OL overrun Nice!
Ahead of kick-off, OL were undefeated in seven matches, and had won their last three at the Stade de Gerland. 17 points have seen the team climb from 17th to fourth, but OL still hadn't won away from home this season. OGCN were eliminated from the Rd-of-32 of the Coupe de la Ligue on penalties, just a few days after demolishing EAG in Guingamp, 7-2, with Brazilian Carlos Eduardo scoring five…
OL had gone with the same starting XI for the last three matches, all at the Stade de Gerland. Gonalons, Ferri and Gourcuff however, were all missing, so Hubert Fournier had to change 75% of his midfield. Fékir dropped back a notch and Njie started alongside Lacazette. For Nice, Digard is injured. Claude Puel went with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Pléa in attack.
OL immediately had the upper hand with chances to Njie and Malbranque inside the opening 15 minutes. Lacazette and Co. were finding plenty of space thanks to their constant and intelligent movement. But Pléa and Carlos Eduardo responded for the home side… without success. Les Aiglons fought back, without really causing any danger for Lopes in the visitors' goal. After a collision between Bodmer and Njie, the first half ended scoreless. OL had more of the ball... but needed to get that goal...
Bodmer, injured, was replaced by Gomis at half time. OL again dominated possession… Lacazette was brought down in the area... no penalty! Moments later, a mistake by Bedimo defending a free-kick, saw Puel take full advantage and blast the ball home beyond Lopes! Njie looked for a way back into the game before Bedimo made up for his mistake by setting up Malbranque for the equaliser. Lopes then produced another great save to deny Puel a second... magnifique. B. Koné came on for Bedimo, injured. Yattara replaced Njie. And Lacazette turned on the style with a simply stunning goal. Superb! Lopes then turned a Pléa effort onto his post. The OL 'keeper was again impressive before Lacazette scored goal number three, his tenth of the season!
OL continue their unbeaten run. There were highs and lows in this game that saw OL able to turn things around to equalise, and then run away with the victory for a deserved win. It was a performance that confirmed OL's current form and sees them stay in contact with Paris and skip clear of Monaco. Without a number of important players, OL answered the call... showing the squad depth will be a big asset this term...
OGCN: Hassen – Palun, Bodmer (c) (Gomis 46'), Genevois, Amavi – Mendy, Rafetraniaina (Eysseric 63') – Puel (Koziello 70'), Carlos Eduardo, Bauthéac – Pléa. Coach: Puel.