Ligue 1 Uber Eats, Matchday 7, 01/10/2023
Lyon travelled to Reims in Ligue 1’s Sunday lunchtime kick-off as they searched for their first Ligue 1 win of the season. Following Luton’s victory against Everton in the Premier League on Saturday, Lyon remained the only team in Europe’s top 5 leagues to not have led a match thus far this season. A quick start was paramount for Fabio Grosso’s team.
With a change in formation, OL started well with both wing backs finding joy high up and a much higher tempo visible within Les Gones’ play – something missing from the opening 6 matchdays. Diomandé and Alvero both tried early efforts from a distance but were both easily saved. The distinguishable difference in the opening 15 minutes was the high pressing and effort exerted by the OL players which has previously been lacking.
Junya Ito had the best chance in the early stages of the game as he connected with a ball over the top into the box but the Japanese international could only volley over the bar. Despite a renewed intent from Lyon, they still struggled to create any clear-cut chances in the first half.
Lyon found themselves undone once again before halftime though with Reims opening the scoring. Junya Ito had acres of space out wide to pick out Marshall Munetsi in the box to head beyond Lopes and give Reims the lead in stoppage time. OL’s torrid record of not scoring in the first half extends to 7 matches.
Caqueret had Lyon’s first opportunity of the first half but his volley on the edge of the area was straight at Diouf in the Reims goal. The Champagne club doubled their advantage in the 71st minute through Abdelhamid. Teuma’s cross was headed goalwards by Ito which Lopes managed to keep out. However, the ball fell to Yunis Abdelhamid for a simple header to make things worse for Grosso’s men. Ito then darted into space following a Diomandé mistake but Daramy couldn’t make it three.
Two defeats in two for Grosso and Lyon now sit at the foot of the Ligue 1 table for another week.
Lyon player ratings:
Anthony Lopes – 5
Saël Kumbedi – 6: The only shining light for Lyon in an attacking sense. He constantly bombed forward on the right flank and attempted to carve out openings with teasing balls into the area.
Clinton Mata – 5
Jake O’Brien – 5: The former Crystal Palace defender coped well on his competitive debut for Lyon but should have tracked the run of Munetsi for the opening goal better. The Zimbabwean midfielder was afforded far too much space to head home.
Sinaly Diomandé – 4
Nicolás Tagliafico – 5
Skelly Alvero – 5
Maxence Caqueret – 4
Corentin Tolisso – 4:
Rayan Cherki – 5: The Frenchman was involved in most phases of play for Lyon once again but often found himself dropping deep. This left Mama Baldé a largely isolated figure in attack and influenced Les Gones’ ability to create openings in the final third.
Mama Baldé – 4: Baldé found himself isolated in the attacking third of the pitch and found himself unable to get involved in the match. The Troyes loanee looked a largely frustrated figure at the top of the pitch before being forced off with injury.