Meeting this year's PSG is never a pleasing prospect. The remembrance of last winter's game in Parc des Princes is still painful, as with many absences and a fair dose a bad luck, OL had struggled to exist. It's not a reassuring prospect either when there's a horde of followers all after our current third spot: St Etienne, Lille and Nice.
A few years ago, a Lyon Lille match would have been eagerly awaited, and the promise of a spectacular game. But time passes... Today, Lille are 11th in the League and seem toothless after bleeding so many good players. So what's truly at stake today is not beating Lille per se, it's recovering and keeping OM in check, as PSG may have already won the league with the promise of a supremacy worthy of Manchester United in the Premier League, or Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
After what has to be the worst OL game this season (vs Evian, 0-0), Lyon now travel north to meet one of the teams they fare the worst against: Valenciennes (not once in their last four encounters did Lyon manage to win). Now is a good time for a euphemism: Lyon could be in a better situation.
Granted, Lyon are still at the top of L1, only second to PSG due to a lower point difference.
After 2 decades of derbies (during which Lyon supporters have grown in confidence whereas Les Verts fans, with no nails left to bite, stopped hoping that their team would one day topple the powerful Rhone neighbour) there has been one hiccup, a St Etienne win that prompted the demise of Claude Puel.
Against a team of Nice who managed to take 20 points out of 24 possible in the last eight days (8 games without a single loss, ie 6 wins and 2 draws, best series running in L1), Lyon want to end a bad run. Aulas's boys have not won the last game before the winter break in Gerland since December 21, 2000 .
No, no, please don't thank me. I know you've all been grateful for the fact that I heroically
resisted the urge to post every day in order to tactfully avoid you saturating, dear readers of
To be honest there wasn't much to be said anyway, as apart from a few high profile transfers the
French transfer market was as flat as ever.
Tonight's new battle of the Olympiques is one that will make history.
Being a Coupe de la Ligue final, its result will be carved in stone. The name of the winner will
be added to the list of glorious predecessors, those who at least once have been the heroes of this
recent but well publicized competition.
How low have we already dropped? On the evening of the 26th matchday, the PSG was still in sight, three points ahead, but the OL had a rather comfortable mattress, 5 points ahead of Marseille, 6 of Nice, 7 of St-Etienne 10 of Montpellier and Rennes, and 11 of Lille.
6 weeks later the pack are there, close behind, and we can even feel Lille's breath on Lyon's neck.
An Olympico, dubbed so as the Classico of the two Olympiques, Lyonnais and de Marseille, is a very special match, the second the Lyon players note in their agendas after the derby with St Etienne. And tonight more than any other. Between their ambition of a podium slot synonymous of CL next season, and, why not, of winning the title, and the OM aspirations of a revenge after their humiliation in Marseille for the first leg (1-4, possibly the best OL display this season, with Gomis walking on water), both teams tonight promise a high level and intense encounter that will smell a strong scent of Champions League.
Pinch me, I must have been having a nightmare. In this dream, an utterly passive Lyon got battered by a superb Toulouse.
This summit of the two Olympiques, or Olympico as it's sometimes called in France, should have taken place exactly one month ago, in the 10th matchday. But due to extreme wind conditions, it had to be postponed.
What the hell has been going on with the team this week?
Initially scheduled on October 28, then cancelled due to violent wind conditions in Marseille, the summit of the 10th matchday between OM and OL had to be rescheduled on Wednesday, November 28, at a time still to be determined.
... or do they? There are such strong winds in the region that Lyon players had to come by train rather than plane; but that's a lesser issue considering that the game might simply be postponed, as Marseille's stadium, the Stade Velodrome, being currently under expansion, there are several cranes all around that risk collapsing on the tribunes.
A little less than two weeks after the crushing defeat in Bastia (4-1), and an international truce finally welcome to reflect on it, Rémi Garde had two tasks on his plate. First, to explain the collective failure in Corsica ; second, to bounce back against Sochaux. "I expect that we all together show a different face, in particular after this second period in Bastia absolutely unworthy of what we want to do.
