Olympique Lyonnais – Olympique Marseille: Europe’s top spenders steer themselves further away from relegation (1-0)

What has become in recent years the fiercest rivalry in Ligue 1 demonstrated its latest offering as Olympique de Marseille visited Olympique Lyonnais. The atmosphere in the Groupama Stadium was notably flatter than on other occasions as Marseille supporters were banned from traveling to Lyon and the home side controlled an affair that has often been spiky and tense. 
Tactical analysis and match report by Nick Hartland.

Despite winning three games in a row to end the year, it has been a familiar story for Pierre Sage’s Lyon since the return from the winter break. Two losses to Le Havre AC and Stade Rennais have dampened a cautiously buoyant mood that had begun to develop and leave Les Gones once again on the brink of the relegation zone. January acquisitions have been brought in as Lyon became Europe’s top spenders but whether that will be enough to steer the club towards ‘mediocrity’ is yet to be seen. 

Marseille would be without their traveling support after the events that led to the October game between these sides being abandoned. A winless January has left manager Gennaro Gattuso under increased scrutiny. A victory over their rivals in the Choc des Olympiques would alleviate some pressure while applying some on the European positions as Les Phocéens would rise to sixth in the table. 

Sage has experimented with a variety of formations in his search to bring out the best in this underperforming Lyon side. Against Marseille, he went with a 3 . . .

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Nick Hartland is a freelance writer focusing on French football. You can find him @NickHartland_ on Twitter. [ View all posts ]


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