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Fekir returns as Lyon roar past Toulouse

Publish on 03/03/2019 at 00h00 - S. WILLIS

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Nabil Fekir contributed a goal and two assists on his return from injury as Olympique Lyonnais thrashed Toulouse FC 5-1 at the Groupama Stadium.

Olympique Lyonnais 5-1 Toulouse FC 

THE MATCH

A bruised knee had shorn Lyon of their club captain for their last two games - a 2-0 loss to AS Monaco and a 3-1 win over SM Caen - but restored to the starting line up here, the France international wasted little time in making an impact. Just ten minute were on the clock when the left-footer's cross found its way to Memphis Depay at the back post, and the former Manchester United attacker made no mistake in opening the scoring with his sixth goal of the season (10'). Mathieu Dossevi pulled one back for the visitors five minutes later when he stole the ball from Ferland Mendy on the edge of the home area and crashed home the equaliser (15'), but most of the first-half traffic was flowing in the opposite direction, and after Moussa Dembélé was denied at close range (18'), Bertrand Traoré made it 2-1 with a cross-cum-shot which was intended for Tanguy Ndombele (30'). Memphis let fly from the edge of the Toulouse box midway through the half, but Baptiste Reynet was able to save in stages (33'). There was little he could do about Lyon's third, though. Yannick Cahuzac fouled Fekir in the box and the OL captain dusted himself down to send Reynet the wrong way from the penalty spot (35').

Lyon in cruise control

Yaya Sanogo replaced Corentin Jean early in the second half (54') and the former Arsenal man wasted little time in making his presence felt at the point of Toulouse's attack. Despite having Marcelo and Jason Denayer for company, the striker got a fine shot off which kept Lyon 'keeper Anthony Lopes on his toes (61'). Le Téfécé's respite was to prove brief, though, and Dembélé put the game beyond any doubt minutes later with a quick-fire brace - the first after a fine run from deep (67'), the second a poacher's finish after another assist from Fekir (70'). Traoré then thought he had doubled his account when he got on the end of Dembélé's cross, but his effort was ruled out for offside (78'). Frustration turned to anger for Toulouse inside the final ten minutes, with Cahuzac sent off after picking up a second yellow card for bundling the effervescent Traoré (83'). Lyon's in-house scoring competition concluded with Memphis trying to seal his own brace, but the Dutchman's long-range free-kick crashed back off the post (85') and it ended 5-1.

THE PLAYER: Nabil Fekir

Fekir's return to fitness and form could hardly be timelier - OL take on Barcelona in their UEFA Champions League last 16 second leg in ten days' time having held the Spanish giants to a goalless draw last Tuesday. Fekir's talent seems to lift those around him, and it wouldn't be safe to bet against Les Gones now he is back to pull the strings.

THE STAT: 9

Lyon are undefeated in their last nine games against Toulouse, winning eight of those meetings with an aggregate score of 26 to 7. The last time Le Téfécé got the better of Les Gones was back in August 2014, when Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro and Wissam Ben Yedder scored to drown out Alexandre Lacazette's goal in a 2-1 win at the Stadium de Toulouse, which was then called the Stade Municipal.