Karl Toko Ekambi, Lyon
Match Reports

Lyon go fifth win Monaco win

Publish on 16/10/2021 at 23:10 - I. HOLYMAN


Lyon moved into fifth place in the Ligue 1 Uber Eats table as Karl Toko Ekambi's second-half penalty and Jason Denayer's late strike gave them a 2-0 defeat over Monaco on Saturday.


Monaco had won their previous three league games, and found themselves four places — but only a single point — better off than their tenth-placed hosts at kick-off. Lyon were without first-choice goalkeeper Anthony Lopes following his derby red card before the international break. In his stead was Julian Pollersbeck, and the German goalkeeper saw his compatriot, Alexander Nübel, shine at the opposite end of the pitch long before he was even troubled.


Nübel has not had the easiest of starts to his two-season loan from Bayern Munich, but he was in the right place at the right time to stop a Toko Ekambi shot after the Cameroon international had disposed of Benoît Badiashile (22').


There was a tougher save for Nübel from the same opponent shortly after (26') — the Germany U21 international moving smartly low to his right — and the Monaco goalkeeper then kept out a Rayan Cherki effort (34') before watching a Houssem Aouar shot flash across his goal (35') as the hosts pressed.


Last season, Lyon registered a 4-1 win over Monaco, and the scoreline could have been the same before the break at the Groupama Stadium, but for the visitors failing to muster any serious threat — it was the first time since 1 February 2015 the duo had ended a top-flight encounter between them goalless. 



Lyon did need Pollersbeck to step in just after the interval though when Gelson Martins fired goalwards (50'); Badiashile threw himself in the way of an Aouar shot (63') as Lyon continued to search for a way to break the deadlock.


Tino Kadewere, who had just replaced Xherdan Shaqiri, lost out one-on-one with Nübel (69') but Toko Ekambi won his duel with the German goalkeeper, albeit from the penalty spot. Axel Disasi's lunge to challenge Léo Dubois was judged to have been a foul, and Toko Ekambi sent Nübel the wrong way for his second league goal of the season (75').


Cherki had been given the responsibility of leading the Lyon line with Lucas Paqueta having only returned the day before the game after playing for Brazil in their latest FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Paqueta did replace the teenager on 66 minutes, and produced a characteristic piece of brilliance to wrap up his team's fourth win in their last eight league games.


Wide on the Lyon left, the former AC Milan man looked as if he would play a simple ball backwards, but instead flicked a no-look pass into the run of Emerson — the Italy international delivered a low, driven cross into the six-yard box where Denayer finished from point-blank range (90').


THE PLAYER: Lucas Paqueta

The Brazil international — like Bruno Guimaraes, who started the game — had only just returned from South America, and played on Thursday evening for his country. Monaco will be thankful that he did not play the full game, as — in just 24 minutes on the pitch — he caused them untold problems.



It's been more than four years since Monaco won a Ligue 1 Uber Eats game at Lyon. It was a 2-1 victory on 23 April 2017.


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