Masculins / OL - Caen : 2 - 2

OL grab a precious point

Published on 26 April 2008 at 10:30 PM
Thanks to two goals from Karim Benzema and two decisive saves by Grégory Coupet, Lyon, down to 10 men at half time after the sending off of Fabio Grosso, managed to take apoint from their game against Caen. They keep a 4 point lead over Bordeaux, who could only draw with Nice (0-0).
Even if some had doubted it recently, Karim Benzema really is the favourite for the title of top goalscorer in the League. Thank to his 18th and 19th goals in the League, his 29th and 30th in all competitions, the native of Bron has made himself a bit of space at the top of the scorer’s charts. But, more than his personal situation, it is Olympique Lyon’s that the Fench international as strengthened . Going over the finishing line on the 17th of May, at the latest, thepoint taken from tonights game against Caen, thanks to a particulary good second half, could be decisive.

Lyon, however, can regret that they waited until they were really up against it before turning the situation around, it would have been better if the had taken more than a share of the points, considering the draw between Bordeaux and Nice, a draw which maintains the status quo at the top of the table but also moves OL a little closer to their seventh consecutive title. It is quite simple : if OL beat Nice next week and at the same time Bordeaux lose to OM, Lyon would have a new French title, they even have a « joker » up their sleeve, if the next weeks outcome was the opposite, they would still be in first place.

In other words, OL come out of the evening with more certitude, an evening which came close to turning into a nightmare. Everything had started well however for Alain Perrin’s men : a convincing start to the game which saw Govou (2nd), Cris (8th), Benzema (15th), Bodmer (20th), Juninho (26th) and Kallström (31st) tested the opposition, before Benzema opened the scoring, with a header, after a perfect cross from Grosso who had gotten past Leca (34th), sending OL into raptures . Continuing in the same vein, Benzema could have doubled the score before half time but his shot was saved by Planté (36th). In these conditions, how can we explain the monumental hole taht OL fell into for 7 minutes between the 38th and 45th minute? Certainly, Coupet had already been tested by Gouffran (19th) and Eluchans (21st). But nothing that would foresee Juninho et al concede two goals at the end of the first half, after two runs by Gouffran playing in Elucans (38th) and Compan (45th)…

And to complicate there task even more OL had to play with 10 men for the entire second half. Grosso, guilty of a bad gesture on Gouffran in the dressing rooms had been sent off at half time . A key moment in an encounter that was going to erupt into life after the break, Grégory Coupet saved his team from a thrashing by winning his duel with Gouffran (49th) and Benzema came up and equalise from a free kick (54th). From then on, hope changed sides, the combat changed sides, Lyon laid siege to Planté’s goal. Benzema could have been the French champions saviour but, after seeing Planté stop his close range effort(68th), he put the ball over the bar even though the keeper was on the ground, beaten (71st). Kader Keita’s cross was missed by all (62nd), Leca cleared a cross/shot from Clerc (65th), Bodmer and Källström were unable to hit the target (70th & 77th), Planté stopped Benzema again (87th), and especially, Källström hit the crossbar from a free kick (90th). Sometimes there are evenings like this!

But what is best is often the enemy of what is good, by trying to hard to get a victory, Lyon left space fior their opponents. Their efforts could have been blown away if it had not been for a great save by Grégory Coupet after a header from Hengbart (92nd). One point that’s all! A point that OL will take happily, OL who were not able to profit from Bordeaux’s slip up, they have however reduced the distance between themselves and happiness …

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