Lyon responded to AS Monaco's win by beating Gazélec 2-1 in a tougher-than-expected encounter. But all three points went Lyon's way, keeping the club in second place - on goal difference - going into Week 37's 'final' at home to Monaco.
It was bucketing down as Ajaccio kicked the match off. OL maintained possession in the opening minutes. From a corner, Ghezzal hammered his in-swinger across the face of goal… and in, a surprised Mauri unable to prevent the ball from crossing the line (11')! Gazélec's five-man defence left OL little space to work, but the home side dominated possession, with Gonalons winning everything in the middle of the park. There were no shots on goal except when Rafael delivered an inch-perfect early cross into the area. Cornet made the most of the Ajaccio 'keeper's slip to slot home and make it 2-0 (40'). Extremely clinical stuff from OL in a first half that saw them calmly moving the ball around in front of a Gazélec side fairly reluctant to push forward.
With their first clear-cut chance of the match, Gazélec pulled a goal back. And a magnificent goal it was, Grégory Pujol masterfully chipping Lopes from the edge of the area (50'). Lyon had been caught cold on the counter just four minutes into the second half and had to be careful not to make things any more complicated than they needed to be. Bedimo, injured, made way for Morel. The goal had resuscitated hope in the Ajaccio camp and the visitors began to push a bit harder. Lacazette fired a difficult volley wide. Tolisso, who picked up a hamstring strain, was replaced by Darder. Lyon grew wasteful in possession and weren't in the clear five minutes from time when Lopes pulled off a miraculous save to deny Mayi's shot. There was a final nervy moment from a dangerous free-kick, but Lopes was once again equal to the task.
Lyon got the job done, claiming a narrow win against Gazélec even though the visitors had hardly threatened at all in the first half. OL even had some nervy moments at the end and Lopes had to produce the save of the match to deny Ajaccio an equaliser. The win allows OL to move back into pole position a week ahead of decisive clash with AS Monaco. The only real black spots on the evening were the injuries sustained by Bedimo and Tolisso.
. TEAMSHEET .
Parc OL. Olympique Lyonnais 2-1 Gazélec Ajaccio (2-0)
Referee: Nicolas Rainville. Spectators: 50,546.
Goals: Ghezzal (11’), Cornet (40’) for OL. Pujol (49’) for Ajaccio.
GFCA: Maury - Touré, Filippi, Mangane, Martinez, Sylla - Poggi (cap.) (Coeff, 67’), Djokovic – Tshibumbu (Mayi, 80’), Zoua, Chermiti (Pujol, 46’). Coach: T. Laurey.