Centre-back Jason Denayer headed home a second-half winner as 10-man Lyon edged to a 1-0 derby win over bitter rivals Saint-Etienne on Friday to take second place in Ligue 1.
A largely disappointing game was decided by Denayer 62-minute header from a Memphis Depay corner, with the hosts holding on late in the second half after Rafael was dismissed with 20 minutes remaining.
Former Manchester United full-back Rafael ensured a nervy ending for Lyon as he was handed a straight red card for a lunging tackle on Yann M’Vila.
Home goalkeeper Anthony Lopes made an excellent late save from Remy Cabella as Lyon extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to six matches.
“I’m happy to score and help the team to a win,” said Belgian international Denayer. “The first half was difficult… But after half-time, we came back with more ideas.”
Coach Bruno Genesio will now turn his attentions towards Tuesday’s crucial Champions League group match against Manchester City at the Groupama Stadium.
Runaway league leaders Paris Saint-Germain will be looking to extend their 100 percent start to the campaign against Toulouse at the Parc des Princes on Saturday, although all eyes are on Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as they battle to be fit for the clash with Liverpool on Wednesday after suffering injuries on international duty.