One day one match (23/03/2008) : OL 4 – 2, towards the title
Twelve years ago today, OL hosted the capital club at the legendary Stade Gerland. From the start, we observed two formations ready for battle. On the one hand, there are the Rhodaniens who were currently atop the table, six points ahead of Bordeaux in second, and who had lost the day before, and OL wanted to move ahead of their competitors a little further. On the other hand, the Parisians were in the relegation places, two points from 17th and were obliged to earn a result since Sochaux, one of their direct competitors, had won in Marseille the day before.
The game began with a flurry of opportunities on both sides. Despite their ranking in the table, the Parisians showed plenty of beautiful play, as Fabio Grosso affirmed: "It was not easy because Paris were showing a lot of desire to avoid being relegated." It was after a blocked shot from the Italian defender that the irresistible Fred puts a header on target and gave the advantage to his team (1-0, 9 ’). The ball then came and went, moving from side to side. Chantôme had the opportunity to equalize but could not show enough composure, while Benzema could've doubled the lead twice but didn't find the back of the net. It was finally Fred once again who found the breakthrough for OL. On a splendid pass from Bodmer, the Brazilian scored his second goal (2-0, 36 ’). “Fred's movement has done us a lot of good. He kept the ball and relieved the pressure on us, allowed us to go up, to move forward," said Juninho. Despite this advantage, Alain Perrin's players ended the first half on a bad note by conceding a goal on Camara's corner (2-1, 45 + 2 ’). “The end of the first half and the start of the second hurt us. These are players who don't want to go down. So it was difficult. Even relegation-threatened PSG remains PSG "noted Christophe Galtier, the Lyon assistant.
Returning from the locker room, the referee whistled a fairly generous penalty for the Ile-de-France club. It was converted by Jérôme Rothen who equalized to make it 2-2, (52 ’). "It was difficult after the equalization by Paris but Lyon knew how to make the difference at the end of the game" remarked Sony Anderson at the end of the meeting. Indeed, more was needed to extinguish the hopes of Lyon. Cris succeeded in preventing two great Parisian opportunities and allowed his team not to fall behind “We stayed organized, even after their equalization. It was a great week for me. My daughter Manuela was born this week, her mom is doing well, "said the man then known as the Policeman. And it is finally once again Bodmer who was up to the task in in finding Sydney Govou who finished against Landreau (3-2, 64 ’). Juninho was then once more decisive after a superb bit of team play (4-2, 71 ’). The score would not change further and the result would allow Lyon to pocket three points. Alain Perrin would say in the mixed zone later "This match was predictable against a Paris team who do not want to be relegated. They will not give up without fighting. Even at 2-0, they showed good disposition. They were rewarded for coming back, but they may have paid for this extra energy at the end of the match. ”.
With this victory, Olympique Lyonnais took a serious step towards the championship by leaving behind the Bordeaux and moving nine points ahead now. The president of the Rhône-Alpes club, Jean-Michel Aulas addressed the media at the end of the meeting: "This is an important step towards a seventh title. This is really the objective that must be put as our priority ahead of anything else. It is more and more difficult to stay at the top. If we can achieve it, it will already be exceptional but the following ones will be even harder. One may find it surprising, but I'm really behind Paris, who we need in the French championship. They are the capital club and it has to be said, tonight’s game was a big game. "