Lyon were looking to record successive victories for the first time in 6 months as they hosted Lille at the Groupama Stadium in Ligue 1’s late Sunday kick-off. Meanwhile, Lille travelled to Lyon with the hope of returning to winning ways following a frustrating draw with Toulouse before the international break.
Les Dogues started the quicker of the two teams with the visitors having two early penalty shouts dismissed by the referee for alleged handballs. Despite these early moments of chaos, the opening twenty minutes offered any real opportunities for either team. Saël Kumbedi hit the bar following a big chance for Lacazette which was saved by Chevalier but the Lyon captain was narrowly offside.
Jonathan David gave Lille the lead in the 27th minute with a brilliantly taken finish to beat Anthony Lopes. Yazıcı brought a ball down with his chest before sliding the ball to the Canadian who was able to breach the OL defence. From Lyon’s perspective, it was poor defending which upended their growing momentum in the game.
Lille soon made it two with a rasping effort from Tiago Santos. Les Dogues took complete control of the game following their opener and Lyon looked helpless. A poor headed clearance from Henrique fell straight to the Portuguese right back who made no mistake with a stunning effort beyond Lopes. Any hopes of a second successive win to kickstart Lyon’s season became slim.
Yazıcı then had the chance to extend Lille’s lead and put the game to bed but he flashed an effort over the bar following some good build-up play between Zhegrova and David. Tino Kadewere had the opportunity to reduce Lille’s lead with a near post header from a corner but he hit his shoulder and couldn’t trouble Chevalier. The visitors went into the break two goals to the good.
Lyon made three changes at the break including Lacazette being replace by Mama Baldé. Cherki was also brought into the fray at halftime. Haraldsson had the first big chance of the second half as the Icelandic attacking midfielder managed to find space in the area and fire an effort goalwards but Lopes was able to palm it away. David, running in on goal, then had a shot from a tight angle saved by the Portuguese stopper.
Mama Baldé really should have reduced Lille’s lead with a header from 4 yards out after a great flick on from a corner, but he rather embarrassingly headed over. Tino Kadewere was then played in one-one with Chevalier but the Lille stopper was out franetically to close down the opportunity and the Zimbabwean striker couldn’t find the back of the net. Baldé then had another opportunity following a terrible mistake at the back but his effort was once again inadequate.
In search of changing the game, Grosso reverted to a 3 at the back formation for Lyon. However, this failed to improve matters as Les Gones struggled to advance the ball beyond the first line of Lille’s press. The visitors once again then regained control of the game.
Chelsea loanee Diego Moreira had a great opportunity after escaping in behind from a terrific long ball from Lopes but Tiago Santos showed great recovery pace to put the former Benfica winger off and see him put his shot into the side netting. Up the other end, Cabella almost made it three after Haraldsson picked him out unmarked in the box but his sweeping shot was narrowly wide.
As the stadium emptied towards the final whistle, Lyon were unable to place any dent in Lille and found themselves on the losing end once again following an solid performance from Paulo Fonseca’s team.
Lyon player ratings:
Anthony Lopes – 5
Saël Kumbedi – 5
Sinaly Diomandé – 5
Jake O’Brien – 6, The Irish centre-back was by far Lyon’s best defender and did well despite Lille breaching the defence on several occasions. O’Brien appears to be improving game-on-game and is impressive in one-on-one situations.
Henrique – 4
Skelly Alvero – 5
Maxence Caqueret – 5
Mahamadou Diawara – 5
Tino Kadewere – 4
Alexandre Lacazette – 4, The Lyon captain once again looked a frustrated figure in the centre of attack. After being reinstated to the starting eleven, the striker was unable to find his way into any positions or scenarios of danger to punish Lille. He was substituted at half-time.
Ernest Nuamah – 6, The Ghanaian looked to be Lyon’s only outlet in forward areas despite being moved to his unfavoured side on the left flank. Despite looking dangerous on the ball, he was unable to create anything meaningful – often isolated or double-marked.
Lille player ratings:
Lucas Chevalier – 6
Tiago Santos – 7, The right back’s incredible effort from distance was delightful and gave Lille real control of the match. Beyond the goal, his overall performance was solid with impressive defensive and attacking contributions.
Lenny Yoro – 7
Alexsandro – 6
Gabriel Gudmundsson – 5
Nabil Bentaleb – 6
Angel Gomes – 6
Edon Zhegrova – 7, The Kosovan appeared to be involved in most of Lille’s promising attacking moves and struck up a great understanding with Yazıcı and David in forward areas. He gave Saël Kumbedi some real problems particularly in the first half.
Yusuf Yazıcı – 7
Ivan Cavaleiro – 6
Jonathan David – 7, The Canadian ended his 3 month Ligue 1 goal drought with an expertly taken goal to give the Lille the lead. The goal seemed to give David confidence as he grew into the game and led the line with aplomb when dropping deep to make things happen and moving into the channels.
GFFN | Liam Wraith