OL fall in Corsica
Rémi Garde opted for consistency for this second consecutive away game, fielding the same starting line-up as he did in Valenciennes. The trio of Gonalons, Fofana and Malbranque once again made up OL's midfield. unlike last week, PSG had put the pressure on OL by beating Toulouse 2-0, making a win indispensable for Les Gones in their quest to keep pace with the capital club.
The first ten minutes of the match were clearly in Lyon's favour. The combinations between the lines, notably on the right flank with Réveillère, Malbranque and Lacazette, funcitoned well. Ajaccio were on the back foot for the first 15 minutes. Omnipresent at the beginning of the match, Steed Malbranque tried his luck from 20 metres after a cut-back from Gueïda Fofana. OL favoured their right flank, with Anthony Réveillère continually running into space. In the 32nd minute, Lacazette thought he had opened the scoring when he slotted home the rebound from Ochoa's save from Ghezzal. But the flag was raised - Lacazette hadn't been off-side but Gomis had, even though it seemed that he hadn't obstructed the Corsican 'keeper... The first half ended with the score locked at 0-0. Toothless in their attacks, Lyon could even have fallen behind had Rémy Vercoutre not stuck out his foot to make an unconventional but effective save from Dennis Oliech. It was the only save had to make all half. The locals seemed content to play on the counter but OL didn't dare to confront them head-on; Oliech and Belghazouani were just waiting for the slightest chance to break through and take Vercoutre on. In the second half, would OL be capable of raising the tempo to create overlaps and space to work in?
The second half began with the same tempo as the first - until Lacazette opened the scoring in the 52nd minute. For once OL had gone down the left; Umtiti broke through and found left-winger Ghezzal, who turned in a magnificent cross to the far post to set the OL number ten up for a superb volley into the back of the net. OL didn't keep the lead for long though, Belghazouani equalising in the 56th minute. After Vercoutrre had pulled out a top-drawer save from Faty's header, Bisevac fluffed his clearance and Cavalli cut the ball back for Belghazouani. The Ajaccio striker opened his foot and fired a curling, skidding shot past an unsighted Vercoutre. 2-1 for Ajaccio in the 65th minute. The equaliser breathed new life into the hosts and OL fell behind when Mutu headed home triumphantly from Cavalli's cross. OL lost fluidity after Ajaccio's second goal. After a nice one-two with Martial, Gomis was through one-on-one with Ochoa but was cut down in the area by Cavalli. Penalty for Lyon. Gomis picked himself up to hit the spot-kick, but Ochoa went the right way turned the OL man's shot wide. The nightmarish afternoon then continued as Lovren was sent off in the 90th minute for a foul in the area. Mutu converted the resulting penalty, clinching a 3-1 win for Ajaccio.
Ajaccio, Stade François-Coty. Referee, M. Jaffredo.
OL: Vercoutre- Réveillère, Bisevac, Lovren, Umtiti- Fofana (then Gourcuff, 64') Malbranque (then Grenier 85'), Gonalons- Ghezzal (then Martial 79'), Gomis, Lacazette.
Coach: Rémi Garde.
Yellow cards: Ghezzal (63’), Martial (90’), Lacazette (94’), for Lyon. Mutu (34’), Mostefa (66’), Oliech (89’) for Ajaccio.
Red card: Lovren (90’) for Lyon.
ACA: Ochoa- Chalmé, Saad, Poulard, Bouhours-Faty (then Mostefa, 60’), Lasne- Oliech, Cavalli, Belghazouani (then André, 67', then Pierazzi 73'), Mutu.
Coach: Albert Emon.