Aliadière earns Lorient a point
Jérémie Aliadière scored the equaliser as FC Lorient maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 1-1 draw against Olympique Lyonnais.
FC Lorient 1 – 1 Olympique Lyonnais
Unbeaten going into the match, Lorient knew that a win against OL would see them leapfrog their rivals into third in the table but Christian Gourcuff's men would have also been aware, that with just two wins in seven league matches at the Stade du Moustoir, their home record against Lyon was a poor one.
Having scored 13 goals so far this season to Lyon's 12 the crowd could be excused for expecting an open, free flowing game and the early signs suggested that they wouldn't be disappointed. Lamine Koné came close from the hosts after an excellent Alain Traoré corner but saw his effort fly just over the bar (4'). OL's response was almost instantaneous, Lisandro crashing the ball off the post just two minutes later (6').
Aliadière then turned on the style to cut in from the left to shoot, goalkeeper Rémy Vercoutre parried the ball and was doubtless relieved to look and see Croatian defender Dejan Lovren mopping up before clearing upfield. Luck is a precious commodity and it appeared to have deserted Lyon up the other end of the pitch when Bafetimbi Gomis became the second visiting striker to hit the woodwork when his lob bounced off the crossbar after some nice work from Clément Grenier (16').
But the former Saint-Etienne star was not to be undone, moments later he tucked away the opener following some fine build up play from a rejuvenated Steed Malbranque and the livewire Alexandre Lacazette. It was Gomis's fourth goal of the season and no less than he deserved after a lively first quarter (23'). Then, less than 60 seconds later, it was Lorient's turn to curse their luck as Traoré slammed his shot into the post (24').
The hosts finished the half the stronger, Benjamin Corgnet coming close following a neat piece of control on the edge of the area but Vercoutre did well to get down and make the save low to his left (41'). By this time the rain was lashing down over the Moustoir and both sides would have been happy to get back to the refuge of the dressing room when the referee blew for half time.
Lorient burst out of the traps
Whatever Gourcuff said during the break soon had its affect and Lorient were level within a couple of minutes of the restart. Corgnet played a quick one two with Traoré before squaring the ball to Aliadière who did the rest from all of six metres to notch up his third goal of the season (47'). Moments later the former Arsenal man turned provider, setting up Traoré but the Burkina Faso international fluffed his attempt with just Vercoutre to beat (51').
Malbranque then flashed a drive over the Lorient goal; in spite of that rare OL foray up field it was all Lorient with Aliadière, Traoré and Corgnet causing the visitors no end of problems. Aliadière came close once again just after the hour mark but was just off target with his effort (62').
No killer blow
It might have been one-way traffic but Lyon nearly nicked the lead back as the game entered its final 15 minutes. Again Malbranque was at the heart of the move, feeding Lacazette but the France international rushed his shot and missed the target with just Fabien Audard to beat (75'). It was a momentary respite from the Lorient onslaught; Aliadière soon squandered another chance before Maxime Barthelme was denied by a good save from Vercoutre (77', 79').
In the end neither side could land the killer blow and the points were, perhaps grudgingly, shared. Lorient maintain their remarkable unbeaten start to the season and move up to fouth a point behind Lyon in third. Ligue 1 now takes a two-week break to accommodate the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and when it returns Lyon will welcome Brest to the Stade Gerland while Lorient can look forward to a trip to Valenciennes where they will hope to end their run of four draws in a row with a win.