Ligue 1 Uber Eats, Matchday 5, 17/09/2023
Lyon searched for their first victory of the season as they hosted newly-promoted Le Havre. New manager Fabio Grosso was in the stands watching alongside club president John Textor to see his new team in action.
The first half yielded little promise from the perspective of both teams. With no real leader in the technical area for OL, it felt very much a case of too many cooks spoil the soup. Sonny Anderson, Jean-François Vulliez and Jérémie Bréchet were all barking instructions at the Lyon players but failed to organise their team with any real gusto. The hosts were in control of the proceedings but failed to create any clear openings, despite a rather direct approach, and the first half was played at a rather timid pace. The teams went into the break level with the game goalless.
The second half started in a much more frenetic fashion with Lyon carving out three chances in the opening 5 minutes. Cherki arguably had the best but his shot was tame and he should’ve slipped in Lacazette who was in a better position. Nuamah then had a glorious chance to put Lyon ahead after a perfectly weighted ball from Tolisso but his shot was straight at Desmas in the Le Havre goal.
A brilliantly worked set piece was knocked across the face of goal by Tagliafico but Diomandé’s attempted header was wayward and evaded Lacazette – Les Gones remained frustrated. Grandsir missed an open net at the back post which almost rubbed even more salt into Lyon’s wounds. Chelsea loanee Diego Moreira entered the fray in the last 13 minutes to make his debut and almost made an instant impact as he linked up with Cherki but the ball just wouldn’t fall for the French U21 international in a congested penalty area.
Lyon continued to pepper the Le Havre goal but they defended stoutly to earn a well-deserved point. Lots to think about for Grosso after a disappointing result for OL despite a vigoruous attempt at a resurgence in the second half.
Lyon player ratings:
Anthony Lopes – 5
Saël Kumbedi – 6
Clinton Mata – 5
Sinaly Diomandé – 5
Nicolás Tagliafico – 6
Paul Akououkou – 5 – The Ivorian’s Lyon debut went fine. He did his job as the defensive shield and won the ball well. A fairly positive start.
Maxence Caqueret – 6 – Brought energy and vigour to a midfield which was non-existentt in the first half. He aided Cherki in creative exploits in the second half and was the only real presence in the Lyon midfield.
Corentin Tolisso – 5
Ernest Nuamah – 6
Alexandre Lacazette – 4 – The Lyon captain’s return was rather disappointing. He failed to register an effort on target and was rather an isolated figure at times as he struggled to gain any foothold in attacking play.
Rayan Cherki – 7 – The French U21 international was involved in everything positive for Lyon but nothing just seemed to fall for their attackers. The way all creativity and attacking play funneled through him showed Lyon’s heavy reliance on him to make things happen.