Gerland used to host the Champions League: names like Juninho, Malouda, Govou and Wiltord evoke memories of a tough team that, while not spread to Europe its undisputed dominance in France, became an unwanted rival and the Beast Black teams like Real Madrid. However, the previous season as irregular condemned Lyon to temporarily leave the Champions to contest the Europa League, the prize of the small and the solace of the medium.
Yesterday visited Lyon Athletic made one slightly bigger competition last season but can not find on this course, in need of points and beset by emergencies. A priori it was the toughest match of the group, but what was shown yesterday on the lawn of Gerland is that the Lions could have won thanks to a good party that lacked greater success in both areas, which is where they get lost and win games. So, the 2-1 puts uphill end ranking for Marcelo Bielsa.
Since the issue started badly when, in the greeting between umpires and captains, a linesman Gurpegui spoke English as he put face of circumstances. Llorente and Gomis, two rams high-flying, would start on the bench subtracting the party a bit of interest, but later would have their role reserved.
Lyon, who does not have a team of before this summer and lost two key players like Lloris and Cissokho could not count either with Bastos, injured, and Gourcuff, in bad shape. Luck was entrusted to Lisandro Lopez. On the left, by the way, another Argentine galloped like Monzon, a few years ago dressed unsuccessfully Betis shirt.
He started the match with Athletic intended to take the lead and Lyon not very predisposed to the task, however the errors of both sets conducive that the party did not have too clearly. But the Lions, who went up a gear as they approached near the penalty area, they realized that deep passes did much damage to a weak local defense which tended to get too far ahead and it was not hard to find tickle in the back.
In that sense, the passes of Ander Herrera and uncheck De Marcos took on special significance. Aduriz also wanted to join, but it was the day of the Atletico striker.
So things were a lot of offsides, but Vercoutre, charge this year of supplying Lloris, was occasionally closely with the Athletic players, who would be unable to overtake his team on the scoreboard. For its part, the greatest danger of Lyon was signed by Lisandro and Malbranque, veteran player with a long career in the Premier who returned last year to France and joined in this by the Lyon.
The first half ended scoreless on the scoreboard and feel of a superior Athletic, but unable to endorse this improvement in the form of clear chances.
Early in the second half and looked warm to Llorente and Gomis, Lisandro but who would, in the seventh minute, his team would advance when more lurking Athletic penalty area. It happened after a poor clearance that Muniain Gurpegui do not know him, which it did Réveillère to center at the head of Lisandro, whose lack of staining by Bilbao behind should not detract one a flawless header before which little or Iraizoz could do nothing.
The Athletic reacted both against his teeth while Lyon saw them coming. Soon after came the carousel of changes: Gomis and Lacazette entered by local and Llorente and Ibai the visitor.
The inputs of both front entailed a considerable increase in the hazard rating of its equipment. Gomis, who replaced Lisandro depriving us of seeing what they could have done together in the French attack, starred several times of danger due to their power and accurate shot which repeatedly buzzed behind rival.
Meanwhile Aduriz was one of those substituted in the Athletic: Atletico striker was perhaps the best option that the club had to find a nine on the market and start league has been really good, but not Llorente. The comparison is unfair, but as he entered the Lion King on the field were reactivated several options on the table Bilbao as the long ball looking to ram it down the ball like no input enabling peers.
Thus came the goal by Ibai which meant the tie and the clearest chance Vercoutre Susaeta who diverted a great intervention.
But when it seemed that Athletic had the game in their hands and the comeback could be a fact blow came five minutes from the end: a fumble led to the firing of Fofana and a poor clearance Iraizoz Briand took advantage to score the second , that would give the victory to his.
No one would speak of righteousness and merit: the Lyon was more successful in both areas and that’s what gave him the match, but the feeling is that Athletic could have taken all three points Gerland. Bielsa said in the preview that had to go round to win three of the four games remaining. It is difficult, but still possible.