In January… not a single victory in the league… knocked out of the Coupe de France… qualification in the Coupe de la Ligue… plenty of injuries… Fabio Santos and Milan Baros arrived… Carew signed for Aston Villa…
This elimination came after 3 league matches without a win for the side that had dominated L1 in the first half of the season, taking 50 points from a possible 57! Toulouse and Bordeaux both beat the champions. Baros began his French career in the game against Bordeaux when he replaced Toulalan (58’); Nice came to town and salvaged a draw. The scorer? Milan Baros from a Govou pass. The [IMG42783#R]record? 1 point from 9. From 15 points ahead at the break, the gap narrowed to 13. No cause for concern… To add to the bad news, there were plenty of injuries. No sooner had Fred recovered than Coupet, Wiltord and Benzema replaced him. Greg returned to action on the 27th against Nice. As for Wiltord and Benzema, things were much worse.
Happily, the visit of Le Mans in the quarterfinal of the Coupe de la Ligueoffered a ray of sunshine for Juninho and co. They qualified for the final, where they would take on Bordeaux.
And then John Carew crossed the Channel to sign for Aston Villa. Brazilian Fabio Santos joined the Brazilian enclave at OL. This “unknown” lad plays in the midfield. As for Milan Baros, he left England to replace the Norwegian. And let’s not forget Nadir Belhadj who signed for OL but who played out the season at Sedan before making the move to Lyon.