Cornet and Dembélé fire Lyon past Bordeaux
Olympique Lyonnais climbed into a provisional fifth place with a 2-1 win over Girondins de Bordeaux at the Matmut Atlantique, with Maxwel Cornet and Moussa Dembélé scoring to cancel out Jimmy Briand’s opener.
Girondins de Bordeaux 1-2 Olympique Lyonnais
Having been pushing for a European place for much of the first half of the season, Bordeaux have been in freefall recently, dropping nine points in their last three games to come into this Round 20 clash in 13th, trailing their 12th-placed visitors on goal-difference. Lyon – who have enjoyed back-to-back Cup wins – started much the brighter, with Houssem Aouar flashing a shot wide from the edge of the box (6′) before Bertrand Traoré slammed a free-kick into the Bordeaux wall (9′). It was Les Girondins who opened the scoring, though, rather against the run of play. Joachim Andersen, under little pressure, played the ball back to his goalkeeper Anthony Lopes without paying sufficient attention to what was behind him, and Briand stole in to tap home his fifth goal of the campaign against his former employers (15′).
Lyon continued to dominate after that mishap, and Maxence Caqueret had the chance to reduce the arrears when he met Marçal’s cross at the back post, but he fired off target (18′). Caqueret blazed another effort over the bar soon after (25′) before Laurent Koscielny and Mexer combined to break down yet another Lyon attack at the last (33′). Rudi Garcia’s side have been shorn of club captain Memphis Depay and promising Arsenal academy graduate Jeff Reine-Adélaïde due to injury, but Dembélé and Traoré looked menacing in their absence, and combined to create another chance late in the half which fell to Cornet, but the Ivorian international steered wide of the near post (40′) and it was 1-0 at the break.
Lyon level things up
Lyon were back on level terms minutes after the restart, though. Cornet got the break of the ball on the left wing, cut inside and let fly, and his effort deflected beyond Benoît Costil and into the far corner for 1-1 (50′). The visitors – having had a league-high 11 shots on the Bordeaux goal in the first half – then got the go-ahead goal they will feel they deserved minutes later. This time Cornet turned provider, slipping the ball through for Dembélé, and the former Celtic man recovered his balance before finishing well into the far side (53′). Nicolas de Préville thought he should have had a penalty at the other end soon after, but Clément Turpin’s whistle stayed in his pocket (59′).
Cornet might have added another when second-half substitute Martin Terrier sprinted clear and squared the ball to the back post, but there was just too much on the delivery for the winger to connect (65′). The visitors came even closer when Dembélé and Cornet completed a smart one-two on the edge of the Bordeaux box before Dembélé lifted a finish over the onrushing Costil, but his effort hit the bar, bounced on the line and stayed out (74′). Aouar then chipped Costil before Pablo headed the danger clear (79′). Koscielny thought he had snatched a late equaliser with his first Bordeaux goal late on but his effort was ruled out for offside (85′) and it ended 2-1.
THE PLAYER: Maxwel Cornet
Even with Memphis and Reine-Adélaïde out, competition for places in Lyon’s final third remains fierce. Cornet made just his eighth league start of the season on Saturday, but he grabbed his chance with both hands. The 23-year-old’s decision-making in attacking situations was impeccable at the Matmut Atlantique, and he rightly came away with a goal and an assist to his name.
THE STAT: 7
Lyon leapt seven places to fifth with the win, although each of the teams below them in the table not called Bordeaux have at least one game in hand over Les Gones.
Amiens SC 1-2 Montpellier Hérault SC
Montpellier Hérault SC pulled back into the top five at Lyon’s expense on Saturday evening in coming from behind to beat Amiens SC 2-1 at their Stade de la Licorne. The hosts had taken the lead inside the first 15 minutes when Bakaye Dibassy reacted quickest to Arturo Calabresi’s effort bounding back off the post, but Gaëtan Laborde headed home Téji Savanier’s cross to equalise five minutes after the restart before turning provider for strike partner Andy Delort, who volleyed home late on to seal Montpellier’s second win on the bounce following three successive defeats at the end of 2019.
Angers SCO 1-1 OGC Nice
OGC Nice and Angers SCO wrestled to a 1-1 draw at the Stade Raymond Kopa. Patrick Vieira’s Nice had won three of their last four matches in all competitions heading into this encounter but Walter Benitez was the first to be picking the ball out of his net, Sada Thioub careering into the Argentine’s box before sending him the wrong way at the end of the first half. Angers had only conceded ten goals at home this season, but Nice forced their way back onto level terms soon after the restart when Wylan Cyprien converted a penalty which Ignatius Ganago had earned, and it ended honours even.
FC Metz 1-0 RC Strasbourg Alsace
John Boye’s first goal in nearly nine months was enough to give FC Metz bragging rights against regional rivals RC Strasbourg Alsace. Les Grenats were humbled by fourth tier FC Rousen in the Coupe de France on Monday, but they were clearly in the mood to make amends on Saturday and their pressured finally told when Ghana midfielder Boye got the break of the ball in the Strasbourg box on 68 minutes and thumped what prived to be the winner beyond Mats Selz. Metz now have a five-point cushion on the automatic relegation places.
Nîmes Olympique 2-0 Stade de Reims
Nîmes Olympique picked a much-needed win in their battle against the drop, beating Stade de Reims 2-0 at the Stade des Costières. Reims, shorn of striker Rémi Oudin, who joined Bordeaux in the winter transfer window, rarely threatened, and Nîmes looked comfortable throughout, talking the lead on 15 minutes when Renaud Ripart forced home following a corner. Reims played most of the second half with ten men after Alaixys Romao picked up a second yellow card for a high boot on Lucas Deaux, and the hosts took full advantage, grabbing their second in injury time when Boirdeaux-owned Yassine Benrahou’s free-kick deflected home.
Toulouse FC 2-5 Stade Brestois 29
Stade Brestois 29 heaped the misery on Toulouse FC, with Gaëtan Charbonnier scoring twice in a ten-minute glut in the second half to seal a 5-2 win over the Ligue 1 Conforama basement dwellers, the hosts’ tenth loss on the bounce. A pair of Bafodé Diakité goals – both following Mathieu Dossevi corners – looked to have Toulouse cruising in interim coach Denis Zanko’s first league game in charge, but Charbonnier struck twice inside the final 20 minutes – the first a magnificent volley – before Hiang’a Mbock and Irvin Cardona added gloss to the scoreline. Toulouse are now three points adrift.