Champions Lyon gained a
point at Metz with a 1-1 draw in the third round of the French football
championship, but it came at a price, with Brazilian ace Giovane Elber
suffering a serious injury.
The first diagnosis on Elber was a fractured fibula and dislocated right
ankle, an injury, if confirmed, that would likely keep him out of the
rest of the season.
"We are worried. It seems serious," said coach Paul Le Guen, who
nonetheless almost offloaded the Brazilian last season when he declared
he was not enjoying his stay since arriving from Bayern Munich.
"It's a big blow for him and for us."
Metz, who missed a penalty, keep their place among the early league
leaders, Lens, Toulouse, Marseille and Bastia.
Lyon's defence struggled to contain Metz's early freeflowing attack,
Cameroonian Herve Tum shooting over after four minutes and Ludovic
Obraniak going close with a well-struck volley in the 18th minute.
Franck Ribery opened Metz's account in the 31st minute for his first
goal of the season.
When defender Jeremie Berthod fouled in the box nine minutes later,
Babacar Gueye's penalty was saved by Gregory Coupet.
In the second half, Florent Balmont came on for Berthod and scored in
the 66th minute after being put through by Hatem Ben Arfa, who himself
had replaced the injured Elber.
On Saturday Lens had taken a surprise league lead after a series of
upsets left the heavyweight contenders reaching for their headache
Paris Saint Germain were brought to heel by Toulouse, whose 2-1 win left
the French capital side still searching for their first win of the
Newcomers Caen embarrassed Champions League finalists Monaco 1-0, while
down on the south coast Nice were holding former European kingpins
Marseille to a 1-1 draw.
Lens saw off another promoted side Istres 2-0 to leave them with three
other sides - Toulouse, Marseille and Bastia - on seven points but ahead
on goal difference.
PSG's pretensions as serious championship contenders look a little thin
after this latest defeat which follows an opening day reverse at Rennes
and a 2-2 draw against Caen.
PSG's blushes were shared by Monaco who were unable to come up with an
answer to a 21st minute strike from Cyrille Watier, a minute after the
Caen player had been booked for a foul on Diego Perez.
Auxerre seem to be surviving well enough after star striker Djibril
Cisse's move to Liverpool with Guy Roux's winning 2-1 win over Sochaux.
In Saturday's early game Nice, with two defeats so far, did well to
claim their first point of the season against Marseille.
The visitors went ahead through France international Benoit Pedretti who
struck a bullet in the 47th minute, but Ivorian international midfielder
Serge Die level for Nice 15 minutes later from the penalty spot.