Soccer-Dembele on the spot as Lyon keeps European hopes alive

Olympic Leonis held on to their hopes of snatching European place for next season when Moussa Dembele’s opening goal gave them a 1-0 home win over arch-rivals St. Etienne in Ligue 1 on Friday.

Dembele scored from the penalty spot to take Lyon to 10th place with 31 points from 21 games, four points behind Europa League-held racing Strasbourg.

The result leaves St. Etienne in last place with 12 points, six from safety.

On Sunday, leader Paris Saint-Germain, who have 50 points and a second-placed Nice 11 points ahead, will face Stade de Reims at the Parc des Princes.

In France’s hottest derby, Leon dominated and was rewarded 15 minutes later when Dembele converted a penalty after being brought down by Timothy Kolodzizek.

Hussein O’Rourke had two chances to double before the break but it was the visitors who came closest to scoring, with Anthony Lopez striking out Mahdi Camara’s header in the 41st minute.

Paul Bernardoni kept his team afloat with a superb save in the second half to deny Tino Cadeware and O’Rourke.

Aouar had a second chance to double Lyon’s advantage but he skidded his late attempt at the bar as his team extended their unbeaten run in the league to six games.

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