On the one hand, Lyon, an unbeaten team for 6 matches. On the other, AS Saint-Etienne who remained on 5 consecutive defeats in the league. At the hour of 121e derby, the logic was therefore implacable, and the victory of OL predictable, even easy. Especially since the Greens appeared on the Lyon lawn with a very young eleven, facing the experience and talent of OL. But in a derby more than in any other match, logic is a very relative concept. And at the final whistle, if it was Lyon who won 2 to 1, it was not without suffering against young Stéphanois long attractive, before accusing the blow in the second half, and who missed a penalty in the dying moments of the match.
The Greens find color
A week after the courageous draw in Lille, Rudi garcia had decided to adjust his eleven a bit to face ASSE: Dembele, Caqueret and Toko-Ekambi were making their return. In front, Claude puel remained in his logic despite the black series crossed by his men: to align a young team in order to rebuild a long-term project. And the start of the match confirmed the choices of the Saint-Etienne coach, since his young troops, disciplined and full of envy, jostled OL. After a shy strike from Depay (5e) and a goal refused for offside at Dembélé (10e), Denis Bouanga pushed Anthony Lopes at a handball goalkeeper parade (12e).
Faced with the Greens well organized and fast against, Lyon broke their teeth. On a free kick well struck by Depay, Dembélé thought to open the scoring with a header but the French striker was still signaled out of play (30e). A few minutes later, it is the Stéphane striker, Charles Abi, who scored an invalidated goal because of a stroller on Denayer. The kickoff of an end of the first period of total madness. Taking advantage of a Stéphane error, Houssem Aouar initially spun alone at the goal but saw his attempt rejected by an Imperial Mill (39e). On the counter, Denis Bouanga was initially disgusted on a head pushed back by Lopes. But in the continuity, the former Lorient had fun with the Lyon defense, before seeing Lopes divert his center into the goal, to the delight of the Greens (0-1, 39e). Toko-Ekambi then Aouar then went there with their attempts, but the Lyonnais returned to the locker room logically led.
Denis Bouanga, fallen hero
Disappointed by their insignificant first period, like the performance of Memphis Depay, Rudi Garcia’s men showed a different face from the resumption. But opposite, AS Saint-Etienne also maintained its rhythm. However, apart from a few free kick attempts from both sides, and a long shot from Bouanga (60e), clear opportunities were rare. As is often the case in these cases, the light came with a set piece. Shortly after the hour mark, Memphis Depay initiated a combination on a free kick yet ideally placed. Staggered by the Dutch, Maxwell Cornet straightened towards the six meters where Tino Kadewere, just entered the game, resumed from a madjer full of class (1-1, 64e). Lyon was back.
And the man who had dreamed in the week “score two goals in this derby “ was going to make this dream premonitory. After a post from Toko-Ekambi (70e), Tino Kadewere decided to take the destiny of this derby in hand, and to definitely launch his Lyon adventure. On the left side, the Zimbabwean was playing Camara then Moukoudi before surprising Jessy Moulin, who was too anticipating the cross (2-1, 72e). Cruel to young Greens. So the slightly more mature Stéphanois would take over, and on a center of Khazri, Hamouma saw his recovery come out by the feet of Lopes (76e). Ten minutes later, they even got a penalty on a hand of Jean Lucas in the surface. But Denis Bouanga, so decisive from the kick-off, missed his attempt, while Lopes was beaten (88e). Able to recover in the second half, OL won this 121st derby in pain and having suffered. But whatever, since a derby is won, and the rest does not matter.