Lyon missed an opportunity to make up ground on French league leaders Paris Saint-Germain as they were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Lille on Saturday.
A nightmare evening for PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp ended the French champions’ perfect start to the season on Friday but Lyon were unable to take full advantage 24 hours later against a resolute Lille side.
Saturday’s result left Lyon still five points adrift of PSG as Lille stretched their unbeaten run to four matches.
“We are certainly disappointed, because even if we didn’t deliver a great performance we still did enough to win against a team that sat back and defended,” said Lyon coach Hubert Fournier.
“We have to be a bit more clinical when we have chances to score. We had the chance to win but at the same time I feel like we are getting stronger,” he added.
Lyon striker Nabil Fekir has been sidelined after rupturing his ACL
Lyon returned to domestic duty without Nabil Fekir after the France international ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in his country’s 1-0 win over Portugal last week.
Lille entered the weekend with just one goal scored through their first four matches under new coach Herve Renard but Junior Tallo and Adama Soumaoro forced home goalkeeper Anthony Lopes into two smart saves in quick succession.
Mathieu Valbuena then came agonisingly close to netting his first Lyon goal since joining from Dinamo Moscow last month when his free-kick from 30 yards smacked back off the crossbar minutes before the interval.
Vincent Enyeama put in a solid display in goal for Lille
The hosts ramped up the pressure after the break but couldn’t find a way past Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.
A slick passing move on the edge of the visitors’ box found Valbuena in space on the right but his goalbound effort was tipped over by the Nigerian international.
Another Valbuena free-kick nearly resulted in the breakthrough Lyon craved but Rafael da Silva’s glancing header bounced back off the inside of the post with Enyeama well beaten.
Lyon continued their furious assault on the Lille goal right until the finish as Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa saw a header tipped over by Enyeama that preserved a fourth clean sheet in five for the northerners.
Later on Saturday promoted Angers put their unbeaten record on the line away to winless Lorient while second-place Reims can draw to within a point of PSG with a victory at Toulouse.
Monaco visit bottom side Gazelac Ajaccio on Sunday with high-flyers Rennes travelling to Nantes while struggling Marseille, who have lost three of their first four matches, host Bastia.
On Friday table-toppers PSG twice led through goals from Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani but an own goal from Trapp followed by another mistake from the German allowed Wahbi Khazri to earn Bordeaux a precious point in a 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes.