Lens’ defeat on Saturday gave Lyon an opportunity to at least give their new boss a ray of hope ahead of starting work on Monday. They did under the stewardship of Jean-François Vulliez – former OL stars Sonny Anderson and Jérémie Brechet were also on the bench as assistants – but only to a limited extent as they were held relatively comfortably by the newly promoted visitors.
An early booking for home captain Alexandre Lacazette (5′) suggested it was going to be a difficult evening for the hosts, who saw Laurent Blanc sacked during the international break and replaced by FIFA World Cup winner and former Lyon full-back Grosso.
The ex-Italy international would have seen Cherki looking sharp, and he forced a first serious save from Arthur Desmas after skipping past Christophe Opéri and bending a low shot goalwards (25′). But the France U21 international was Lyon’s only serious threat as Grosso was given an indication of the scale of the task ahead.
The one consolation would have been that Anthony Lopes was not seriously tested in the home goal, but they did not give Desmas the difficult evening he might have expected either.
The Le Havre goalkeeper did deny Ernest Nuamah after the Ghana international had accelerated away from Arouna Sangante (54′); at the opposite end, Lopes did not move, but watched with relief as Daler Kuziaev’s header flashed narrowly beyond the top corner (57′).
The Portugal international ‘keeper was surely expecting to be picking the ball out of his net when Samuel Grandsir slid in at the back post to connect with Josué Casimir’s cross, but his effort sailed over the crossbar with the goal gaping (68’).
Lyon substitute Mama Baldé saw Desmas push out his volley (72′), and Cherki was then denied after a fabulous piece of skill and low shot (82′), but there was no way through for OL, who picked up only their second point of the season to move out of the relegation zone.
THE PLAYER: Maxence Caqueret
The Lyon midfielder was everything that the fans had asked for following the 4-1 loss to Paris Saint-Germain before the international break. Industrious with the right dose of aggression, the France U21 international showed the way for his teammates.
THE STAT: 2009
This was the duo’s first Ligue 1 Uber Eats meeting since 15 February 2009 when Lyon won 3-1.
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