News of all that's transpired on and off the football field
Olympique Lyonnais substitute Moussa Dembele grabbed a late goal to earn a 3-2 win at Girondins de Bordeaux in Ligue 1 on Friday and strengthen their Champions League qualifying hopes.
Dembele scored five minutes from time, after Bordeaux's Vukasin Jovanovic was sent off for abusing a linesman in the 73rd, to put OL on 62 points from 34 games, with fourth-placed St Etienne six points behind before hosting Toulouse on Sunday.
The top three qualify for the Champions League with the third-placed team having to play in the third qualifying round to enter the group stage of Europe's elite club competition.
Bordeaux were ahead at halftime through Jimmy Briand and Nicolas de Preville after Memphis Depay's opener for Lyon, but Maxwel Cornet levelled for the visitors who grabbed the winner through Dembele after the hosts were reduced to 10 men.
Netherlands striker Depay had tapped home from Cornet's cross in the 14th, rewarding Lyon for their early domination.
However they failed to add a second and Bordeaux showed more efficiency with Briand equalising with a volley in the 33rd.
Five minutes later, De Preville put the hosts ahead with an angled shot after escaping Kenny Tete and Tanguy Ndombele.
Bordeaux were punished for some poor defending in the 68th when Nabil Fekir dispossessed Jules Kounde before setting up Cornet for a close-range shot that put OL level.
Serbian Jovanovic was then sent off following a foul-mouthed rant aimed at a linesman and Lyon pressed harder, with Dembele firing into the top corner with a powerful half-volley for the winner 17 minutes after coming on for Martin Terrier.
Earlier on Friday, Ligue 2 leaders Metz were promoted to the top flight thanks to a 2-1 win at Red Star.
Leverkusen win again to reignite Champions League hopes
Bayer Leverkusen reignited their Champions League hopes with a 4-1 comeback win over Augsburg on Friday to make it three victories in a row and move within two points of fourth place.
Kevin Danso put the hosts, also looking for a third straight win under new coach Martin Schmidt, ahead in the 12th minute but their lead lasted only three minutes with Kevin Volland firing in from 12 metres.
Kai Havertz turned the game around three minutes after the restart and Jonathan Tah added a third for the visitors on the hour from close range after Julian Brandt floated a free kick into the box.
Germany international Brandt sealed the win with an 88th- minute tap-in.
Leverkusen are now on 51 points in sixth place with three matches left in the season. Eintracht Frankfurt, who host Hertha Berlin on Saturday, are fourth on 53.
The top four finishers advance to the Champions League group stage next season.
Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich travel to Nuremberg on Sunday while second-placed Borussia Dortmund, a point behind on 69, host Schalke 04 in the Ruhr valley derby on Saturday.
EFL asks Bolton to play last two games amid player boycott
The English Football League (EFL) has instructed Championship side Bolton Wanderers to complete their final two league fixtures a day after suspending this weekend's game against Brentford.
Saturday's home match had been called off following a statement from the players of the already-relegated team who decided to boycott the remaining league fixtures over unpaid wages.
"Following the decision to suspend the fixture between Bolton Wanderers and Brentford late on Friday evening, the EFL Board has determined that Bolton Wanderers must complete their two outstanding matches in the Sky Bet Championship," the EFL said in a statement https://www.efl.com/news/2019/april/efl-statement-bolton-wanderers2
"The club has been instructed to now make the appropriate arrangements for the rearrangement of Saturday's game at the earliest opportunity.
"In issuing this directive, the board is aware that a number of the club's professional players may not make themselves available but is satisfied that a team can be selected from the players they have registered and available to them."
The club, 23rd in the table in the second-tier competition, are also scheduled to visit Nottingham Forest on the final day of the season.
The EFL also said it was concerned about the current ownership of Bolton Wanderers and would look to work with both parties to find a resolution for the sake of the club and its supporters.
Bolton said on Saturday that Laurence Bassini, who had agreed a deal last week to buy the club subject to EFL approval, had failed to make funds available.
"Part of this (formal sale and purchase) agreement required Mr Bassini to undertake certain actions to ensure the club could operate during the approval process," Bolton said in a statement https://www.bwfc.co.uk/news/2019/april/club-statement3
"The principal undertakings given by Mr Bassini confirmed he would supply the short-term funding required to ensure the business can continue whilst the requirements of the EFL are undertaken.
"Despite further promises made to both the team manager and senior representatives of the squad, no funding has been made available to allow payment to the staff or players."
The club said Bassini gave assurances that money would be transferred but that they had received nothing in the last 10 days, forcing current owner Ken Anderson to transfer funds so that Bolton could play Aston Villa last week.
Bassini had said on Friday that he could not pay the players until the EFL ratified the deal and blamed Anderson for delaying the sale.
"I don't have control to pay them, I'm not allowed," Bassini told Sky Sports.
"The accounts are frozen. Ken Anderson doesn't pay anyone. I'm going to pay them. That's why I've transferred one million pounds ($1.29 million) so they get paid.
"Anderson was supposed to send across the shares certificate but he's coming up with lots of excuses. He cannot put any ultimatums; he does not have any authority to do that."
Bassini also promised the fans that he would not pull out of the deal.
"I want the Bolton fans to know I'm not giving up on you and staying with you guys," he added. "It's going to be fine everybody. This club is going to be safe and secure; I'm not going to let anything happen to it."