first team / 2008

April: the charge is sounded

Published on the 26 December 2008 à 09:00 by CC

8 games before the end of the season, OL and Bordeaux were involved in a full long range duel. Lyon were focusing on yet another title of French champions and the hope of winning the first Double (League + Cup) of the clubs history.

In their race for a first Double, Olympique Lyonnais really had to hang on during the month of April. There was no way that they could slack off as Bordeaux were right behind them keeping up the pressure. Six points separated the two sides at the start of the month of April.

A pivotal month in the season where Lyon would have to use all their experience to go and get victories at Valenciennes 2-1 – with goals from Kader Keita and Sidney Govou then against Strasbourg 2-1 – with goals from Mathieu Bodmer and Fabio Grosso -. If Alain Perrin’s men come out on top after their visits to Nungesser and the Meinau, there are on the other hand swept aside at the Stade Vélodrome on the 19th of April for what was the big match of Week 32: OL lost 3-1 to OM. Djibril Cissé and Mamadou Niang, twice, fired the ball past Grégory Coupet while a free-kick from Juninho played into his own goal by Cana had brought back a semblance of hope at half-time.
One thing is now certain, this quest for a 7th consecutive title of champions will not be an easy one … If more proof was needed, during this month of April, OL are incapable of winning at home in the League : Juninho et al concede a draw to Rennes in the very final second of the game (1-1) then drop another two precious points during the last match of the month against Caen (2-2).
Outcome: at the end of April, Bordeaux still can catch OL up and beat them to the title. They took advantage of the 5 games in the League this month to pull back 2 points on Lyon and are now only 4 points behind OL.
Even if they are not in great form, Lyon are still on course to achieve their objectives: OL qualified for the semi-final of the Coupe de France beating Metz at Gerland (15th of April). The sole goal of the match was scored by Karim Benzema. But that night, the man of the match was playing in a Metz jersey: Gerland discovered Miralem Pjanic…

[IMG42940#R]During the month of April, the Champions League is in full swing. Manchester United, who knocked out OL, continued their root in Europe: after having brushed aside Roma in the quarter-final, the « Red Devils » took out FC Barcelona and made it to the final. The encounter against Chelsea would take place in Moscow.

International news is pretty calm during this month of April: the energy drink « Red Bull » arrives in France, the Paris marathon celebrted its 32nd edition and a NATO meeting took place in Bucharest.
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