PARIS (AP) — In a frantic race for the French title, Lyon kept the pressure firmly on Paris Saint-Germain with a 2-0 win over struggling Evian on Saturday.
Clement Grenier's strike and Alexandre Lacazette's penalty in the first half put Lyon back at the top of the standings on goal difference from PSG. Both teams have 71 points.
Lyon, which has played one game more than PSG, struggled physically and relied on set pieces to prevail against Evian.
The hosts went ahead in the 21st minute when the in-form Grenier scored his first goal since returning from a long injury lay-off with a powerful strike from a direct free kick that goalkeeper Benjamin Leroy parried into his own net.
Lacazette scored a league-leading 27th goal from the spot in the 38th after Corentin Tolisso was fouled in the area.
"This is the final sprint, we know what we want and this is the most important thing," said midfielder Maxime Gonalons, a product of Lyon's renowned academy system. "We can dream of something big, finishing champions would be exceptional."
After winning its game in hand against Metz midweek, two-time defending champion PSG can move three points clear with a victory at Nantes on Sunday. Top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to return to lead PSG's attack after a three-game ban for insulting French officials.
Lyon was again without the injured Yoann Gourcuff and Milan Bisevac but Nabil Fekir, who has been one of the league's best players, had another impressive performance. The highly-rated midfielder provoked the foul that led to Grenier's goal and set up Clinton Njie in the 52nd as the Cameroon forward beat Leroy from close range before the goal was canceled for an offside position.
Fekir hit the woodwork 25 minutes from time from a free kick that Leroy tipped onto the post.
Evian's best chance came in the 71st when Clarck N'Sikulu missed the target with a header from Adrien Thomasson's precise cross while 'keeper Anthony Lopes looked beaten.
With three games left to play, Evian is in 18th place, one point from safety.