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Lyon look to build on Man City win in Olympico

Publish on 20/09/2018 at 20h50

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Olympique Lyonnais are hoping to build on their stunning UEFA Champions League win away at Manchester City when they welcome Olympique de Marseille to the Groupama Stadium in the Olympico on Sunday evening.

 Olympique Lyonnais  -  Olympique de Marseille 


It is quite a time to renew the rivalry between these two clubs that seems to only be growing and growing - their last meeting came at the Orange Vélodrome in March, with Lyon reeling after being dumped out of the UEFA Europa League by CSKA Moscow three days earlier.

Bruno Genesio's team were under huge pressure, and a defeat would have left them eight points adrift of OM, effectively ending their hopes of a top-three finish and Champions League qualification. They duly came from behind to stun their hosts, with Memphis Depay's late goal sealing a 3-2 win.

OL went on to win seven of their eight games after that to pip Marseille to a podium place on the last day of the campaign. As a result of that, Lyon were in Champions League action this midweek while OM played in Europe's secondary club competition.

Highlights: Lyon scramble draw at nine-man Caen

On Wednesday, Lyon duly beat Pep Guardiola's City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium, with Maxwel Cornet and captain Nabil Fekir scoring their goals. Depay almost put them three goals up at one point, hitting the post before City pulled one back and went in search of an equaliser. Genesio's side held on, and the result was their best in the competition since their run to the semi-finals in 2010.

"What's for certain is that this was a huge result for us. It's not an end in itself, though - we have to string together performances like this one, and right away, as we take a on a Champions league-level side this weekend," said Genesio after the game.

He and his team certainly needed the result, after requiring Ferland Mendy's late goal just to draw 2-2 at Caen last weekend. They have taken just seven points from their first five Ligue 1 Conforama games, already eight fewer than leaders Paris Saint-Germain coming into the weekend.

'A victory for all of France'

"The pressure on the team was immense after the draw at Caen but OL responded perfectly," said president Jean-Michel Aulas. "I say a big bravo to the players and also to Bruno Genesio because his decisions paid off. When you play a team of that dimension, you need a coach with ideas."

Aulas added that OL's win was "a victory for all of France" after PSG and AS Monaco lost to Liverpool and Atlético Madrid in the competition a day earlier. And the contrast with events at the Vélodrome on Thursday was also stark.

Highlights: Payet brilliance lights up OM win over Guingamp

Marseille got off to the worst possible start to their latest Europa League campaign, losing 2-1 to German Cup holders Eintracht Frankfurt in a match played behind closed doors. It looked as if OM would claim a fine win in unusual circumstances when Lucas Ocampos gave them an early lead, but Eintracht came back to take three points despite playing with 10 men for the final half hour. Luka Jovic scored an 89th-minute winner for the visitors.

Before that game, OM's only defeat in 27 home matches in all competitions stretching back 12 months had been in that match against Lyon. Now they have to lift themselves for their first trip to Lyon since the Europa League final in May, when they went down 3-0 to Atlético.

Marseille have not won away to OL in more than a decade, since a 2-1 victory in November 2007, and their hopes of ending that drought have not been helped by the blow of losing to Eintracht, after losing Adil Rami to injury inside seven minutes of that game.

"We need to focus to go and get a result at Lyon, and it will in all likelihood be without Adil," said coach Rudi Garcia. "We need to put this behind us quickly and get back on track in the league, where we are in a good position."

OM have defensive issues, with goalkeeper Steve Mandanda having been out of action for a month now, while summer signing Duje Ćaleta-Car is still settling in. At least they won their last league game, Dimitri Payet scoring a fabulous volley in the 4-0 defeat of EA Guingamp last weekend that left Marseille second in the table.

Probable teams

Lyon: Lopes; Rafael, Marcelo, Denayer, Mendy; Diop, Ndombele; Cornet, Fekir (c), Aouar; Depay

Marseille: Pelé; Sakai, Ćaleta-Car, Luiz Gustavo, Amavi; Sanson, Strootman; Thauvin, Payet (c), Ocampos; Mitroglou