Olympique Lyonnais – AS Saint-Étienne: Dembélé Brace Steers Lyon To Victory (2-0)
France’s most fractious derby gave way to a contrasting fixture, as each of Lyon and Saint-Étienne owned a half of dominance. However, in the end it was Lyon’s extra bit of quality up front that allowed them to escape with a 2-0 victory.
Tactical analysis and match report by K.T. Stockwell.
A surprising victory over Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League tie helped to buoy spirits around a Lyon side that has drawn the ire of their own supporters for much of the campaign. However, a shocking win and a standout performance from new kid Bruno Guimarães was enough to alter the narrative ahead of the team’s biggest fixture of the season.
Looking to build off the goodwill earned during mid-week action, Rudi Garcia stuck with the majority of the lineup that helped him secure a victory over Juventus. However, in anticipation of a more defensive opponent, the Lyon manager shifted to a 4-3-3 formation. The defense remained intact, as Léo Dubois and Marçal flanked Jason Denayer and Marcelo. In midfield, Bruno got another start in the holding role, while Houssem Aouar and Lucas Tousart filled out the final two spots. Up front, Mousa Dembélé reprised his role at center forward, while Martin Terrier and Bertrand Traoré started on the wings.
Conversely, goodwill continues to evaporate for Saint-Étienne manager Claude Puel, whose side has tumbled down the Ligue 1 table, entering the match against their rivals only two points . . .