After Lille–OL: A solid display from Djamel Benlamri
All that was missing was him. Among the club's new recruits this summer, Djamel Benlamri was the only one not yet to have pulled on the OL jersey, and that changed on Sunday evening. Coming on in the 50th minute to solidify a defense which would miss Marcelo, sent off a few moments earlier for a second booking, the Algerian international fulfilled his role perfectly. Alongside young Sinaly Diomandé, who was playing only his third match in Ligue 1 Uber Eats, the 2019 African champion showed some of his qualities, ones which his team needed at that point in the match.
Present in the aerial duels, and often blocking Lille's shots, urging on his teammates to keep the result, he was the one who showed the way. It was a performance that was needed for OL to hold on to this draw which, given a first half that was at times frustrating, was ultimately a relief as LOSC pushed hard in the second half to win the encounter.
Even if he only played 40 minutes, the Algerian has already shown what he can bring to his club: a warrior's mentality but one who is very elegant in his play, he has already won over not only the supporters but also his teammates. Anthony Lopes, the other man of the match, was quick to point out his strong play as being something which helped the team hold the draw. With Marcelo suspended and Jason Denayer recovering from an injury, Djamel Benlamri could move on from this solid performance and have a first start in the derby. It's a match that would seem to correspond in every way to his attitude.
Benlamri's match by the numbers (Opta)
_ 44 minutes played
_ 19 touches
_ 100% passes completed (6/6)
_ 100% duels won (5/5)
_ 5 clearances
_ 3 fouls suffered
_ 2 shots blocked
_ 2 interceptions
_ 1 successful tackles
_ 0 fouls conceded