Téji Savanier scored both of Montpellier Hérault SC's goals as Michel Der Zakarian's men beat Olympique Lyonnais 2-1 at the Stade de la Mosson on Tuesday evening.
Lyon lined up with Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembélé on the bench - the former linked with a move to Barcelona; the latter having picked up a knock an hour into Friday's 4-1 win against Dijon FCO - but Rudi Garcia's men looked to have some attacking verve left over early on. Maxwel Cornet squared for Karl Toko Ekambi and the Cameroon striker was only the width of the far post away from making it 1-0 to the visitors (4'). Montpellier grew in influence as the half wore on, though. Andy Delort sent a wicked cross in for Gaëtan Laborde and his fellow striker should really have made it three goals in as many games, but Léo Dubois cleared at the last (20'). Delort was then kicking himself minutes later when Anthony Lopes parried the Algerian's header straight back to him, but he fired wide with the goal at his mercy (25'). Montpellier deservedly took the lead before the half was out, though. Dubois fouled Savanier in the box and the midfielder stepped up to convert a Panenka penalty for 1-0 (37'). Things then went from bad to worse for Lyon on the stroke of half-time when captain Houssem Aouar was sent off for studding Arnaud Souquet when the right-back was trying to clear (44').
Savanier makes sure
The second half was less than 10 minutes old when Garcia attempted to turn the tide with substitutes. On came Memphis for a Tino Kadewere who had made a rather quiet first OL start, as well as Jean Lucas to shore up the midfield in place of his Brazilian compatriot Bruno Guimaraes (55'). Fresh legs or not, OL were shorthanded, though, and Montpellier pulled further clear just inside the hour when Savanier latched onto Mihailo Ristic's low cross and drilled the ball into the near bottom corner (59'). To their immense credit, Lyon made a game of it from there. Dubois headed a Memphis corner narrowly wide (69') before the Dutch forward forced a fine save from Lopes's opposite number Jonas Omlin with a fine free-kick which looked destined for the bottom corner (72'). Lyon finally pulled one back from the penalty spot, with Memphis converting after Hilton's high challenge on another OL second-half substitute, Ryan Cherki (82'). It was to prove too little, too late for les Gones, though, with François Letexier's whistle for full-time going with the scores at 2-1.
THE PLAYER: Téji Savanier
Savanier was expected to feature in a deeper position here with Florent Mollet returning from suspension, but the former Nîmes Olympique man flourished in his preferred No.10 role, his guile and speed of thought keeping Lyon on the back foot for long periods. Lopes won't want to see Savanier's chipped penalty finish again; most other onlookers will!
THE STAT: 43
Behind Savanier, centre-back Hilton took to the field three days past his 43rd birthday. The Brazilian centre-back is the first player aged 43 or more to feature in the French top flight in 64 years. Swiss-born French striker Roger Courtois was 44 when he turned out for ESTAC Troyes back in 1956.