first team / AJA 0-3 OL

Choices... team choices... and individual ones...

Published on the 28 November 2011 à 10:16 by R.B/S.G

Olympique Lyonnais rediscovered their teamwork going forward to finally record an away win... The side welcomed back Lisandro and Bastos from injury while Gourcuff remained on the bench... Match analysis...

On the eve of the game, Rémi Garde cracked the whip as he put his charges through ther paces after some indifferent recent form. For 15 minutes in the freezing rain at the club's training complex, Tola Vologe, nobody piped up as the coach worked on shape to reinforce just how important the defensive block is, to leave as little space as possible between the lines... He rammed home the team's recent shortcomings...

It was a lesson that ht home, even if OL was put under pressure by an Auxerre side that carved out no less than six goal-scoring opportunities; even if OL if the final 3-0 score line was a little flattering; even if there appeared two clear penalties denied Auxerre; even if AJA hit the crossbar... But it was clear to see that the team spirit shown by Lyon remained intact as they stuck to the game plan and stayed focused.


Was it the coach's team choices that helped balance the side? Apparently yes. Gomis needed a break. As for Gourcuff, he remained on the bench after starting the last seven matches for one win, one draw and five defeats (one goal and two assists from corners). For Gourcuff's two other appearance this season in the Coupe de la Ligue, both times he came off the bench, the team was already winning against Nancy and ASSE. The Breton was replaced by Fofana in midfield and then Ederson further up the park...

Lyon also took their chances against Auxerre, scoring three goals from 11 shots (6 on target) with the return of two key players: Lisandro and Bastos. Lisandro who hasn't lost this season when he's started matches (four wins and three draws) scored his 46th and 47th Lyon goals with one important statistic: OL have only lost once when he has scored (his hat-trick against Lille two seasons ago). In the 35 games in which he's scored, OL have won 25, drawn nine and lost one. 47 goals including 41 to get the result! Above and beyond the figures however, is 'Licha's' contagious team spirit. The side can't help but be inspired and boosted by his irreproachable attitude and never say die approach. The Argentine could exist purely on his talent alone, but it's not enough for him. He also gives and lives for his teammates as his gesture towards Gomis showed after his first goal.


Impossible, too, to overlook the importance of Michel Bastos. Assist giver, goal scorer, artist! The Brazilian just confirmed he is all that and more this season. Six goal scored and six assists and a hand in many more, whether it's from a moment of individual magic or by working with the team. It's not unreasonable to suggest that these two players' absence has been a huge handicap for OL. Far from it. They are two players capable of making the difference, just like Hugo Lloris from Traoré free-kick. Or Lovren with his tackles at the back... Källström by his constant work in the middle of the park... Ederson, who's getting better and better...

"OL is back!" President Jean-Michel Aulas was all smiles after the game. We'll see if it continues. Sunday's side put a stop to a long run of four consecutive defeats on the road in the championship and ended a four-game winless streak. OL remains in touch with the leaders, just four games from the winter break and the midway point of the campaign. The disappointment of the draw with Ajax has not been totally erased but the evening in Burgundy did show OL the direction to get fully back on track...

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