Girondins De Bordeaux – Olympique Lyonnais: New Look Midfield Powers OL To Victory (1-2)
Lyon manager Rudi Garcia adopted a traditional 4-3-3 system - electing to field his three most technical midfielders. The outcome completely overwhelmed Pablo Sousa and Bordeaux, who struggled to establish their buildup play and negotiate a more athletic OL press.
Tactical analysis and match report by K.T. Stockwell.
Significant injuries to Memphis Depay and Jeff Reine-Adélaïde have forced Garcia to shuffle his deck and experiment with new formations, as well as a number of technically gifted OL youth players. Two cup matches following the winter break provided the OL manager some latitude in testing his new systems and ideas and brought a club desperate for some consistency ten goals and two straight wins.
In keeping with this process, as well as the need to rotate the squad for its third match in a week, Garcia made a number of changes. The most pronounced was the decision to give Jason Denayer the day off – instead electing to go with a center-back duo of Marcelo and Joachim Andersen. Flanking the central defenders were Fernando Marçal and Rafael. In midfield, the skipper finally gave a nod to the threesome of Thiago Mendes, Houassem Aouar and 19-year-old Maxence Caqueret. Meanwhile, Bertrand Traoré, Maxwel Cornet and Moussa Dembélé patrolled the frontline.
After a hot start, Bordeaux stumbled into the winter break – taking losses to Marseille, Strasbourg and Rennes. Nonetheless, there remained a sense that Sousa was doing a lot with a little and that reinforcements would . . .