By Paul Douglas Grant
For all the accolades the Lyonnais goalie Hugo Lloris has been receiving the past two seasons, it is impossible for him alone to create victories. Add to that, two injuries that saw both Cris and Bastos leave the pitch early, followed by Reveillere’s red card at the end of the first half, the continual absence of Lisandro, and OL is reduced to almost a guaranteed loss. If last week’s tie announced an opening that we are used to seeing with Lyon, their defeat (3-1) to Caen (who also knocked down last year’s Ligue 1 champs Olympique Marseille in the Ligue’s opening week) seemed, under these conditions, almost inevitable.
Caen opened scoring with (photo) El Arabi’s goal in the second minute of the match, which in turn inspired a quick equalizer by Gomis in the fifth. Caen’s Yatabare retook the lead in the 16th and again Gomis retaliated in the 23rd again creating a tie. The 10 man OL continued to hold off its quantitatively superior adversaries up until the 76th minute when N’Diaye managed to penetrate the Lyonnais defense and take a lead that OL could not recover from.
After two matches OL has a mere one point. Not the soaring heights expected by its supporters. There are still 36 weeks to go, but what are we to make of Cris’s and Bastos’ injuries, the still MIA Lisandro, Bodmer and Boumsong’s transfers, and Mensah’s loan? It seems imperative that OL wins next week’s home match against Brest, and it seems further imperative that we keep our eyes on Caen with its two impressive wins we’re eager to see if this is a pattern.