The Fifteenth Shot at Umpteen RewardsBy: Nikhil Apte | December 1st, 2012
Olympique Lyonnais vs. Montpellier Hérault SC
Matchday 15 – Stade Municipal de Gerland, Ligue 1 : 2012-13
Oh thank you, THANK YOU Bafé! What looked like a horror story at Toulouse was quickly wiped off of our memories from the moment Gomis tricked Mandanda into a foul in the penalty box. He followed a successful penalty with a goal, then another, and nearly yet another! A first Ligue 1 hattrick for Gomis. Nine league goals already this season, and 81 in all at L1 means he is the boss! Charging to the summit of Ligue 1 has seldom felt more satisfying. Marseille shamed at Stade Vélodrome. Aaaaaaah!
Rémi Garde was satisfied with it all. “At OM the players applied my tactical advice to the letter. Maybe they weren’t the only ones to have got it wrong at Toulouse. I think our true level is closer to the one we showed at the Vélodrome than at Le Stadium.” In the post match comments, he also laid bare his points strategy. Two per match on average. One home win and one away draw or two wins with an odd loss, and Garde would be a happy camper. 28 points from 14 games, top of Ligue 1, Boom! “I accord an importance to the number of points per match. That’s an objective and has more value than our position in the table.” Well, following the plan to the tee means beginning the next week with a win at home tonight.
Lost their striker, lost their way
Sometimes, club histories change direction following crucial transfer windows. Losing Olivier Giroud to Arsenal meant the team that did not relinquish the top spot to PSG for the last 10 straight matchdays of the season gone past was soon languishing in the relegation zone in Ligue 1. Unceremoniously thrown out of the Champions League with 4 losses and 1 draw from 5 matches, Montpellier is forced to lick its wounds early in the season.
The fight hasn’t left them though! MHSC has drawn 2 and won against Bordeaux in the top 5 teams currently, not counting Lyon. Only Marseille has scored maximum points against the team amongst the top teams. And as most Montpellier points have come against the run of play, they remain as dangerous as the fresh Ligue 1 recruits of 09-10 that they were. OL lost 1-2 at the Gerland back then. Trophee des Champions ran close too, 2-2 at extra-time with OL edging ahead in penalties. Approach with bucketfuls of caution.
OL currently has the best home record, with 6 wins and 1 loss from 7 games. Well, doing well at home is currently very important since the average attendance at home has dropped from 33067 to 28251. If the difference continues, the lost ticket sales numbers would rise to over 91500 for the entire season! Equivalent of three whole home games played without spectators.
Lyon is doing very well, and for those that can attend matches in person, I plead you to support the team this way!
Count me in too!
..said Michel Bastos to Remi Garde. Alexandre Lacazette has clearly taken over. And keeping relevance for Brazil 2014 calls for more efforts towards playing regularly, free of injuries. Bastos adds to the firepower on the left that the absence of Lisandro creates. As Ghezzal needs some more time to warm up to the pro league, Bastos will be very welcome. Yoann Gourcuff is available again. Goodie goodie!
Sadly, Licha, Briand and Lovren are still out. But the possibility of having a more than full squad against PSG this month will mean more than their forced presence in the build up to that match.
Possible team lineups
Lyon – Vercoutre – Réveillère, Bisevac, Umtiti, Dabo – Malbranque, Gonalons – Lacazette, Gourcuff, Bastos – Gomis
Montpellier – Pionnier – Congré, Yanga-Mbiwa, Hilton, El Kaoutari – Marveaux, Estrada – Camara, Belhanda, Cabella – Herrera
A win here would be a great present for the 25th anniversary of the Bad Gones! Expect a spectacular atmosphere in the stadium today.