FC Nantes-OL: Legendary matches from a historic rivalry
1972-1973: A third Coupe de France in 10 years
On June 17, 1973 OL played their fifth Coupe de France final in the span of a decade. The club, which won two previous finals (1964 and 1967) as well as losing two, faced FC Nantes at the Parc des Princes, where they'd win their third crown. It was far from an easy task however, given that their opponent inflicted two defeats in the league, beating them at Gerland (2-4) and at home (3-0). Despite OL's underdog status, Serge Chiesa earned a penalty that Yugoslavian Dobrivoje Trivic converted from the spot (29 ', 1-0) to give them the lead. Lyon doubled their advantage in the second half thanks to Bernard Lacombe (63 ', 2-0) and held on despite Couecou (83' , 2-1) pulling one back late in the game for Nantes. Another proud moment for Fleury Di Nallo and company.
1981-1982: Chiesa saves OL
The 1981-1982 season was a nightmare for OL. Mired by internal tensions and the departure of several key players, including Jean Tigana, the club had a rough go of it through May 4, 1982. That night, the whole city of Lyon was a nervous wreck for the final game of the campaign at Gerland, where OL hosted FC Nantes in a must-win game to avoid relegation. The tension was palpable but was finally replaced with relief when Serge Chiesa scored the game's only goal (51 ', 1-0), allowing the club to finish 16th and remain in the top flight. But the problems were far from over for a Lyon team that would eventually go down to the second division the following season...
1983-1984: Pride mixed with disappointment
Nantes met Lyon once again in the Coupe de France looking to avenge the defeat suffered nearly ten years earlier. But this time, both teams crossed paths in the round of 16. After a rather dull draw in the first leg (0-0), Les Gones and the Canaries would decide it all at Gerland. OL conceded the opening goal (25 ', 0-1) but were able to equalize before the break through Laurent Fournier (31', 1-1). Unfortunately, the visitors punched right back in the early stages of the second half with quick goals from Robert (48 ', 1-2) and Vahid Halilhodzic (51', 1-3), the current Nantes coach. A Division 2 squad at the time, OL were clear underdogs but never gave up, with Ndioro closing the gap (53 ', 2-3) before the Brittany side restored its two-goal advantage. But with courage and self-sacrifice, the Olympians leveled the score through Fréchet (66 ', 3-4) and Ferri (83', 4-4) and were only eliminated due to the away goals rule.
2000-2001: On the road to glory
Defeated by Metz five earlier, OL were a win away from playing their second-ever Coupe de la Ligue final... all that stood in their way was, of course, Nantes, champions of France that season. With club president Jean-Michel Aulas at the helm since 1987, Lyon were motivated to make it happen. Things got off to a disastrous start however, as Ziani opened the score early for the Canaries (4 ', 0-1), but Laigle equalized in a matter for seconds (5', 1-1 ), only for Vahirua to dig another hole for Lyon (10 ', 1-2) shortly after. But Sonny Anderson (54 ', 2-2) spurred a second-half comeback that Pierre Laigle put the finishing touches on (64', 3-2) to help guide OL to the first in a string of trophy wins at the dawn of the 21st century.
2006-2007: From joy to tears
In the final match day of the championship, OL celebrated the final farewell of Claudio Caçapa and Gérard Houllier, as well as their sixth straight league title in front of their fans at Gerland. The atmosphere was festive for Lyon, in clear contrast to a Nantes side that was headed for relegation after 44 years in the top flight. With both teams going in clearly different directions, it was no surprise that Lyon cruised to a 3-1 win.
2016-2017: A historic win
The 0-6 inflicted by OL at Nantes is now the stuff of legend. Never before had the Canaries suffered such a loss at home. That night, in Match Day 15th of L1, Lyon made history with goals from Tolisso (16', 0-1), Lacazette (penalty 39', 0-2), Gonalons (41 + 1 ', 0-3), Valbuena (60', 0- 5), Diakhaby (75 ', 0-5) and Fekir (81', 0-6), sinking their opponent into second-to-last place in the standings. But Nantes would climb their way back thanks to a formidable second half of the season, finishing in seventh place - just short of qualifying for Europe.