The evil is deeper than it seems. And even badly encrusted. In Lyon, the seasons pass and look alike. In eight years since November 2011, OL have won only one of its twelve home league games. It already dates from 2016 against the modest Dinamo Zagreb.
On Tuesday, the players of the new coach Sylvinho have once again missed the boat, this time against Zénith Saint-Petersburg, disappointing seed of the group G. They have managed the feat of not winning a match yet largely within reach, both Russian visitors were cautious and not threatening.
The club of President Jean-Michel Aulas even conceded the first goal, surprised at the end of the first period by the Iranian Sardar Azmoun (41e, 1-0), touched a few minutes earlier at the ankle. Lyon finally avoided the worst thanks to Memphis Depay, who converted a penalty he had himself caused (51).e, 1-1).
"I do not see any opponents being above or below in this group where everyone can really qualifySylvinho released the day before the match in a press conference. We really want to attack this competition, which is beautiful. We must absolutely succeed to take with us the fans to enjoy. "
"Disappointed and frustrated"
Unable to implement the intensity needed for a European meeting, or only during too short periods of play, the Lyonnais have failed to meet the ambitions of their coach. Repeating their usual travels, they annoyed their own supporters, like the whistles accompanying the return to the locker room at halftime and at the end of the match, and the release of Bertrand Traore, the first player replaced at the 77e minute, symbol of late coaching and once again harmless from Sylvinho.
OL goalkeeper did not have much work, Anthony Lopes could only see the poor performance of his team. "We are disappointed and frustrated. We have the weapons to win this match, with lots of opportunitieshe analyzed, We delivered the match we needed but we leave with only one point. We lose two. We have to play more games than this one to get our ticket for the knockout stages. "
Before the meeting, the new sports director of OL and former idol of the club, Juninho, who must have felt Tuesday night more than ever the "saudade" of the big European nights of the 2000s in front of the poor show offered, had shown the finger the mentality of his players: "It's not a team that still masters the collective. It does not breathe football yet, there is no pleasure that emergeshe said. We are working on it. We have the talent to make it happen. Players and staff need to realize that what is missing to win is team spirit and humility. "
The 47,000 spectators in Lyon, a crowd also disappointing for the expected opening of a European campaign (certainly favored by the unusual schedule of the meeting, namely 18:55), can only share this finding. After two victories in trompe-l'oeil in the league (3-0 in Monaco and 6-0 against Angers), Lyon can not win, with a sterile series in three draws.
Sylvinho too chilly
It lacks a bit of everything in this Lyon collective in great suffering. Perhaps character but above all trust to develop an attractive game. Focused on his desire to defend and not to take a goal, coach Sylvinho seems to be holding back his players for the moment. And as the art of defending has never been one of Lyon's strong points …
Removed on the sidelines, Houssem Aouar, midfielder shimmering technique, illustrates Tuesday night the brazenness of the Brazilian. The Gone is typically the kind of player who could tip the game. Weary, extremely tired from the hour of play, his teammate Thiago Mendes was nevertheless maintained until the end on the ground. On a positive note, the choice to field Marcelo in central defense, to the detriment of the young Danish Joachim Andersen, to counter physically and in the aerial game the imposing Russian center forward Artem Dzyuba (1.96 m for 91 kg), was rather paying.
Another reason for satisfaction in a dull evening: Lyon has not lost. This point of taking could count in the future. Last season, the Olympians had not won any of their three games in OL Park against Donetsk (2-2), Hoffenheim (2-2) and Manchester City (2-2). That did not prevent them from qualifying for the knockout stages, thanks to a final draw in the Ukraine and only one success in six games, the prestigious one in their first away game at the Mancunian favorites.
In a very homogeneous pool, which includes Benfica Lisbon and RB Leipzig, the qualification should be played as last year in the final minutes of this first phase. A performance that OL hopes to renew, if possible with the right to win matches. "This is not necessarily a bad result because the draw does not close any door either. We will see more but we must win matches to qualify us "acknowledged Lucas Tousart. It is still until proof of the contrary the shortest way to join the next turn.