OL miss the bus in Brest
By S. Willis
Lyon failed to take advantage of PSG's slip-up in Reims as they were held to a 1-1 draw by an a fearless Brest side on Sunday afternoon, Tripy Makonda's own-goal cancelling out Kamel Chafni's early strike.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Stade Brestois 29 1 - 1 Olympique Lyonnais
The result was far from what OL were hoping for, as a win would have taken them level on points with title favourites PSG, but as it turned out Rémi Garde's men can be happy with the point won - which takes them within two points of the leaders - having rescued a share of the spoils after an impressive Brest side took an early and deserved lead.
Chafni sets the tone
Coming off a stinging 3-0 Coupe de France limination at the hands of Lorient, Brest were out to make amends and right from the kick-off had OL on the back foot as they exploited the home-ground advantage on the bobbly surface of the Stade Francis-le-Blé.
While OL struggled to find their feet, ex-Auxerre midfielder Kamel Chafni took full advantage, playing a one-two with Magaye Gueye to break into the area before beating Rémy Vercoutre with a lucid shot (8'). OL weren't too long in responding, however, and it took all of Alexis Thébaux's acrobatic ability to turn away Bafétimbi Gomis' lobbed effort (26'). Brest remained dangerous as they dictated play, with Jonathan Ayité unlucky to see his angled shot hit the base of the post (14').
There was even more misfortune for the hosts early in the second half when Tripy Makonda inadvertently turned the ball into his own to level the scores. Racing back to cover his 'keeper as Lisandro Lopez fired from close range, there was little the PSG youth academy graduate could do as the ball ricocheted off Thébaux, onto Makonda's chest and into the back of the net (53').
The leveller got the second half going in earnest as OL began to hit their straps, with chances flying at both ends. Indeed, both sides had chances to clinch the win - that would have meant so much to either side, for very different reasons - but Florian Lejeune's clearance off the line from Steed malbranque's far-post header (82') and Gomis' fluffing his lines when presented with a golden opportunity (90'+3) saw Brest hang on for a deserved draw.
The Brittany side slip to 15th but the performance and the result against a side playing for the title will doubtless be a real shot in the arm as they look to pull further away from the drop zone - now five points below them - at home to Toulouse next Saturday.
Lyon, meanwhile, will look to get back to winning ways - and put the pressure back on PSG - at home to Marseille in a week's time.