Bordeaux vs Lyon : for revenge, for confidence and for the second spotBy: Megame | February 17th, 2013
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.
Indeed, the Girondins can count themselves lucky. Given the difficulties encountered at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev against an attractive Dynamo team not at all lacking pace despite a 2-month break, the Bordeaux squad are fortunate. The Ukrainians scored at the 20th minute and could have scored 5 to 6 times easily. Largely dominated most of the game, Bordeaux had nonetheless the merit to equalize just three minutes after the opening goal with a powerful strike from Obraniak, an away goal that will count in the return match in Bordeaux.
In London, Lyon was defeated by Tottenham’s Gareth Bale (2-1), but their performance could have deserved a win. The Spurs opened the scoresheet by Bale late in the first period. But Umtiti tied the two teams with a superb half-volley strike. After a good second half the Lyonnais believed to have controlled the game until an unnecessary foul by Gonalons in stoppage time granted Bale the opportunity to score again with a superb free-kick. It will be hard, but again the away goal can make a difference in the return match.
So, despite their third defeat in a row, the Lyonnais will probably feel more confident after this game as their performance was worthy of a European game; they will find comfort in the fact that them losing was more due to a few individual errors (fouls granting the free kicks, juninesque kicks by Bale, poor placement and handling by Vercoutre) and also debatable referee decisions (seemingly generous free kicks for Tottenham, apparently clear penalty kick not granted to Gomis) than to a domination by Spurs.
As for Bordeaux, they will know that their performance in Kiev would probably have deserved a defeat, and that, whilst the two teams had exactly the same recuperation time, their bench is shorter than OL’s. As Bordeaux coach Francis Gillot said it, “both teams played away and had a very short recovery time. I think it will be fairly balanced. This game smells like a draw. Often in these cases, it’s about the defences, not the offences: to score goals, you need freshness upfront… ” He knows what he’s talking about: first, because he’s known -and often criticized – for his defensive tactics and poor quality of play, as in the first leg with the famous “hold-up” in Gerland when the Bordelais won 2-0 after a large OL domination. But he also knows about draws, as Bordeaux is the N°1 L1 team in that category this season (11 draws so far, 5 of which where in sunday afternoon games, like today).
As for Lyon, the main rival of archdominant Paris SG for the French media have taken a big dip since the end of the transfer window, seeing their two designated strikers gone missing, their so far hermetic defence keeping open doors and therefore recording three consecutive defeats, two in L1 against Ajaccio ( 3-1) and Lille (3-1) before that in Europa League last Thursday and Tottenham (2-1). Actually, OL had not been caught in such a negative spiral since March 2009. But, rather than weakness the Bordeaux coach expects to face a team with a spirit of revenge. “This situation is quite rare for Lyon. This is a team that rarely loses. (…) I think they will bite to not concede a fourth consecutive defeat”, he said. You bet.
What the boys will also have in mind is that Marseille is currently second of the championship with 1 point more, and Nice just behind with 3 points less, so they’d better win or at least get a draw that would allow them to reclaim their second spot on goal difference.
Bordeaux : Carrasso – Faubert, Sané, Planus, Trémoulinas – Plasil, Sertic – Ben Khalfallah, Obraniak, Saivet – Bellion.
Lyon : Vercoutre – Réveillère, Bisevac, Lovren, Umtiti – Fofana, Gonalons, Grenier – Lacazette, Gomis, Ghezzal (or Lisandro).