How could Lyon have signed such a “catastrophic” match after their success in Porto?

In the OL Park,

After the string of successes at Lorient (1-4) and especially at Porto (0-1), we almost forgot how unpredictable, even illegible, OL was. Launched on the best momentum of their season and vengeful after the first leg blow in Brittany (4-1), the Lyonnais were sure to deliver a big game this Sunday against Stade Rennais, a direct competitor in the race for the ‘Europe. Result: a bleeding and surreal 0-4 in the 49th minute after a fireworks, as a symbol, from Martin Terrier, so discreet during his two seasons with OL.

“I had a lot of confidence before this match because I had seen my team grow after the break”, Peter Bosz summarizes. We had just missed our first period in Monaco. But there we completely missed our start of the game. “It’s an understatement, because his group was taken by the throat, feverish with each revival and logically punished by goals from Benjamin Bourigeaud (0-1, 11th) and Baptiste Santamaria (0-2, 13th).

Benjamin Bourigeaud opened the scoring, this Sunday in Parc OL, after a great collective move. JEFF PACHOUD – AFP

‘It is not the Antho we know this season’

“The start of the game was catastrophic,” continues Jeff Reine-Adélaïde, the only player who agreed to retire in front of the journalists after this fiasco. We wanted to do well, start very strong after Porto, but the Rennais managed to surprise us. They had the entry ball and left us in our camp. Our passes didn’t arrive when we had really quality players. Sometimes nothing is explained, we will have to analyze this match and move on to something else very quickly. †

We unfold for you the rest of OL’s nightmare afternoon in the rain: the goal against his side of the season avoided in extremis by Anthony Lopes on a harmless ball (41st), then another ball from him with a missed raise for Lukeba, this time sanctioned by Lovro Majer (0-3, 45th + 1). “It is not the Antho we know this season and this goal just before half-time hurt us a lot, Peter Bosz notes. At halftime we tried to change the squad by taking a lot of risks, with only one central defender in our three-man defence. We wanted to score a goal quickly and maybe get into the game. But unfortunately the opposite happened. †

Anthony Lopes went all out this Sunday against Stade Rennais (2-4).
Anthony Lopes went all out this Sunday against Stade Rennais (2-4). – JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

Really a “brave” team in the second half?

So much to draft a 4-2-3-1 with his typical team, which had just won with a lot of character in Porto on Wednesday, seemed unquestionable before the meeting. As much as his Playstation changes during halftime (Gusto for Dubois, Kadewere for Mendes) could have resulted in the biggest blow in history at Parc OL. Picture a 3-5-2 centered around the irremovable Lukeba with the usual offensive side-pistons Gusto and Emerson. And as long as you make a nice tandem of Romain Faivre-Karl Toko Ekambi pistons. All this to bring out Tino Kadewere, author of a spooky season (1 goal scored).

Lost in this position where he found himself for the first (and probably last) time in his young career, within a team in disarray, Malo Gusto was immediately stunned by Martin Terrier (0-4, 49th). And if Peter Bosz, who returned to a 4-man defense by signing Damien Da Silva (78th), saw his team then be “brave”, it was Stade Rennais who offered Lyon two almost anecdotal goals in the last half hour. An avoidable against his camp by Hamari Traoré on an off-target header from Karl Toko Ekambi (1-4, 59th and a penalty from Dembélé after an off-topic exit from Alfred Mendy (2-4, 82nd), did indeed sink it softened from Lyon.

Between “Frustration, Anger and Disappointment”

But between the end of the encouragement from the north in the second half and the departure of many supporters before the final whistle, the stoppage was brutal in the stands too. “We have a feeling of frustration, anger, disappointment,” said Jeff Reine-Adélaïde. Peter Bosz is convinced that this defeat does not come from the approach of this meeting, between the two shocks of the Europa League.

It is not a matter of concentration, or the importance of this match, which is badly perceived by the players. Everyone knew it was a very important match. No, but we really missed our start of the game. We wanted to chase them and be aggressive, but it was the Rennais who put us under pressure. On the long balls we lost the duels, we didn’t cover well, we didn’t slide well and all second balls were for Rennes. Our chances were scarce, we lost and that was of course deserved. †

9 points behind the podium 10 days before the end

Does such a blow certainly mean the failure of the podium goal, which now stands at 9 points? “It’s not over, it’s not my mentality to give up,” assures Peter Bosz, not without keeping his good humor, by teaching himself to use the word “mathematical”.

Like Emerson and Anthony Lopes, the Lyonnais had a real ordeal this Sunday against Stade Rennais.
Like Emerson and Anthony Lopes, the Lyonnais had a real ordeal this Sunday against Stade Rennais. – Laurent Cipriani/AP/SIPA

“We must not miss against Porto and Reims,” ​​emphasizes Jeff Reine-Adélaïde. We can’t tell ourselves it’s more than 11 games from the end, otherwise we might as well go on vacation right away. “Maybe not at 11, but there really are only 10 left and after such a blow it’s hard to see this chronically erratic OL (with +2 in target average) overtake 7 direct opponents in two months. Can surprise effects in Lyon still work the other way?