Lyon rampant on miserable night for Saint-Etienne
Olympique Lyonnais claimed an astonishing 5-0 win against 10-man AS Saint-Etienne in the derby at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Sunday.
AS Saint-Etienne 0 - 5 Olympique Lyonnais
Saint-Etienne were looking for their fourth consecutive home win against their great rivals in this fixture but they were undone in a bizarre start to the game. The game was barely 30 seconds old when referee Clément Turpin halted proceedings for seven minutes to allow a huge pall of smoke from flares to drift across the pitch. Once it had done so, the home side almost went in front as Vincent Pajot fed Romain Hamouma, who was denied by a good Anthony Lopes save (9').
But the resulting corner led directly to Lyon's opening goal. Hamouma horribly miscued his delivery, allowing the visitors to counter with Nabil Fekir and Houssem Aouar involved before Memphis Depay controlled in the box and passed the ball low beyond Stéphane Ruffier and into the far corner for his sixth Ligue 1 Conforama goal of the season (10').
Fekir brace, Lacroix off
Having hurt himself while taking the corner, Hamouma went off injured, with Alexander Soderlund replacing him. Saint-Etienne were struggling to recover, and Ruffier made excellent saves from Depay's acrobatic attempt and a Mariano Diaz long-ranger before the second goal arrived on 26 minutes. Fekir collected a Bertrand Traoré lay-off just beyond halfway and advanced unchallenged to plant a low left-shot into the net from 20 yards (25').
If Les Verts were hoping to turn things around after the interval, instead things got promptly worse. Léo Lacroix was shown a straight red card for scything down Fekir (47'), leaving the hosts to plunder on with a man less. And Lyon picked them off, with Aouar and Kenny Tete combining to set up Diaz for a tap-in that made it 3-0 (58').
Traoré was denied by Ruffier before getting the fourth on 65 minutes, collecting a Diaz pass and picking his spot past the goalkeeper. Fekir then squandered a great chance to add another but did make it 5-0 in the 84th minute having been played in once again by Díaz.
Lyon are now unbeaten in nine games and have recorded six straight wins in all competitions, as they end the weekend in third place. Saint-Etienne remain sixth after their heaviest defeat under Óscar García.
THE PLAYER: Mariano Díaz
There were so many outstanding performances from Lyon but Díaz deserves a big mention. The Spanish-born striker scored one and set up two goals in the second half. If there were doubts about him being an adequate successor to Alexandre Lacazette when he joined from Real Madrid in the close season, he is proving himself to be the real deal. He is the first player in the last 40 years to score as many as nine times in his first 12 top-flight appearances for OL.
THE STAT: 5
As in Lyon's margin of victory. This was their biggest-ever win away to their greatest rivals; an historic night for the seven-time Ligue 1 Conforama champions.