In a see-sawing match with a crazy ending, Lyon won out 3-2 in Toulouse - traditionally an unhappy hunting ground for OL - thanks to a rock-hard mentality and some shrewd choices from the coach. Lyon take a one-point lead over third-placed Monaco, ahead of their match in Rennes.
Lyon were under pressure right away, stymied by Toulouse's high-pressing game. Valbuena went close to being sent off for a trailing leg… and then carved out match's first chance with a half-volley that flew wide. Braithwaite responded after pinching the ball from Rafael. OL started to get rolling and did better in drawing out the TFC defence. Valbuena blazed a free-kick over, and the same happened with Doumbia's header at the other end. Toulouse reactivated their grip on the game. Perhaps OL's solution would have to come from distance… and Tolisso obliged with powerful shot that ricocheted off the cross-bar. Ghezzal thought he had scored from the edge of the area but his effort was ruled out as Umtiti, slightly off-side, had deflected the shot. In a hard-fought first half, OL were pushed around early by Toulouse's pressing before gaining the upper hand - without converting.
The first dangerous shot on Lopes' goal came early and the OL 'keeper jarred his knee in making the save. From the resulting corner, Tisserand, unmarked at the far post, opened the scoring with a header from point-blank range (50'). OL reacted immediately but Rafael couldn't find the target despite begin in an ideal position. OL upped the pressure on the Toulouse goal, with Ghezzal dictating the tempo… before being replaced. Fekir and Grenier came on and the formation changed to a 4-4-2. Grenier equalised with a powerful free-kick (73'). From a superb first-time pass from Ferri, Lacazette beat Lafont with a rasping shot (80'). But then OL conceded an equaliser a minute later as Ben Yedder capped a clinical counter-attack with the easiest of finishes into an empty net (85') despite Lopes' having stopped Braithwaite's initial effort. Tolisso put OL back in the lead with a close-range finish (85'). There were seven minutes of injury time at the end of an electric match, and OL had to hold out. Lopes hung greedily onto the final ball!
Lyon had their work cut out for them but managed to take all three points home from the Stadium in Toulouse - a first since 2005. A precious win claimed in a frenetic match that saw OL come back after conceding the opener - and an equaliser - and being pushed around by a tough TFC outfit. OL re-take second place ahead of Monaco's match in Rennes.
Toulouse Football Club 2 – 3 Olympique Lyonnais (Half-time: 0 – 0)
At the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse.
Referee: C. Turpin.
TFC: Lafont – Yago, Tisserand, Diop, Moubandje – Doumbia (Sirieix 77’), Blin, Didot (Trejo 63’) – Regattin (Akpa Akpro 69’), Ben Yedder, Braithwaite (cap.). Coach: P. Dupraz.
OL: Lopes – Rafael, Yanga-Mbiwa, Umtiti, Morel (Morel 76’) – Gonalons (cap.), Ferri, Tolisso – Ghezzal (Grenier 68’), Lacazette, Valbuena (Fekir 68’). Coach: B. Genesio.
Goals: For TFC, Tisserand (50’), Ben Yedder (82’). For OL, Grenier (73’), Lacazette (80’), Tolisso (85’).Yellow cards: For OL, Valbuena (13’), Lopes (82’), Tolisso (90+4’). For TFC, Regattin (34’), Sirieix (82’).