Lyons chairman criticises Perrin as leaders founder

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The Independent Online

The Lyons chairman Jean-Michel Aulas put the pressure on coach Alain Perrin and his players yesterday, just three days before the French champions welcome Manchester United in the Champions League.

"I spoke to the players yesterday [Saturday] and to the staff this morning," said Aulas, whose team go into Wednesday's first leg of the first knockout round tie after a 1-0 Ligue 1 defeat at Le Mans on Saturday.

"I felt I needed to point out a few things," he continued. "When you have excellent players and a competent staff, you need good results." Aulas criticised Perrin for resting several players on Saturday, among them the France striker Karim Benzema, who came on as a late substitute.

"I would have preferred to see our best possible team play against Le Mans and I also would have liked to see the players giving it their very best," he said after watching a sluggish display from the six-times French champions, still the Ligue 1 leaders. "It's worrying but I believe we can react and will do so as early as Wednesday."

The Valenciennes captain Abdeslam Ouaddou has filed a legal complaint after being racially abused by a supporter at Metz on Saturday. Ouaddou walked towards the stands at halftime to remonstrate with a fan who had insulted him, Valenciennes said in a statement. He was forced back on to the pitch by stewards and given a yellow card.

In Greece, Olympiakos, Chelsea's Champions League hosts tomorrow, went back to the top of the Greek Super League with a 1-0 win over bottom club Ergotelis on Saturday. But they were made to work hard. The only goal came in the 28th minute when Predrag Djordjevic scored after his penalty was saved by Iosef Daskalakis.

Darko Kovacevic missed a chance to make it 2-0 for the hosts when he headed over from close range and Olympiakos endured severe pressure towards the end.

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