Memphis Depay, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Lyon

Depay, Reine-Adelaide make successful Lyon return

Publish on 02/07/2020 at 11h55 - I. HOLYMAN


Memphis Depay and Jeff Reine-Adélaïde made an impressive return to the pitch after their serious knee injuries as Lyon swept to victory in their opening pre-season friendly.

Swiss sixth-tier outfit Port-Valais were brushed aside 12-0 on the banks of Lake Geneva, but it was the performances of Depay and Reine-Adélaïde, who suffered season-ending cruciate ligament damage in OL's defeat to Rennes just before Christmas, that were more significant.

Depay smashed home a penalty just three minutes in and scored twice more as well as setting up a further three goals as the seven-time French champions cruised to victory.

Former Arsenal man Reine-Adélaïde was also a lively performer to leave coach Rudi Garcia optimistic ahead of the Coupe de la Ligue final against Paris Saint-Germain on 24 July and the UEFA Champions League Last 16 second-leg against Juventus that will follow.

"This game allowed them to get back onto the pitch. We knew they'd have to work going forward, but they also worked defensively. They were really committed," said the Lyon boss. "I knew they were in good shape physically. Before they came back to training on 8 June, I told them to rein it in a little as they were going to be on fire. They'd been training with their fitness coaches for weeks and the others hadn't done that. They were ahead.

"It was interesting to see Memphis going into challenges, Jeff played like his old self. They were as good as new, but they need to play, to link up with their teammates and build understanding."

"I'm in good shape," said Reine-Adélaïde, who hopes to take advantage of the COVID-19-enforced postponement of the Olympic Games to represent France in Tokyo in 2021.

"I've been fortunate not to miss the Games, which have been put back a year. I feel really good and don't think I've lost a lot. I'm not behind the others, that's for sure."

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