When it rains, it pours
After their loss in the first leg of the Champions League play-offs, OL were back in Ligue 1 action, looking to maintain their 100% start to the domestic campaign after back to back wins. Rémi Garde made changes for the visit of Reims. With Umtiti suspended, Koné partnered Bisevac in central defence while Fofana started in midfield at the expense of Malbranque and Gourcuff moved into the middle to replace Grenier. Danic and Bahlouli occupied the wide areas in attack.
Reims made a bright start and had the first chance when Fortes fired across the face of goal. Fofana responded in the tenth minute with a half-volley that forced Agassa into the save. Danic, injured, was replaced by Ferri in the 12th minute. And then the rains came! Les Lyonnais started to come back into the game. It was an even opening with neither side able to carve out a clear-cut opportunity. In the 24th minute, Bahlouli sliced through the defence and found Gourcuff on the left wing, but his first-time shot didn't catch out Agassa.
OL had a scare when Atar beat Lopes and crossed for Courtet. But OL's other Lopes, in goal, produced a miraculous reflex save. On the half hour, Bahlouli cut inside and tried his luck, only for his shot to fly just wide of the mark. The rain kept coming and conditions deteriorated. Gourcuff's free-kick was the last effort of a first-half that featured few real chances. The pitch was flooded in parts and the rest of the match was certainly compromised.
The referee's met in the middle and decided to delay the restart by 15 minutes. Les Gones made a good start to the second half, but still lacked a the decisive final ball. Lacazette intelligently dummied the ball for Fofana, but the midfielder's shot again failed to get the better of Agassa. In the 58th minute, from a 20m free-kick, Gourcuff drew another save from the Reims 'keeper. Lacazette was the next to shoot at goal as Lyon looked more and more dangerous.
An excellent team move finished with Lacazette missing the target again, before Ferri earned a penalty after a foul by Courtet, only to see Grenier, in off the bench, send the ball soaring over the cross-bar and into the stands. In the 75th minute, Courtet found Fortes on the left corner of the penalty box. The Reims forward's shot was deflected by Bisevac, looped up in the air, over Lopes and inside the far post. 1-0 for Reims, who scored with their only chance of the second half. From Gourcuff's free-kick, Bisevac climbed highest only to see his header fly the wrong side of the upright. Lyon gave it everything in the final seconds, but to no avail. Garde's side missed out on the chance to make it three consecutive wins and suffered a first defeat in Ligue 1 of the season, just four days before the trip to Real Sociedad in the second leg of their Champions League play-off tie.
Saturday 21 August, 21:00.
Lyon, Stade de Gerland. Crowd: 24,230 spectators.
Olympique Lyonnais 0-1 Stade de Reims (H-T: 0-0)
Referee: Ruddy Buquet.
Olympique Lyonnais: A.Lopes, M.Lopes, Bisevac, Koné, Bedimo, Gonalons, Fofana (Grenier 67'), Gourcuff, Bahlouli (Benzia 79'), Lacazette, Danic (Ferri 12'). Entraîneur : Rémi Garde.
Stade de Reims: Agassa, Tacalfred, Mandi, Weber, Glombard (Conte 55'), Krychowiak, Oniangue, Atar (De Préville 70'), Albaek (Devaux 79'), Fortes, Courtet. Entraîneur : Hubert Fournier.
Goal: Fortes (76').
Bookings: For OL, Bedimo (90'). For Reims, Agassa (49').