OL deserved better
Like last week, OL's rivals for the European qualifying spots all slipped up. Marseille, Reims, Lille and Bordeaux all drew earlier in Week 29, while Les Stéphanois faced the perilous task of a trip to Paris. The opening was there for Rémi Garde's side, who brought in Ferri and Mvuemba into midfield ahead of Gourcuff with Briand preferred to Gomis in attack.
History repeats itself…
The match started badly for OL as they conceded inside the opening five minutes. Fabinho crossed for Berbatov who laid it back to Germain to beat Lopes. Two minutes later, Lacazette's chip landed on the roof of Subasic's goal. Germain then went close to adding a second, but Lopes produced a good save. The ball flew from one end to the other. Koné replaced Umtiti, suffering a thigh strain. Germain then fired wide from a promising position. Lacazette broke down the right and crossed just too hard for Briand to get a telling touch. Les Lyonnais were in control, but Monaco looked dangerous on the counterattack. The proof came in the 27th minute…Rodriguez finishing off the move. But Berbatov should have been called offside.
Briand gets OL back on track
Les Lyonnais didn't show any signs of lying down. Briand reduced the arrears, finishing first time from Miguel Lopes' cross. OL then had an indirect free-kick in the area, but Lacazette's shot was blocked by the wall. During the first-half, OL paid for a poor start before fighting back.
No favours for Lyon…
OL pushed hard at the start of the second half. But it was Monaco that scored again. Berbatov, again offside, beat Lopes. But still Les Lyonnais refused to accept defeat. Lopes cut the ball back for Mvuemba, whose shot was saved by Subasic. Les Monégasques were pegged back in their own area. From a Bedimo cross to the edge of the area, Gourcuff sent a superb volley just the wrong side of the post...
Briand and hope spring eternal
With 20 minutes left, the match appeared lost. From another Bedimo cross…Briand couldn't get enough on his header. In the 78th minute, Koné won his challenge with Subasic and Briand was on hand to volley into an empty net. Hope returned. Lacazette was unable to get a good shot on target. Les Monégasques tried to break up play. The tension was palpable. Lacazette drove a hard ball into the area, but no-one could turn it home. With five minutes left, OL pushed again... But a final free-kick from Gourcuff failed to deliver salvation...
Olympique Lyonnais 2 – 3 Association Sportive de Monaco (Half-time: 1 – 2)
Lyon, stade de Gerland. 35 062 spectators.
Referee: Fredy Fautrel.
Olympique Lyonnais: A.Lopes, M.Lopes, Bisevac, Umtiti (Koné 10’), Bedimo, Gonalons, Ferri (Gomis 72’), Fofana (Gourcuff 52’), Mvuemba, Briand, Lacazette. Coach: Rémi Garde.
AS Monaco: Subasic, Fabinho, Carvalho, Isimat-Mirin, Kurzawa (Raggi 49’), Kondogbia, Obbadi (Pi 71’), Moutinho, Rodriguez, Germain, Berbatov (Rivière 70’). Coach: Claudio Ranieri.
Goals: Germain (M) 5’, Rodriguez (M) 27’, Briand (OL) 32’, 78’, Berbatov (52’).
Bookings: Lacazette (OL) 31’, Isimat-Mirin (M) 57’, Kondogbia (M) 72’, Rivière (M) 90+4’.