Lyon feel the fourth
Kone, Briand and Lacazette on target in win at Evian
Last Updated: May 10, 2012 11:03pm
Jimmy Briand: Helped earn victory
Only a capitulation in the final two games of the season will see Lyon miss out on fourth place in Ligue 1 following a 3-1 win at Evian.
Les Gones - who had already secured a Europa League ticket for next season after winning the Coupe de France - ensured they will almost certainly finish in the top four thanks to goals from Bakari Kone, Jimmy Briand and Alexandre Lacazette.
Remi Garde's side are now six points clear of both Rennes and St Etienne, and would need goal swings of eight and nine goals respectively over the final two games to fail to hold onto fourth.
Evian, who took the lead through Yannick Sagbo, remain in ninth place having already secured a top-half finish in their first season after promotion as Ligue 2 champions.
Lyon were lively from the first whistle and with eight minutes gone Yoann Gourcuff drew the first save of the night from Stephan Andersen.
But it was the hosts who found themselves ahead on 14 minutes, Daniel Wass crossing for Sagbo who reacted well to turn in a volley.
The lead lasted just eight minutes before Lyon pulled level, Gourcuff's corner nodded home by Kone.
And there was plenty more goalmouth action before the break, with Andersen making two saves in a minute around the half-hour, first denying Briand's diving header with an excellent reflex save, and then keeping out Bafetimbi Gomis' powerful drive.
Sixty second later it was Andersen's opposite number Hugo Lloris supplying the heroics as he put out a strong hand to stop Mohammed Rabiu firmly-struck effort.
Lloris also made a superb stop from Wass' free-kick on 66 minutes as the match remained wide open, and within two minutes the visitors were ahead.
Lloris started the move, booting the ball downfield for Lisandro Lopez to touch on to Gomis, whose cross was punched by Andersen into the path of Briand who had a simple task to fire home.
Rabiu struck the crossbar for the hosts as they pushed for an equaliser late on, but Lyon made sure of the win in stoppage time when Cedric Cambon brought down Lacazette in the area, and the substitute picked himself up to convert the penalty kick.
French Ligue 1
|1||Paris St Germain||37||80|
|15||Evian Thonon Gaillar||37||40|