That's for sure, today's game is unlikely to grab the headlines. The 5th of the championship (with 15 points) facing the 14th (with 10 points) at 5 PM local time on a sunday afternoon isn't exactly the highlight of the weekend. Adding to this, Brest never won in Gerland in L1 (6 losses, 1 draw) and have proven pretty poor outside their home ground.
2 1/2 days later, the bitter taste in our mouth is still there, the images remain imprinted in our eyes. 20 seconds before the end of regular time, the goal that stopped OL's Europa League run like a bird shot down in the sky is still haunting the Lyonnais' nights.
Granted, Lyon are still second and this season is still a success so far; but, everyone will tell you that the European adrenaline is such that, in comparison, getting back ordinary championship games feel like having to go to work in a rainy monday morning with a hangover following the party of your life in the weekend.
Less than three days after their Thursday games in Europa League, Bordeaux and Lyon meet this afternoon, hoping for redemption.
Obviously, so early after a draining European game, physical shape is one key factor. People usually say that recovery is easier after a win; but, in this case, it's hard to say which of the two teams will have an advantage, as Bordeaux brought a lucky draw (1-1) back from Kiev, while Lyon bowed in extra time (2-1) in Tottenham after a performance that would have deserved a better outcome.
Main piece of news today : Fabio Grosso decided to end his career as a professional footballer. The former OL left back, without club since Juventus didn't renew him, just announced he was turning the page.
Other than that, everything is quiet. Or rather boiling under the surface before the 105th edition of THE derby that promises to be burning hot.
For OL's new geography, Prague is right between Lyon and Toulouse
Prague standing between the Gauls capital and the pink city? Indeed, for Garde's men Prague is just something to cruise by before arriving to what truly constitutes the summit of this week: the Toulouse league game.
Forget the automn CL campaigns of old, Valencia in 2000, Barcelona in 2001 and 2007, Milan in 2002, Glasgow in 2003, Munich in 2008. All the glitter and gold is gone. The old stadium of Haifa, with barely one quarter of the seats occupied : that's what Lyon faces today in this Europa League campaign.
Facing Nancy tonight is a daunting prospect. OK, maybe I'm overdoing it a bit, but still: the Lyonnais tradition these past years was to fare honestly against the big guns and stumble against the minnows. And that's how Nancy can be seen so far, the very last of L1 who hasn't won a game since matchday 1.
After Troyes, Evian and Valenciennes, and before the shock against Lille and Bordeaux, meeting Ajaccio at this point is a real opportunity. We should not be loosing pace, as Marseille seem in brilliant form and the other big guns seem about to wake up and start the chase (QSG, anyone?). So there are important points to grab today, facing an opponent they should normally dominate.
Short post today as Nikhil won't be able to post the preview due to personal circumstances.
There's precious little to say other than Lyon are pretty much assured to keep the 4th spot, so
this game is of little importance... except for Gourcuff and the other European internationals who
want to be noticed and selected for the Euro championship.
Olympique Lyonnais vs. Girondins de Bordeaux
Stade Municipal de Gerland
...oooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllll!! But de Licha!
Talk about goal hangovers. Scoring in the final moments of the match at Lille on Week 6 of the season meant Lisandro was one of 8 Argentines to get on the scoresheets in clubs around the world.
After what is regarded as a good start to the season, Lyon have a true test on the agenda tonight. Indeed, they are yet to loose a game ; and, with 13 points out of a possible 15, they can rightly feel confident. But not too much, though. Rémi Garde is well conscious that, bar Valenciennes, none of the teams faced by Lyon thus far are in the first half of the championship ; and 3 of these 5 games were at home.
Lyon vs. Valenciennes
Stade Municipal de Gerland, Week 4, Ligue 1
Yep, Hugo Lloris has left for Tottenham. I couldn't help going back three years in time when a
friend said Lyon is better than Tottenham. "Tottenham?!", I cried, "Why would you even mention the
two teams in the same sentence?
(Sorry guys, this is just a filler for now, due to technical reasons the post will be up after
Milan for Lyon, first take, clap! New Lyonnais Milan Bisevac will start in central defense. The
Serb defender will be associated with Kone and not Lovren, who rejoined the group after four months
absence due to a painful foot.
