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


(Reuters) - Olympique Lyonnais maintained their hopes of snatching a European spot for next season when Moussa Dembele's early goal earned them a 1-0 home win against arch rivals St Etienne in Ligue 1 on Friday.

Dembele scored with a penalty to lift Lyon up to 10th on 31 points from 21 games, four points behind Racing Strasbourg who occupy the Europa League seat.

The result left St Etienne in last place on 12 points, six from safety.

On Sunday, leaders Paris St Germain, who have 50 points and lead second-placed Nice by 11 points, take on Stade de Reims at the Parc des Princes.

In France's hottest derby, Lyon dominated and were rewarded after 15 minutes when Dembele coolly converted a penalty after being brought down by Timothee Kolodziejczak.

Houssem Aouar had a couple of chances to double the tally before the break but it was the visitors who came closest to scoring, with Anthony Lopes brilliantly tipping away Mahdi Camara's header in the 41st minute.

Paul Bernardoni kept his team afloat with a string of great saves to deny Tino Kadewere and Aouar in the second half.

Aouar had yet another chance to double Lyon's advantage but he skied his late attempt over the bar as his team extended their unbeaten league run to six games.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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