Paris st Germain, France’s champion, 490 M Euros annual budget, versus Olympique Lyonnais, 115 M Euros, but first on the Ligue 1 Table, two points ahead Paris and Marseille.
Two different worlds: PSG’s unlimited financial resources and world-known players, against a “homemade” team, composed by their Academy’s youngsters, shepherded by some “oldies” like Yohan Gourcuff, aged 28.
Paris went to Gerland Stadium, seeking a convincing victory and the first place of the championship, a good omen before the much important Champions League’s game, against Mourinho’s Chelsea.
Well, things didn’t go their way; despite a lot of scoring opportunities, the Parisians were constantly under the threat of Lyon’s counter attacks. The Parisians dominated the game, but as usual lacked the final touch, permitting them to score.
Lyon’s homegrown goalkeeper, Anthony Lopes, denied Zlatan’s Ibrahimovic( 50th, 54th 68th) and Edinson Cavani’s (12th, 60th, 62th) killer shots. The 24-year-old, was essential for his team and rightly won the Man of the Match Award, for his heroic behaviour, but he had to concede, when Zlatan fired for the second time, the soft penalty, gifted by the game’s referee, M. Turpin. During the first half, Lyon, should have at least one penalty(Matuidi’s handball and Luiz’s manhandling Gourcuff), but the referee didn’t see either of them. Les Gones,( Lyon’s natives) were furious, when M. Turpin decided to withdraw and replay again the penalty missed by Zlatan, but he was just applying to the letter FIFA’s regulations, as players of both teams entered the penalty area, before the ball’s kick-off. Lots of referees wouldn’t, but this one is very “rules and stuff” like. Not giving Lyon at least one of the two penalties, marred his otherwise good game.
Lyon’s goal, was a real beauty and showed the team’s unity; Gourcuff, passed the ball behind to Ferri who sent it, on Njié’s head. The young Cameroonian’s half-volley, left GK Salvadore Sirigu powerless: Lyon 1 PSG 0 ( 31st)
At the end, leaving the pitch on a draw, is a good result for both teams; Paris had several good chances to win the three points away, but Lyon’s good first half and courageous behaviour during the second, playing against the big armada of PSG’s stars, without key players, Milan Bisevac and Alexandre Lacazette, both injured, is a good omen for the club’s future. Still first but for how long? Four out of five, of their future games will be played away; a good test for the club’s Gones.
Shall we leave the last word to Zlatan? He would like that ! “We were the best team and we should be the winners !” he thundered, just before leaving the Stadium.
Here’s another good one !