Alexandre Lacazette celebrates a goal against Montpellier

The Lyon’s Roar: OL Bounce Back

The Lyon’s Roar: OL Bounce Back

Publish on 02/12 at 21:00 - E. DEVIN


After overcoming a rough start to the season, and a pair of managerial changes, Olympique Lyonnais are one of Ligue 1’s form sides.

Les Gones may be a ways off from their run of seven titles, or indeed their regular participation in the Champions League, but after a rocky start to the season, there are plenty of reasons for optimism. Lyon were aggressive in the transfer market, bringing in a mix of canny veterans and promising talent, but their revival has been underway for far longer, as they’ve steadily risen up the table, away from the relegation zone, under the stewardship of Pierre Sage

Indeed, under Sage, Lyon have the league’s sixth-best record since his appointment, having picked up 15 points from the nine matches he has taken charge of since December. While there have been some missteps, including a frustrating home loss against Le Havre that saw Lyon finish with nine men, a return to form for Alexandre Lacazette — now the league’s second-top scorer — and strong starts from the likes of Gift Orban and Malick Fofana look promising indeed, as does the return of Ernest Nuamah from the Africa Cup of Nations.

That was on full display on Sunday evening, as Lyon battled back from a goal down against Montpellier HSC, with fine finishes from Lacazette and Maxence Caqueret powering the side to a win that saw them rise to 13th place, five points ahead of the relegation places. Caqueret is hardly known for his goalscoring form, but his goal embodies the doggedness the team have shown under Sage, as his goal less than ten minutes from time allowed his side to pick a valuable three points.

While Caqueret's goal was a thing of beauty, in addition to the young midfielder, Sage will feel grateful for the ability to call on the veteran presence of Lacazette. With 11 goals this season, he has scored fully half of his side's 22 goals, the best ratio in the league. He also, in scoring, continued a strong run of form that saw him score for the fifth match in a row, just one game below his career-best six. What's more, Lacazette is the top scorer in Ligue 1 since Sage's appointment, with eight goals since the manager's first match.

With Lacazette firing and Sage urging his side on with plenty of determination, Lyon seem to be turning their once-moribund season around, and will be ready to ask plenty of questions of OGC Nice as Matchday 22 kicks odd on Friday.

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