An Alex Lacazette penalty and a goal from Corentin Tolisso offered another victory to a dominant Olympique Lyonnais… OL continue on their winning ways, even if not all was perfect...
OL are leading the league and will stay top no matter what the result against Metz. With OM's loss to Nice, Les Lyonnais can move four points of Les Phocéens and even take advantage of the result later in the day between Saint-Etienne and Paris Saint-Germain. FC Metz are sitting just above the relegation zone... A point would be a great result in the battle against relegation. OL have won 9 matches in a row at the Stade de Gerland and six in a row in the league... but they were eliminated from the Coupe de France by FC Nantes.
Both sides were without their African international at the Cup of Nations: 5 for OL, including Bedimo and 5 for FC Metz including Maïga. Grenier, Fofana and Rose were also missing for OL, while Metz were also without Krivets and BenYoussef. OL started in their traditional 4-4-2 with Ghezzal playing just behind the front two. There were changes for Metz with starting roles for Nsor (a first in L1), and Philipps…
Lyon quickly took control of the match. But it was Umtiti who had to be alert to deny Nsor (10'). OL looked good down the left. Fekir and Jallet carved out the first real opening. Jallet was lively early on. Flo Malouda, with a thigh problem, was forced off (24'). Metz pressed all over the park. Ghezzal was brought down in the area and the referee pointed to the spot, before sending off the Metz defender Milan and Lacazette opened the scoring. It quickly became Mission Impossible for the promoted side! Lacazette (hamstring?) was replaced by Cornet. It was a strange match… Cornet was denied by Carrasso… Umtiti picked up a yellow card for illegally stopping a Metz attack... OL dominated the opening half, but hadn't yet killed the game off...
Playing with an extra man, would OL take advantage in the second period? Metz fought hard for everything after the restart. OL had two great chances in a minute with Ferri and then Cornet. Metz stayed compact and organised, despite playing with ten men. OL couldn't translate their domination into goals. Gourcuff replaced Ghezzal. OL still dominated possession. Albert Cartier brought on an extra attacker for the final 15 minutes. Cornet saw another chance blocked... Gourcuff intelligently found Tolisso who blasted home the goal to make the game safe. Maxwel Cornet showed plenty of potential on his debut...
Without their star striker Lacazette for an hour, recorded another victory. Not everything was perfect… but three more points further secure their place atop the tree... It was a good day ahead of ASSE vs PSG later in the evening… and it will be even better if Lacazette's injury isn't too serious...
Lyon, Stade de Gerland39,000 spectators
Referee: Mr Thual.
OL 2-0 FC Metz (H-T: OL 1-0 FC Metz)
OL: Lopes – Jallet, Bisevac, Umtiti, Dabo – Gonalons (c), Ferri, Tolisso, Ghezzal (Gourcuff 65') – Lacazette (Cornet 34'), Fekir (Benzia 84'). Coach: Fournier.
FC Metz: J. Carrasso – Rivierez, Palomino, Milan, Bussmann – N’Daw – Philipps (Falcon 77'), Sarr, Lejeune, Malouda (c) (Ngbakoto 24') (Marchal 33') – Nsor. Coach: Cartier
Goals: Lacazette pen. 30', Tolisso 82'
Bookings: Umtiti (OL) 44', Sarr (M) 49', Rivierez (M) 50', Dabo (OL) 53'
Red card: Milan (M) 28'