Thanks to a hard-working Chelito Delgado and a goal from Karim Benzema (43'), OL beat Caen and were given the honary title of Autumn Champions.
Claude Puel’s men are on a run of four games without the slightest victory. This match at Caen could give Olympique Lyonnais the title of Autumn champions if they win or draw. As expected Kim Källström started at left back due to the suspension of Fabio Grosso.
The match had barely started when Fred was brought down from behind by Proment, who received a yellow card for his aggression. Karim Benzema fired in OL’s first shot of the encounter (6’) but his effort went well over the bar. The Normans replied soon afterwards with a shot from Gomis which failed to find the target from well inside the OL penalty area and a free-kick from Barzola which was curled in well but went just wide (10’). Lyon were, however, well marshalled but were lacking a certain amount of lucidity in their final gesture. Steve Savidan forced Hugo Lloris to dive in order to push away a powerful effort from twenty metres out (15’). Claude Puel’s players did not give up and Chelito Delgado came close to opening the scoring with a volley after a clever lay off from Makoun (23’). OL finally managed to break through thanks to their goal machine Karim Benzema who rocketed an effort past Plante after some great work from Chelito Delgado (43’). Shortly afterwards a cross cum shot from John Mensah obliged Planté to tip the ball over his own crossbar (45’). Mister Jaffredo brought the first half to a close with the score at 1-0 to Juninho and his team-mates.
It took Lyon over five minutes to start looking dangerous again after the break. A Juninho corner was flicked on by Boumsong forcing Planté to push the ball away as best he could. Makoun picked the ball up and tried to fire in a shot with his back to goal, but his effort went just centimetres over the bar (51’). Juninho carved out a great opportunity after some fantastic play from Fred and Chelito but Plante saved (60’). OL’s number 8 played in a great free-kick just in front of goal, in the ensuing melee neither Fred nor Benzema were able to poke the ball home (67’). Fred Chaves came off fot Kader Keita (71’) and Juninho for Sidney Govou (84’). Karim Benzema saw a final effort blocked by a defender and going out fot a corner (89’).
Lyon held on to their one goal advantage right to the end of the encounter and so are officially Autumn champions. Apart from this honorary title, it was the performance of Claude Puel’s players which was satisfying and which will allow them to go through their holidays serenely.