LOSC Lille – Olympique Lyonnais: Lille Squander An Advantage In The Race For Europe (3-3)
A key clash in Lille's quest to qualify for European football next season saw them host Lyon, who were far from where they wanted to be as they started the match down in tenth spot. The hosts were in a commanding position in the second half, but ended up throwing away a two-goal lead to drop crucial points in the race for Europe.
Tactical analysis and match report by Neel Shelat.
Lille have caught many eyes under Paulo Fonseca this season, but in spite of their impressive performances and playing style, results have not always gone their way. They started the weekend with the second-best xGD (Expected Goal Difference) in Ligue 1 but were down in sixth place. Still, only six points separated them from local rivals Lens in third which is a potential Champions League spot, so their season could yet end on a high.
That definitely will not be the case for Lyon, who underwent a managerial change in October. Laurent Blanc came in after they had 20 points from 14 league games, but he has not turned things around a great deal as they have only added 19 points from the subsequent 12 matches under him. European qualification does not seem likely at all now, so they do not have much to play for in the home stretch of the Ligue 1 season.
Lille lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 shape on paper, which looks quite different in practise. Lucas Chevalier started in goal behind 17-year-old Leny Yoro, Alexsandro Ribeiro, Gabriel Gudmundsson and makeshift fullback Timothy Weah. Benjamin André and André Gomes joined forces in defensive midfield behind Angel Gemos, whilst Jonathan Bamba and R . . .
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