Lyon takes the lead by winning widely in Nice

Dutch striker from Lyon, Memphis Depay, in OL's big victory in Nice on Saturday 19 December.

Admittedly, this will only last twenty-four hours: Olympique Lyonnais seized first place in the Ligue 1 standings, Saturday, December 19 evening, thanks to a clear victory in Nice (4-1) but depending on the result of the shock between Lille and Paris on Sunday evening, OL will necessarily have to give up its place. This fleeting happiness is, however, a strong message sent to the competition.

If the winter transfer window does not disrupt this racing car, which is currently being launched at full speed, Lyon will be a serious candidate for the title, thirteen seasons after having won its last French trophy, in 2008!

In Nice, Rudi Garcia’s team outclassed a team on the Riviera which had been in decline for many weeks. With a current series of thirteen unbeaten games, an attractive attacking game and a very coherent collective base, Lyon can play on an equal footing this season with Lille (32 points) or Paris-SG (31 points).

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At the Allianz-Riviera, the “Gym”, which now has six consecutive defeats at home in all competitions, paid dearly for its mistakes. Stanley Nsoki’s avoidable foul on Tino Kadewere first ruined the Rouge et Noir’s good start to the match, and gave the Lyonnais a penalty. Memphis Depay gave himself a treat to score his eighth goal in L1 this season and his “Panenka” gave the advantage to his team (1-0, 32e).

Then Nsoki, decidedly the author of repeated bad choices, put his teammate Hicham Boudaoui in difficulty with an inappropriate pass from the head. The latter squarely launched Kadewere in depth and the ex-Havre was quick to beat Benitez, and score his sixth goal of the season (2-0, 39e).

The nice goal from Amine Gouiri’s header on a good cross from Rony Lopes (2-1, 44e) didn’t even restart the OGCN. After the break, despite their goodwill, the Niçois have never jostled a Lyon in control. And capable of supersonic counters, as on the third base. Depay’s laser pass to Kadewere pierced the central defense. The Zimbabwean, altruistic at will, then remarkably served Karl Toko Ekambi (3-1, 64e). Houssem Aouar completed the picture: after a cross from Léo Dubois, he took advantage of Benitez’s big hand fault to seal the game (4-1, 73e).

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Marseille in slow motion

For its part, Marseille (4e with 28 points) undoubtedly let slip two precious points against Stade de Reims, copiously dominating his opponent without managing to make the difference.

After a series of six straight victories in L1, the defeat in Rennes on Wednesday (2-1) and the draw against Reims record the slowing down and the fatigue of André Villas-Boas’ team, which keeps a mattress of two matches late but will have to redress the bar Wednesday in Angers just before the break.

“It’s a missed opportunity and I wasn’t expecting it”, commented Villas-Boas. “It’s a big blow and we were very disappointed in the locker room. We will have to do a lot better than that against Angers. “

At the Stade Vélodrome, the Marseillais conceded an avoidable goal in the first period, the Japanese defender Yuto Nagatomo having inadvertently slipped the ball deep in his own goal (21e). After this failed start, OM pushed and ended up equalizing on a return from the head of Argentinian center-forward Dario Benedetto for Florian Thauvin (45e).

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But despite this goal, his sixth in L1, Thauvin was very annoyed by the overall performance of this OM, harmless in the second half: “We only play sideways, we always play backwards, we never take a risk… It’s a deserved result, that’s all”, railed against the world champion at the microphone of the Téléfoot channel.

Metz continues its rise

In Metz, we can start to look upwards: winners in Montpellier on Wednesday (2-0), the Lorrainers continued on Saturday against Lens, and on the same score, with a good performance from their playmaker Farid Boulaya. The Algerian international, omnipresent, unblocked the meeting of a light pass in space for Opa Nguette, scorer in force (30e).

The Lensois, them, did not confirm their clear victory in Monaco (3-0) nor their good series of three successes in a row away: their timid offensives lacked precision and they were punished in the end. match by a shot wrapped halfway up the inevitable Boulaya (90 + 4), which brings Metz back in the first part of the table.

With this sixth victory of the season, the Mosellans provisionally point to a promising 8e place with 23 points, a short distance behind the Lensois (7e, 24 points).

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The World with AFP


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