OL-SL Benfica: A beautiful and precious three points
4'. Corner played quickly, Dubois crosses into the area to Andersen who opens the scoring 1-0.
16'. Knocked out by contact with his goalkeeper, Ferro is forced to make way for Jardel.
25'. Depay turns into the area and launches a strike blocked by Rúben Dias near the post.
33'. Aouar accelerates on the left and crosses to the penalty spot for Depay who doubles the lead. 2-0.
43'. Nice movement punctuated by a pass by Depay for Reine-Adelaide who misses the target.
45 + 3'. Big save by Lopes on a powerful strike by Chiquinho.
50'. Chiquinho's free-kick drifts just above Lopes' net.
57'. Seferović hits a cannonball of a shot, punched behind for a corner by Lopes.
62'. On a corner by Grimaldo, Jardel rises very high but puts too much on his header.
65'. Reine-Adelaide moves into the center and plays a shot that touches the upright of Vlachodimos.
67'. Gabriel tries his luck at the edge of the area, but the ball goes past the Lyon goal.
69'. Dembélé pulls back and serves Tousart on a reverse, his shot is saved by Vlachodimos.
75'. From a tight angle, Dembélé tries a volley that passes close by the woodwork.
76'. Springing the offside trap, Seferović scores on a beautiful bit of play 2-1.
88'. Superb inspiration from Dembélé but his attempt can only flirt with the post.
89'. Traoré faces Grimaldo and performs his special move, a shot to the opposite side, which seals the result. 3-1.
It was with confidence partially restored that OL approached this meeting against SL Benfica. Defeated narrowly in the reverse fixture (2-1) on the European debut of Rudi Garcia, OL have since recorded two straight victories in the league in which they have played with some fervor. Against a Benfica side completely reinvested in a Group G that remains undecided but who were without Rafa Silva, a major asset, Lyon proved to Europe its complete return to grace. From the start, the Rhodaniens took the lead thanks to Joachim Andersen, author of his very first goal with OL on a lovely cross by Léo Dubois, the evening's captain (4 ', 1-0). This early opening of the score sent Groupama Stadium into a frenzy; the crowd screamed with happiness a second time, then after half an hour when Memphis Depay concluded a sublime phase of play initiated by Houssem Aouar (33 ', 2-0). The Dutchman, who scored his 50th goal for the club, scored for the fourth match in a row with another goal in the UEFA Champions League.
Unfortunately, he had to leave his teammates at the interval. It was a blow for OL who lost its top scorer since the start of the season and, at the same time, a bit of his creativity in the offensive half . In a strong position, the Olympians tried to manage their lead but were exposed on the counter (50 ', 57', 62 ', 67'). And inevitably, Benfica managed to reduce the deficit through Seferović (76 ', 2-1). The scenario of a potential comeback, seen so many times in the past, looked to repeat itself and push OL into some doubts, thus potentially spoiling the efforts made so far. Not this time. Stung, OL reacted in the wake of the goal to get a valuable victory. On a final incursion into the opposing half Bertrand Traoré definitely set the audience alight (89 ', 3-1). This important success puts OL in a good position in the standings. Second in their group behind Leipzig but ahead of Zenit, beaten at home by the German team (0-2), Les Gones are on their way to qualify for the Round of 16. It was a very nice match that only confirms the recovery recently started by the team ...
. EXPERT ANALYSIS / CLAUDE-ARNAUD RIVENET.
We were good on the pitch and in our attitude. In the second half, it was more complicated, we must not ignore that. But the victory is there, as it had to be. Today, we are doing a great job in the standings. We have done a good part of the journey. The goal is to go to the Round of 16, finishing in the first two, but why not go top group G? You have to believe. With seven points in four games, we are in good shape.
At Groupama Stadiu, Décines.
UEFA Champions League (Grp G - J4) : OL - SL Benfica 3-1 (2-0).
Official: Björn Kuipers (NLD). Attendance : 51 071.
Goals : J. Andersen (4'), M. Depay (33') and B. Traoré (89') forOL. H. Seferović (76') for SL Benfica.
Bookings: G. Pires (43') and F. Luis (50') for SL Benfica.
OL : A. Lopes - L. Dubois ©, J. Andersen, J. Denayer, Y. Koné - J. Reine-Adélaïde (B. Traoré, 73'), L. Tousart, T. Mendes, H. Aouar (Marcelo G., 90') - M. Dembélé, M. Depay (M. Cornet, 46').
Manager : Rudi Garcia.
SL Benfica : O. Vlachodimos - T. Tavares, R. Dias ©, F. Ferro (Jardel, 16'), Á. Grimaldo - G. Fernandes (H. Seferović, 46'), F. Luis, G. Pires, F. Cervi (Pizzi, 73') - Chiquinho, C. Vinícius.
Manager : Bruno Lage.
Get all the latest on Benfica-OL on OLPLAY here