Lyon sees off Lens to extend Ligue 1 lead

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Lens, France ( - Lyon moved four points clear at the top of Ligue 1 on Saturday after notching a 2-0 win at second-from-the-bottom Lens with both goals arriving in the opening 30 minutes.

An own goal from Lens defender Jean-Philippe Gbamin handed Lyon the lead after 22 minutes, while Alexandre Lacazette continued his scoring binge with a successful penalty kick four minutes later, giving him 20 goals on the season.

Lens remains one point from safety with the defeat, while second-place Marseille hosts Guingamp on Sunday in an effort to keep pace with Lyon.

The visitors looked like the more dangerous side from the start, but they got a bit of help in taking the lead after 22 minutes when a cross from Nabil Fekir was redirected into his own net by Gbamin, whose attempted clearance looped over the head of goalkeeper Rudy Riou.

Lyon extended its lead just four minutes later when a cross from Christophe Jallet was delivered to the back post for Lacazette, with Lens defender Boubacar Sylla handling the ball as he attempted to head it to safety.

Lacazette made no mistake from the spot, sending Riou the wrong way to make it 2-0, while Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes came to the rescue just before halftime to clear a poor pass from Jallet.

Lopes also made a big save to deny Pablo Chavarria after he burst through on goal, and Lacazette nearly made it 3-0 in the 70th minute when he rounded Riou but could only hit the outside of the net from a tight angle.

Montpellier moved into sixth place after a 3-2 comeback win at Metz that saw Lucas Barrios score a hat trick, including a pair of goals in the second half to help Montpellier overcome a 2-1 deficit at the break.

Monaco closed to within three points of third-place St Etienne after edging Nantes, 1-0, with a 73rd-minute goal from Bernardo Silva, while Raphael Guerreiro's second-half tally was enough to see Lorient past Lille, 1-0.

Caen remains in last place in Ligue 1, but the club secured three big points on Saturday in a 4-1 win over Reims as the club scored three times in the first 30 minutes to move to within two points of safety, and Toulouse salvaged a 1-1 home draw with Bastia thanks to a goal from Martin Braithwaite 13 minutes from time.