Here's a quick recap of what's been going on at OL recently. There have been talks of several
depatures while Aulas has also promised new players, perhaps even this week.
Kim Kallstrom has left Lyon for Spartak Moscow.
Tomorrow, Ligue 1 winner Montpellier will be facing Lyon in the Trophée des Champions,
otherwise known as the French Supercup. Lyon have won this trophy seven times, more than any other
team in the league. Also significant is that this is the fourth year in a row that this competition
will be held on foreign soil.
I know, I know: technically, tonight's game fits the definition of a derby. Unfortunately, this
new L1 fixture (2 years old) is nowhere near in anticipation and expectation as an OL-ASSE, the
So indeed the interest, if any, of this game is not obvious, as the outcome won't make much
difference to the two participants fortunes.
Short post today. After winning the Coupe de France against Quevilly (1-0) and therefore qualified
for the group stages of the Europa League, the OL players (currently 5th with a game in hand) will
try to end the season with panache and climb onto the podium. Les Gones stand nine points behind
the third (Lille) and one point behind current fourth Rennes, but they rely on a postponed game to
play against Evian TG on May 10.
Okay, this is just filler post for comments.
The match looks really really ugly. I'm 74% sure Marseille has paid Ajaccio to injure Lyonnais
Referee has lost control of the match, and Ajaccio has had a red card as of halftime. And its
Tonight, before stepping onto the stadium of the Route de Lorient in Rennes, Lyon players know
that Lille beat Toulouse and show no sign of slowing down. Whether it will motivate them to pursue
the hunt for this so deeply coveted third place, or hurt their morale to see this step so high to
reach is a question.
Lyon are out of the Champions League and the title race, but they are still in the hunt for some
silverware. Today's quarterfinal match against PSG could further revitalize Lyon's campaign or
plunge it back into misery.
Wednesday, March 21th, 2012
Parc de Princes, Paris
3:50 PM ET (20:50 CET, 19:50 GMT)
People keep saying that PSG owes its success to money, and that is partially true.
Tonight we'll know if the shocking elimination from The Champions League by formidable football
legends APOEL will have been a knock out or a kick in the butt. We'll have a first sense of the
effects, destructive or lifesaving, of the cruel but logical and deserved elimination in the
At the Lyon Offside, we're lucky to have readers from all over the world, with an amazing range of backgrounds and interests. And despite this incredible diversity, as unlikely as it may appear, they have one interest in common : the Olympique Lyonnais.
However, whilst this blog allows everyone to share feelings and comments, sometimes readers would like to use a longer and more elaborate format to develop their ideas.
ESTAC Troyes vs. Olympique Lyonnais
Matchday 20, Stade de l'Aube, Ligue 1 – 2012/13
Sweep the painful memory of the Round of 64 defeat against Epinal in the Coupe de France under the rug.
Now then! No more side dishes to worry about. Just main course and dessert.
OK les Lyonnais, you're just back from your bootcamp in Morocco, fresh, tanned and happy, so I'll keep it short and simple : be worthy of your rank, and don't be ridiculed by yet another minnow.
Versus the 19th of the National championship, anything but a resounding victory would be embarrassing yourselves, and us supporters by the same token.
After a convincing win against Atletic Bilbao, Lyon travel today to Sochaux, home of Les Lionceaux (the cubs). But how strong exactly is this Lyon team, who attracts more and more praise for its beau jeu ? Can it repeat such hart lifting performances consistently, week after week? Or will it fall prey to its old demons, become complacent, loose concentration and stumble on lesser teams.
Unbelievable but true : the 2012-2013 championship starts this weekend.
Lyon are not ready yet. The friendlies went so-so , and according to the press, most of the senior
players, when not gone (Kallström) are still likely to be purchased (Bastos, Cissokho, Lloris, of
course, but also Gomis, Lisandro, etc.
Call that mimicry. Or boredom. Or the result of too many hot then cold showers. Anyway, I can't
help but feel exactly like OL in Toulouse : uninspired. Yes, there is a game tonight, and
mathematically there is still a chance to end up on the third spot; but Lille have got their
superpowers back, and QSG will do their best not to be ridiculed by seemingly unstoppable
Montpellier and their budget that is barely one fifth of theirs.