Kévin Zohi and Bertrand Traoré exchanged goals as Olympique Lyonnais had to settled for a 1-1 draw with RC Strasbourg Alsace at the Groupama Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Lyon have struggled at home in recent months, only winning one of four league games at their Groupama Stadium since December, and they got off to another calamitous start against Strasbourg. Marçal nearly gifted the visitors the opener with an overhit back-pass but Anthony Lopes scrambled to clear the danger (2'). Fellow full-back Rafael twisted his ankle moments later and had to be replaced by Kenny Tete (2'). OL settled down, though, and pulled into a deserved lead when Maxwel Cornet squared for Bertrand Traoré - scorer of three goals in Cup competitions this season - who headed home his first league goal of the campaign (21'). The Burkinabé forward nearly double his tally with a flying header past the half-hour, but it brushed the outside of the post and stayed out (31'). Kévin Zohi then forced Strasbourg onto level terms at the end of the half, beating the offside trap and steering the equaliser beyond Lopes for 1-1 (44').
Lyon began the second half on the front foot but that didn't stop the returning Marcelo from having to head a Strasbourg corner clear early on (52'). OL coach Rudi Garcia then sent Moussa Dembélé on in place of Traoré (63') in an attempt to exert more control in the final third, and the former Celtic man's physical play freed up space for Cornet and Karl Toko Ekambi either side of him. Toko Ekambi teed up Cornet for a gilt-edged chance soon after, but the Ivorian missed with the goal at his mercy (67'). Tete was the next to threaten, breaking late into the box and letting fly, but Matz Sels turned his effort around the post for a corner (71'). Garcia's opposite number Thierry Laurey then sent defender Alexander Djiku on for goalscorer Zohi (74') before Dimitri Liénard blazed an effort over the goal at the other end (80'). Kenny Lala also hit the post for Strasbourg late on (87') and it ended 1-1.
THE PLAYER: Bertrand Traoré
Traoré has had to share playing time with Cornet and Martin Terrier this season, as well as Memphis Depay and Jeff Reine-Adélaïde before the pair picked up season-ending injuries, but his first-half display showed that he is as good as any of them when given a chance to shine. The former Chelsea and Ajax man scored against Benfica in the UEFA Champions League group stages in November and can expect to be given then chance to double his account on the continent this term when Lyon host Juventus a week on Wednesday.
THE STAT: 9
This was the first time in nine Ligue 1 Conforama games that Lyon had failed to put at least two goals past Strasbourg. Le Racing remain three points better off than their hosts, who have nonetheless scored five goals more than them this season