- Associated Press - Sunday, February 28, 2016

PARIS (AP) - Coach Laurent Blanc criticized the attitude of his players after Paris Saint-Germain’s long unbeaten run finally came to an end on Sunday night with a 2-1 defeat at Lyon, handing the runaway league leader a first loss in domestic competition for almost a year.

Lyon’s goals came in the first half from teenage forward Maxwel Cornet and Spanish midfielder Sergi Darder, while Brazilian winger Lucas replied for PSG.

“Nothing prepares you for such an average performance - for want of another word,” Blanc said. “Lyon played very well and they were much better than us in terms of their attitude. They walked all over us and we had no response.”

PSG’s lead over second-place Monaco is still a massive 23 points with 10 games remaining, however, and Blanc’s side remains firmly on track to defend its domestic treble.

“We will have to use this defeat to get back on track against Saint-Etienne (in the French Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday),” said Blanc, who also blamed his coaching for the defeat. “We were expecting a difficult game, but not this difficult. PSG was far too average to compete with Lyon tonight, and that includes me.”

The win moved Lyon up to third place on goal difference ahead of Caen.

“We played an incredible match in every position,” Lyon midfielder Jordan Ferri said. “We told ourselves this was the time to beat them, and we held on in the last 10 minutes when they pushed hard.”

It was only PSG’s second defeat in 42 games this season - the other was a 1-0 reverse away to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Nov. 3 - and the first domestic loss since a 3-2 reverse at Bordeaux in the French league on March 15.

“Lyon played better than us, so congratulations to them,” PSG center half David Luiz said. “We didn’t play very well.”

Cash-rich, Qatari-backed PSG came into this match brimming with confidence and on the back of an unbeaten 46-game run in domestic competition.

Furthermore, Lyon’s task was made more difficult with center half Samuel Umtiti, right back Christophe Jallet and key midfielder Clement Grenier suspended; while midfielder Corentin Tolisso and winger Mathieu Valbuena were out injured.

But Lyon took the game to PSG from the outset, playing at a frenetic pace and struck first in the 13th minute.

The 19-year-old Cornet did brilliantly to take down a high ball on the left, cut inside and curl an unstoppable shot past goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who then made a late reaction save to keep out Darder’s shot moments later.

PSG midfielder Thiago Motta was lucky not to be sent off midway through the first half for clearly slamming his forearm into the side of Ferri’s head, but he escaped with a yellow card after Zlatan Ibrahimovic, captain Thiago Silva and striker Edinson Cavani surrounded referee Lionel Jaffredo.

Silva was left sliding into thin air after midfielder Rachid Ghezzal turned him inside out brilliantly moments later, only to shoot wide, and a lackluster PSG did not properly test Lyon goalie Anthony Lopes until Silva’s header in the 35th.

PSG’s defense was then undone in sublime fashion by Darder with just seconds to go until halftime.

The 22-year-old Spaniard cushioned a high pass on the inside of his foot and span around his marker in one swift and smooth movement before planting the ball past a helpless Trapp for a goal that Ibrahimovic would have been proud of.

After Lucas gave PSG hope when he scored six minutes into the second half, Trapp moved sharply off his line to block Ghezzal’s shot in the 60th as Lyon got on top again.

Earlier, Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic made several smart saves as second-place Monaco held on for a 0-0 draw away to Nantes.

Subasic denied striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson - twice - striker Emiliano Sala and United States midfielder Alejandro Bedoya in the first half.

Nantes is unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions and sits in eighth place, one point behind Saint-Etienne, which dropped to seventh spot.

Caen won 2-1 at Saint-Etienne thanks to second-half goals from strikers Andy Delort and Ronny Rodelin.

Gazelec Ajaccio’s home game against Marseille was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.


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