Dominated for large periods of the match, Olympique Lyonnais went down to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Valenciennes and missed out on the chance to climb into the top three of the Ligue 1 standings...
OL travelled to Valenciennes with the firm intention of finishing 2011 on a high. A fifth consecutive L1 victory would have sent the team off to Christmas ona winning note and in the top three on the table. Les Valenciennois, strong at their new Stade du Hainaut, were looking to climb back out of the relegation zone. The OL team at kick-off: Lloris; Réveillère, Cris, Lovren, Cissokho, Fofana, Källström, Briand, Gourcuff, Lacazette, Lisandro.
The Northern team were immediately dangerous and Danic fired just wide (3'). A minute later, VA again carved out a chance and again it was Danic who this time, put off by Lloris, made a mess of his close range finish. After a difficult start, OL started to find their feet and the lively Cissokho could have made the difference had he elected not to shoot from a tight angle and rather tried to set up a teammate (22'). Les Lyonnais then fell behind to a stroke of luck. Wrestling with Rémi Gomis to get on the end of a long free-kick, Aly Cissokho somehow sent the ball into the back of his own net (28'). However there wasn't too much arguing the home side deserved to be in front. Bad luck never travels alone and Cris then had to leave the field with an injury (40'). Les Olympiens limited the damage in a disastrous opening 45 minutes and could only improve in the second stanza.
Unfortunately, Rémi Garde's side struggled at the start of the second half. Valenciennes looked dangerous from every set piece. Briand created a chance, cutting the ball back for Gomis but his shot was blocked. Released by Danic, Aboubakar was within a whisker of taking the game byond OL were it not for excellent Hugo Lloris (62'). Les Lyonnais pushed for an equaliser but the hosts threatened on the counterattack. Jérémy Pied, very good after coming on, cut the ball back for Lisandro who smashed the ball against Penneteau's crossbar (77'). Luck had officially deserted OL. Penneteau was impeccable in the final minutes, punching clear Lacazette shot on-target (87'). In the final seconds, Källström let fly with a stinging half-volley that, deflected off Bako Koné flew centimetres wide with Penneteau wrong-footed. Les Gones went down to a 1-0 loss and missed a great chance to climb into the top three.