PARIS: Rudi Garcia got off to a disappointing start as Olympique Lyonnais coach and Paris St-Germain’s closest rivals all faltered in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Garcia, who was appointed in place of the sacked Sylvinho on Monday, could only watch as his new side was held 0-0 at home by modest Dijon, the league’s bottom team.

It stretched Lyon’s winless run in the league to eight games and left the side 16th in the 20-team division, 14 points behind leaders PSG after 10 games.

The 55-year-old Garcia was not given the friendliest welcome as Lyon fans remembered his tenure in charge of bitter rivals Olympique de Marseille and St Etienne. Garcia left Marseille after three seasons in May.

PSG beat nine-man Nice 4-1 on Friday to move five points clear of second-placed Nantes, who fell to a 1-0 loss at Metz on Saturday.

Nantes went into the game off the back of three consecutive 1-0 victories, but saw Molla Wague dismissed in the 62nd minute and Habib Diallo grabbed a winner for Metz with four minutes to play.

Nantes remain second in the table, despite having only scored nine goals in 10 league matches this season, as Angers lost 1-0 at home to Brest, allowing Reims move third with a 1-0 win at home over Montpellier.

Any hopes of a competitive title race appear all but over with PSG already well clear despite struggling with injuries so far this term.

Last year’s runners-up Lille are down in sixth place, nine points adrift of Thomas Tuchel’s PSG, after a 2-1 defeat by Toulouse left them still without a win on the road.

Defender Arturo Calabresi snatched a point for Amiens as they drew 1-1 with Nimes, blasting the ball home in the fifth minute of stoppage time after the home side failed to clear a corner to cancel out a first-half goal form Pablo Martinez.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2019