Lisandro nets hat-trick in Lyon romp
Lisandro López returned after injury and netted a hat-trick as Lyon hammered Arles-Avignon 5-0 to claim an important three points in the title race. Miralem Pjanic and substitute Michel Bastos were also among the goals at the Stade de Gerland.
Sunday, 6 March
Olympique Lyonnais 5-0 AC Arles-Avignon
Lyon have now lost just once in nineteen league games, and Claude Puel’s men are scoring goals for fun at the moment as well. This was their biggest margin of victory since Puel took charge in 2008, and the first time OL had netted five times in one game since the incredible 5-5 draw with Marseille in November, 2009. They have now scored fourteen goals in their last four outings.
Far too strong
After missing the last three matches, Lisandro started as Bafétimbi Gomis was left on the bench alongside Kim Källström and Bastos. Cris was missing altogether through injury, but the home side were far too strong for rock-bottom Arles-Avignon, who are still without an away win in their debut top-flight season.
After Yoann Gourcuff saw a free-kick rebound off the crossbar, former Porto star Lisandro set the ball rolling on fourteen minutes when he turned a Jimmy Briand centre past an exposed Vincent Planté. Four minutes later and it was two, with Lisandro this time turning provider. Briand supplied last season’s Ligue 1 player of the year on the edge of the area, and his wonderful first-time flick cut open the visiting defence and left Pjanic in the clear to finish, with Planté again given no chance.
Arles-Avignon arrived on the banks of the Rhône on the back of a run of three straight draws, and before that they had run both Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille close. They had also held Lyon in the reverse fixture at the Parc des Sports in the autumn, and they might have found a way back into this game just before the half-hour mark, but Camel Meriem’s cut-back from the left was turned against the bar by Deme N’Diaye.
Lyon eased into half-time two goals to the good, but they were dealt a blow moments after the restart, when Gourcuff was forced off with a thigh injury to be replaced by Gomis. The latter wasted little time in making an impact, however, as he was involved in the move that led to César Delgado lofting the ball up for Lisandro to nod in his second on 51 minutes. Four minutes later and Gomis was the direct provider as Lisandro completed his hat-trick with consummate ease, taking his tally for the season to eleven league goals.
With OL now running riot, Pjanic almost netted another only to his strike rebound off the woodwork, while Gomis saw an effort ruled out for offside. However, the fifth goal did arrive in stoppage time, as Bastos, who had replaced Delgado, beat Planté with a powerful left-footed strike. Lyon remain four points adrift of top spot.