first team / OL-OM : 0-0

Lyon just cannot get going

Published on the 14 December 2008 à 23:30 by RD

OL conceded a no score draw to OM at Gerland this evening (0-0), the second consecutive one in the League at home. In he standings, Lyon still have a three point lead over second placed Marseille.

OL are stuck in a rut. Claude Puel’s men have just played four matches (Paris, Valenciennes, Nantes, OM) without the slightest win. And it is now 8 seasons that Lyon have not been able to offer their public a victory in the last home game before the winter break. One week before the Christmas holidays, the last match of the year at home threw up an encounter between two contrasting sides which left a mitigated impression.
An electric and colourful atmosphere greeted the two sides onto the field. OL and OM both showed their great technique right from kick-off. The first fifteen minutes were quite well balanced, without proceedings really getting under way. The first scare for the Lyon crowd came when a cross from Taïwo flew across the face of Lloris’s goal, but no Marseille player was able to get a foot to the ball (10’). Then a Govou headed effort went just off target (18’). In the spotlight recently, Ederson, showed off his entire technical prowess, the Brazilian has, over the course of recent matches, stamped his mark on the left of the OL midfield. Another protagonist, Benzema, of course, who managed some great moves during the course of the first half. And Juninho? OL’s free-kick specialist was back after a three game suspension. After missing with his first two free-kicks of the evening, his third attempt dropped into the OM penalty area, coming close to offering a first goal of the season to Boumsong, but the defender came up too short (27’). At the half hour mark, the number of shots on target showed that the stakes had taken precedent over the game play . Fear of losing was almost certainly the main cause. OM then came within a whisker of opening the scoring. After breaking past Grosso, Valbuena fired in a cannonball effort but Lloris saved brilliantly after having cut his angles off well (35’). The end of the first half was quite animated. The crowd was delighted when Ben Arfa picked up a yellow card and almost ecstatic when Juninho fired in a beautiful free-kick, unfortunately nobody was able to pick up on it (37’). The shot from Govou, which went just centimetres wide of Mandanda’s post, concluded the first half (42’). We were left wanting more.

The second half started with a rhythm even slower than that of the first half and was marked by an accumulation of fouls. The first alert for OM came from a Juninho free-kick at ground level saved on his line by Mandanda at the near post (59’). In the long distance duel between the two international keepers, Lloris flung himself into the air and plucked out perfectly the ball played in from a corner (61’). Completely the opposite of the second half against Bayern, last Wednesday, this one was far from flamboyant. The crosses from Källström only rarely found OL forwards.
A final moment of excitement gripped Gerland in the « money time » of the encounter. But Benzema and Delgado were unable to get past the defensive wall built up by OM (85’). OL didn’t put on much of a show this evening. On a points level, obviously, Lyon maintained their 3 point lead over their rival. But, OL have not been able to win in the League for nearly a month, their last victory dating back to the 16th of November against Bordeaux (2-1). Is the winter break coming around at just the right time for the French champions?
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