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French league leader Paris Saint-Germain loses 1-0 at Lyon

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PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain failed to get over the disappointment of its Champions League exit as it lost 1-0 at Lyon in the French league on Sunday.

A wasteful PSG suffered a second straight loss for the first time this season but still tops the league with a 10-point lead over Monaco with just five rounds left.

Lyon midfielder Jordan Ferri scored the winner with a low curling shot in the 31st minute.

"The heart of this team is fantastic right now," Lyon coach Remi Garde said. "The players are 100 percent focused on the team. Everybody is shooting in the same direction."

PSG coach Laurent Blanc reiterated his support to Edinson Cavani, who has struggled in the lone striker role since Zlatan Ibrahimovic's hamstring injury.

"We must help him," Blanc said. "Great players think about the World Cup. They always have it at the back of their minds. He just returned from a serious injury. Obviously, he doesn't want to miss the World Cup. He must be more relaxed in his mind. You can see a player who's not relaxed and that's unforgiving in front of goal."

Elsewhere, Saint-Etienne lost ground in the race for a Champions League spot by drawing 2-2 at Reims to trail third-place Lille by seven points.

In the Brittany derby, Serge Gakpe fired Nantes to a 1-0 win over Guingamp, helping his team inch closer to safety. Guingamp lost its fourth straight league match to drop to 17th place, just five points above the relegation zone.

Blanc made four changes from the side that lost 2-0 at Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Cavani, who missed some good chances against Chelsea, could have given PSG the lead in the second minute but his header was deflected onto the post by goalkeeper Anthony Lopes. PSG left back Lucas Digne then had a goal disallowed for offside in the eighth after Cavani fell inside the box.

PHOTO: Lyon's Jimmy Briand, down, challenges for the ball with Paris Saint Germain's Gregory Van Der Wiel, up, during their French League One soccer match in Lyon, central France, Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
Lyon's Jimmy Briand, down, challenges for the ball with Paris Saint Germain's Gregory Van Der Wiel, up, during their French League One soccer match in Lyon, central France, Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

The defending champion dominated possession but Bafetimbi Gomis troubled the PSG defense with his power. The Lyon striker skipped past Digne and outmuscled Thiago Silva to drag a shot wide from eight yards in the 11th minute. He then fired a spinning shot straight at goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu from the edge of the box in the 13th.

The hosts capitalized on a turnover to take the lead. Ferri pressed high up the pitch and intercepted Ezequiel Lavezzi's pass for Blaise Matuidi to score from the edge of the box.

PSG missed the finishing touch while chasing an equalizer. Cavani could only muster a tame shot in the 41st and Yohan Cabaye shot straight at Sirigu in the 62nd. Lavezzi then beat the offside trap in the 72nd to collect a ball over the top from Thiago Motta but volleyed wide from close range.

Lyon was under siege but still threatened from counterattacks, forcing Sirigu to tip a half-volley from Ferri over the bar in the 70th.

Lopes preserved the win by stopping a curling shot from Digne in the 63rd and a point-blank attempt from Javier Pastore in the 85th.

"We could have played for a long time tonight without scoring," Blanc said. "It's a mental problem, it's a matter of attacking efficiency."

Lyon got back in the race for a European spot as it pulled within two points of fourth-place Saint-Etienne.

In Reims, Gaetan Charbonnier converted a low cross from Aissa Mandi to open the scoring for the hosts in the 24th minute. Franck Signorino doubled the lead by charging down the left wing to score from a tight angle in the 50th.

Saint-Etienne pulled one back in the next minute when Brazilian striker Brandao chested down a ball over the top from Fabien Lemoine to fire home.

In stoppage time, Saint-Etienne right back Francois Clerc salvaged a point by tapping in a rebound after goalkeeper Kossi Agassa saved a header from Loic Perrin.

On Saturday, it was: Rennes 0, Monaco 1; Lille 1, Valenciennes 0; Ajaccio 1, Bordeaux 1; Sochaux 2, Toulouse 0; Evian 2, Bastia 1; and Nice 1, Lorient 2.

On Friday, Marseille edged Montpellier 3-2.

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PHOTO: Lyon's Jimmy Brian reacts during their French League One soccer match against Paris Saint Germain, in Lyon, central France, Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
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