By Paul Douglas Grant
If the last few weeks have suggested that something has turned for Lyon, a seeming confirmation of their ascension was offered at last night’s Champions League match against Benfica. The defense was solid, making much of Benfica’s work look futile and the attack was stellar. If there exists a weak point in last night’s match it is a tendency towards what me be called an Auxerrism (AJ Auxerre): continually setting up perfect conditions for repeated scoring without being able to take advantage of those conditions each time. But apart from this one mild weakness OL did make good on enough of those to conditions to win, and to win deservedly. Even with a second yellow card expulsion of Benfica’s Nicolas Gaitan one feels confident that it was OL’s game that brought them their win and not the 11 on 10 formation.
Scoring opened with Briand’s goal at 21 and the second half opened strong with Lisandro’s 51 minute extravaganza: a ball that bounced from foot to post to player to foot, until finally Lisandro knocked it in. Apart from these wto scorers for the night Bastos and Cissokho were on fire making this victory possible, especially Bastos’ incredible cross for the Briand goal and his participation in the chaos leading to Lisandro’s.
Though each half saw a reinvigorated OL it was clearly the second half that had the Gones looking the best they’ve looked in some time. Though it still isn’t a qualification, its starting to look very promising for the Lyonnais.