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OL-Nice: What happened three years ago

Published on 19 May 2021 at 9:00 AM

presented by  presented by FirstTeam

OL-Nice : Ce qu'il s'est passé il y a 3 ans
Three years ago now, OL faced OGC Nice on Matchday 38. A match that also had, as its stakes, qualification for the Champions League, and is a reminder for us of the importance of this weekend's match -- here's look back at this match, so important for all of the Lyon supporters.
On May 19, 2018, OL hosted OGC Nice at Groupama Stadium and had to win to secure third place qualification for the Champions League.

Aside from Anthony Lopes, Bruno Génésio picked a first-choice eleven. Nice, who had nothing for which to play on this last day of the season, had every intention of spoiling the Lyon party. Lyon knew enough to be wary of an attacking line consisting of Allan Saint-Maximin, Mario Balotelli and the former Lyon player Alassane Pléa.

OGC Nice got off to a strong start. On a long ball, Alassane Pléa beat Jérémy Morel and then finished past Mathieu Gorgelin, who had replaces Lopes (0-1, 18’). This Nice goal brought about a reaction from Lyon, which would come about ten minutes later. A cross from Ferland Mendy was deflected by Bertrand Traoré, hitting Benitez's post and offering a first warning for Les Aiglons' defense.

Five minutes after the teams' return from the locker room, Fekir beat Marlon and Souquet and crossed towards Memphis Depay, who tapped home to equalize (1-1, 49’). It would then take a stroke of genius from the Dutch striker for OL to take the lead. He cleverly slipped his free kick under the opposing wall and beat Benitez (2-1, 65’). Running on to a pass from Bertrand Traoré, Memphis then completed his strong performance with a magnificent effort (3-1, 87’), earning himself a hat trick before Alassane Pléa reduced the deficit, having scored twice against the club for whom he made his professional debut. (3-2, 89’).

It was a spectacular victory for OL, thanks to an unstoppable Memphis Depay, allowing OL to finish third in the standings, ahead of Olympique de Marseille, and earning a place in the Champions League for the following season. It was in this edition of the Champions League that Lyon would go on to defeat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.