In total control during the first half, but unable to make the game safe, OL fell apart in the second half... Unbelievable... The 2-1 loss ended a run of 11 matches without defeat... A warning...
OL were playing the first of three consecutive away matches and were undefeated in their last 11 matches. They came into the game knowing that OM had lost to Caen on Friday night. It was the chance to move seven points clear of the Phocéen club and sit back to enjoy Sunday's clash between ASM and PSG. It was, above all, the chance to strike another blow in the title race. LOSC are struggling and need the points to avoid getting sucked down into a relegation dog fight...
OL were still without Grenier, Fofana, Mvuemba and Bisevac. Jallet was back. Hubert Fournier pulled a surprise by starting Ghezzal at the point of the midfield diamond, ahead of Gourcuff who started on the bench. In the Lille side, Girard went with an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation.
The roof was shot at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy for the game. OL made the perfect start when Fekir's corner was swept home by Tolisso after Jallet had dummied the ball at the front post. OL were in complete control early on, winning the challenges and passing the ball around confidently and even striking on the counterattack. LOSC were really struggling when they finally won back possession. Overrun in midfield, the home side was turning over possession too quickly. But OL failed to put away the chances that came their way with two or three potential openings falling foul of poor choices in the final ball... LOSC reorganised their midfield when Mendes made way for Delaplace and they switched to a 4-4-, the same as OL! The opening 45 minutes were totally dominated by Ghezzal and Co... there wasn't a cloud on the horizon...
The second half started with a Lopes save to deny Les Dogues a potential equaliser. The match fell victim of a number of fouls, 32 after just 54 minutes! Gueye, took advantage of good lead up play to equalise... OL were caught sleeping... And Lopes then beat Lopes with a great solo goal. OL's defence was again caught napping. OL were behind and struggled to get a foot hold. Hubert Fournier brought on Gourcuff and Malbranque for Ghezzal and Ferri. Some experience to get moving forward again? Lille wanted it more. Bedimo forced Enyeama into action. Lopes made a typically miraculous save to deny Delaplace a third for LOSC. OL came back into the game in the crazy final stages. OL looked for the equaliser, LOSC looked for the KO. Lopes' talent caused panic in the OL ranks. NJie came on for Gonalons… OL pushed hard… Jallet drew another superb save from Enyeama. But there was no change to the scoring and Lille held on for the win...
OL were unable to overcome Lille in a match in which they showed two very disparate sides to their game. They failed to take advantage of OM's slip up and are now under pressure from Paris who play on Sunday night in Monaco…
Lille, Stadium Nord, 35,000 spectators; Referee: Mr Jaffredo. LOSC 2-1 OL 1 (H-T: LOSC 0-1 OL).
LOSC: Enyeama – Corchia, Kjaer, Basa, Beria – Mavuba (c), Gueye – Mendes (Delaplace 38'), Lopes, Origi (Diaby 89') – Koubemba. Coach: Girard.
OL: Lopes – Jallet, K. Koné, Umtiti, Bedimo – Gonalons (c) (NJie 81'), Ferri (Malbranque 66'), Tolisso, Ghezzal (Gourcuff 66') – Fekir, Lacazette. Coach: Fournier.
Goals: Tolisso (OL) 3', Gueye (LOSC) 56', Lopes (LOSC) 60'.
Bookings: Lopes (LOSC) 51', Bedimo (OL) 62', Lacazette (OL) 72', Delaplace (LOSC) 79'