OL and Ajaccio opened the new Ligue 1 season with a fierce duel that ended with a ten-to-ten narrow victory over Lyon (2-1). The Peter Boss squad took advantage of his brilliant start – and his twenty-minute goal fell on Mateus Tite and Alexandre Lacazette – to resist returning Corsicans who could have celebrated their return to the elite by one point.
When Anthony Lopez received his red card while inflicting a penalty just 26 minutes into play and when OL was already 2-0 up (see elsewhere), the 50,000 spectators at Groupama Stadium certainly had the impression of rekindling last season’s nightmares. He made OL a specialty of wasteful and self-indulgent benefits. Ajaccio’s new captain, Thomas Mangani, was in charge of changing the show against upcoming Remy Rio and cooling the air a bit more (2-1, 31).
This time, Lyon held their supremacy to the end, dedicating themselves to start their season with well-deserved success. They were aided in this by an excessive pledge on the part of Romain Houma, who was given two yellow cards in the first electric half. Former Stefano put the two teams into numerical equality by pushing Paqueta before the break (45 + 4). Equally, the promoted Ajaxian did not find the resources to compete with a natural and advertised candidate for the platform.
Before the kamikaze emerged from the last barricade, Peter Boss’s men had made a perfect start in the wake of General Alexandre Lacazette (see elsewhere). After returning from the locker room, Paqueta and especially Lepinant closed all the spaces, ensuring contact with the attacking trio, which was sorely lacking last season. As a last stronghold, Remy Rio ruled out two or three hot situations, especially flying to repel a blow by Riad Nouri (59) in the extreme.
Truth: This time, Lopez saw red
Anthony Lopez’s releases have sparked many long discussions lately. Some criticize him for endangering the physical safety of his opponents, taking for example Kylian Mbappe’s injury exit after a confrontation with the Portuguese in January 2018. The main stakeholder defends himself by saying that he did it to protect themselves and with no intent to harm or to commit a foul. On Friday evening, Monem al-Idrisi violently hit the entrance to the rooftop. Referee Benoit Bastian did not hesitate, he felt that Lopez’s gesture justified the identification of the penalty point and the issuance of a red card.
Player: Alexandre Lacazette with good memories of 2017
Five years after his departure to Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette could not have dreamed of a better reunion with his coaching club. The new OL captain contributed greatly to his team’s victory by taking part in both goals. Before the meeting, he announced his transformation, explaining that he was becoming a more team player and less attracted to the goal. He had the opportunity to prove it from the 10th minute by showing the opening match to Mateusz Tite. During the match, Lacazette put his teammate in the best pass conditions by turning when he came back to goal after making the perfect call into the center of the area.
The general could not return to his territory without shaking the net. Twelve minutes into his presentation, Lacazette scored in an exercise he mastered to perfection: a converted penalty caused by the restless Tate. He needed at least a two-goal lead to win this opening match.
Alexandre Lacazette scored his 101st goal in Ligue 1 on Friday night against Ajaccio.