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Monaco-OL: Continue to believe (9 p.m., Canal +)

Published on 02 May 2021 at 6:00 AM
Monaco – OL : Continuer d’y croire (21h sur Canal +)
A week after a disappointing evening against Lille, Olympique Lyonnais head to AS Monaco for Matchday 35 of Ligue 1 Uber Eats with the aim of getting back to within one point of the podium.

The context

Lift your head and continue to believe -- that was the buzzword on everyone's lips at the press conferences on Friday. The big match against Lille last Sunday could have allowed the Lyonnais to get back onto the podium and move ahead of their opponent on the evening. The machine clicked into gear from the start and allowed OL to quickly take the lead and then double it before Yilmaz’s free kick in stoppage time of the first half. Things, however, were no longer the same in the second half. Struggling, OL made a series of mistakes and ended up giving the three points to Lille at the end of the match. Now four points off the podium and a Monaco side who sit in third place, OL no longer have room for error in hoping to secure qualification for the Champions League.

 

The challenge

The race for the podium and the title will once again be the focus of action this weekend. This trip to Monaco is on everyone's mind and will undoubtedly be a turning point in the season. If they want to hope for a Champions League place for next season, the Lyonnais will have to beat the Monegasques on their pitch. These three points would allow OL to move to within one point behind their  opponent on the evening. By succeeding in doing this, nothing would be lost in trying to gain this European objective, and the last three rounds would then be crucial in determining their qualification for the Champions League and indeed determining who will be league champion.

 

The opponent

Since the start of 2021, AS Monaco have been winning at an incredible pace, taking 44 points out of 51, with 14 wins out of 17. The team that OL faced on October 25 is hardly the same. What had been defensive shortcomings have given way to a solid defense (13 goals conceded in 2021), while their offensive strength has remained the same (71 goals scored this season). The Monegasques have not conceded a goal since March 3 in all competitions. But Rudi Garcia's men will be able to draw on their good performance against this opponent recently in the quarterfinals of the Coupe de France. After a successful and convincing first half, the game turned on a sending-off and a penalty early in the second half. OL will count on repeating this performance over the entire 90 minutes to bring home the three points this Sunday.

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