Lyon battle back for 1-1 draw at Montpellier
. AT A GLANCE .
7’. Aguilar finds Mbenza at the far post, and the Belgian beats Lopes to open the score. 1-0
39’. Mariano sends a header crashing into the crossbar from Memphis' in-swinging corner.
48’. Lopes denies Mbenza in the 1v1 after a dangerous Montpellier counter.
54’. Lasne rattles the crossbar with a long-range blast.
55’. Lecomte swats away Marcelo's goal-bound header with a diving save.
58’. Mariano pounces on a loose ball inside the box to level the score. 1-1
81’. Fantastic stop from Lopes to deny Ninga and keep the game tied.
88’. Mendy comes close with a right-footed effort that's just wide of goal.
. THE MATCH.
With just two points in their last five league matches, OL made it known from the get-go that they were looking for the win at Montpellier. But without the injured Fekir or Rafael, the short-handed Olympians found themselves behind early on when Mbenza (7’, 1-0) beat Lopes from close-range after a fine service from Aguilar. The unexpected goal lit a fire in Lyon, who were forced to search for the equalizer under a heavy downpour of rain. Despite the awful weather conditions, Mariano (39’) almost leveled the score with a header that hit the crossbar.
After coming to life late in the first half, Bruno Genesio’s men almost went down for the count in the opening stages of the second half when Mbenza (48’) forced a huge save from Lopes following a dangerous counterattack. OL breathed a further sigh of relief after Lasne’s long-range blast (54’) crashed against the crossbar. The visitors then caught a break on the offensive side: MHSC failed to clear a ball inside their penalty area, allowing Mariano (58’, 1-1) to score the equalizer with a clinical finish. A deserved goal, considering the work they put Lecomte through in goal during several passages of the match. That said, the all-so-important three points still eluded Lyon, who remain on the outside looking in from a potential Champions League berth.
. THE MOMENT .
Crossbar to the rescue
Trailing 1-0 at halftime, OL almost saw their deficit doubled when Paul Lasne ripped a rocket of a shot from over 30 yards out that smashed against the crossbar. A stroke of luck that eluded them in the first half, as the same crossbar prevented Mariano’s header from tying the match. This time, the woodwork both helped and hurt Lyon.
. THE STAT .