Lyon on course for third
Last Updated: 28/04/13 8:32pm
Steed Malbranque beats Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the ball
Lyon remained in pole position in the race for third in Ligue 1 as they fought back to draw 1-1 with fourth-placed St Etienne at the Stade Gerland.
A second-half Yoann Gourcuff strike cancelled out Kurt Zouma's opener for Les Verts as Lyon missed out on a third successive league win but stayed on course for Champions League qualification.
The visitors were guilty of wasting a succession of chances and will be disappointed to not get the win which would have seen them leapfrog their rivals.
St Etienne settled well and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's near-post flick from a Brandao cross almost caught Anthony Lopes out, but the goalkeeper saved well with his left foot.
Stephane Ruffier was also in fine form at the other end and the 26-year-old made a magnificent save to keep out Brandao's header from a Gourcuff cross.
Moments later Les Verts took the lead through young centre-half Zouma. The 18-year-old rose highest from a Yohan Mollo corner and glanced the ball beyond Lopes.
The goal sparked trouble in the stands and the match was held up for several minutes before order was restored.
Aubameyang almost fashioned a second five minutes later, but after dancing his way past the Lyon defence the Gabonese star fired just wide of the post.
Despite Jimmy Briand wasting a good chance from inside the area, the visitors held on to go in at the break one up.
At the start of the second half both Aubameyang and Brandao were guilty of wasting good opportunities before Lyon hauled themselves back into the game.
Gourcuff fashioned space inside the area for himself before seeing his left-footed effort take a nick off Zouma and finish up beyond a wrong-footed Ruffier.
The visitors were guilty once again of being wasteful with 25 minutes to play when Romain Hamouma turned a Bakary Kone cross goalward, but Lopes just managed to hold on to the ball.
Aubameyang's luck failed to improve and the striker saw an effort saved by Lopes before heading just wide of the post with minutes left as both teams had to settle for a point.
French Ligue 1
|2||Paris St Germain||26||52|
|18||Evian Thonon Gaillar||25||26|