OL-ASSE: A derby not like the others
It is in particular in these moments that you see the soul of a team. Against a hard-driving Lille adversity and reduced to 10 at the start of the second half, Lyon hadn't been so challenged for weeks. They could have cracked, allowed themselves to drop but they held firm, played together and showed the mental fortitude to finally come back with a good point from the North. More than the point that allows them to stay within reach of the podium and their evening's opponent, it was also proof of their improving attitude that has emerged from this second big match in a row after a very different one because, full of control, against Monaco. In a few days, OL thus proved that they had everything they needed to go even higher.
Character and motivation, these are two ingredients that will count most this Sunday in a new important match: a derby. Obviously, the excitement during the match will not be comparable to what we have seen in the past, but regional supremacy remains at stake, with significant importance regarding the table adding another layer. As OM go to Strasbourg, Rennes to Paris and Nice host Monaco, Rudi Garcia's side could well take advantage of some of their direct rivals' miscues in the event of victory over Les Verts. It is up to them to do what is necessary and to continue their good momentum.
Europe, the podium ... a few kilometers from here the concern is different for the moment. Even though Saint-Etienne are just four points away thanks to a strong start to the season with three straight wins, everything has collapsed since then. Les Verts, now 13th, remain on a series of five defeats in a row during which they have scored only a single goal... In tumbling towards the relegation zone over these last few weeks during which many important players were missing, ASSE will now seek to reassure itself and avoid a deeper crisis.