Lyon were looking to build momentum as they faced Montpellier on Sunday evening, after an impressive week with victories against Marseille and Lille in the Coupe de France.
Montpellier thought they had gained the early advantage against the run of play with Akor Adams turning the ball home but he was denied by the flag. Before this opening for the hosts, Lyon largely dominated the possession but were unable to create anything meaningful.
The hosts would soon have the breakthrough they were looking for through Nordin. Sylla was able to loft a ball into the box from the left flank and the onrushing Nordin was cleverly able to head the ball home beyond Lopes in the Lyon goal. This goal put Montpellier into the ascendency – OL looked shell-shocked and unable to cope with the counter-attacking threat of Der Zakarian’s team.
Benrahma had his first shot in a Lyon jersey in the 32nd minute but his effort was tame and made an easy save for Lecomte. OL were awarded a free kick late in the first half which was hit by the Algerian which was not too far away but couldn’t test Lecomte. This would be the final kick of the first half with Montpellier going into the break in the lead.
With the resumption of play in the second half, Montpellier threatened to add a second with Savanier having the best chance of the opening stages. Akor Adams then had a glorious chance to score from three yards but Lopes threw himself in front of the shot to keep his side in the match. Adams had the opportunity of a hat trick during the match but just couldn’t take any of his chances.
On the other hand, Lyon couldn’t create any chances. With five in defence, La Paillade were able to crowd their penalty area and force OL to play wide. This made it difficult for Sage’s men to find anyone in the box and often found their crosses blocked by the first man or overhit.
However, a moment of brilliance in a crowded penalty area from Lacazette allowed Lyon to level. After receiving the ball from Tagliafico, the Lyon captain managed to dribble his way past two defenders before squeezing his shot in at the near post from a ridiculously tight angle. Cherki almost gave Lyon the lead but Kouyaté managed to get a foot-in to deny the second-half substitute.
As Lyon looked to force the issue, Caqueret completed the visitors’ comeback in the 82nd minute. The OL academy graduate hit a rasping shot from the edge of the area which crashed off the crossbar to beat a helpless Lecomte. This wonderful effort from Caqueret was enough to rescue three points for Lyon and complete a successful week with three victories.
Lyon player ratings:
Anthony Lopes – 5
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 6
Jake O’Brien – 6
Duje Caleta-Ćar – 5
Nicolás Tagliafico – 6
Nemanja Matić – 5
Maxence Caqueret – 7, Sumptuous is the only way to describe the midfielder’s winning strike. Overall, his game in a more advanced position was as reliable as ever and he led the press from midfield impressively to try and win the ball back for his side. His ever-presence in Lyon’s midfield continues to show why he is so important to Pierre Sage.
Corentin Tolisso – 5
Ernest Nuamah – 6, The Ghanaian looked like Lyon’s only threat in attack. His dynamism and ability to beat players on the right flank looked to be Lyon’s key to finding a way into the game. However, with little support from his teammates, his exploits were unfruitful.
Alexandre Lacazette – 6, Despite a rather frustrating evening, the Lyon captain still managed to find a way to squeeze the ball home and get his boyhood club back into the match. He looked a rather isolated figure for most of the match but in the way he took his goal, he showed why he is always such a threat.
Saïd Benrahma – 5, The West Ham loanee tried to stamp his mark on the game but struggled to make any immediate impact on his OL debut. Benrahma’s touch often felt loose with little space afforded to him – making him a peripheral figure within the match.
GFFN | Liam Wraith