappe from close range, and palmed away an effort from midfielder Gabriel Boschilia.
Center half Kamil Glik put Monaco ahead in the fifth minute when he steered in a free kick from midfielder Thomas Lemar. The equalizer came in the 18th through defender Loic Perrin, who made his Saint-Etienne debut 12 years ago.
PSG won 1-0 at Lille on Friday.
GUINGAMP 1, ANGERS 0
A late goal from midfielder Nill De Pauw helped Guingamp move above Toulouse and into fourth place.
What's also remarkable is that Guingamp is a small town in Brittany on the northwest coast of France with more fans than it has inhabitants. The club stadium holds more than twice the town's 7,000 inhabitants, with many fans coming from nearby towns and villages.
Veteran midfielder Alou Diarra is finding his scoring touch. He scored the second goal in a 2-0 home win against Caen that moved Nancy off the bottom.
He has never been renowned for his scoring, but has netted twice in three games since joining promoted Nancy, also scoring against PSG.
Lorient replaced Nancy in last place after throwing away a 2-0 lead in a 2-2 home draw against Montpellier.
Corsican side Bastia drew with Dijon 0-0.