Olympique Lyonnais players Michel Bastos and Maxime Gonalons celebrate with the Coupe de France
Coupe de France

Retro: Lyon's 2012 Coupe de France win

Retro: Lyon's 2012 Coupe de France win

Coupe de France
Publish on 05/25 at 00:30 - E. DEVIN


Led by a young Alexandre Lacazette and veteran marksman Lisandro López, Olympique Lyonnais impressed in winning the 2012 Coupe de France

12 years without a trophy may seem like an eternity by the high standards of Olympique Lyonnais, and this much is true for a team that were serial winners for most of the first decade of the 21st century. In addition to the Coupe de la Ligue and the Trophée des Champions, the seven-time Ligue 1 Uber Eats winners have also won the Coupe de France five times, a total that is the fifth-best in the competition’s more than hundred year history.

Ahead of tomorrow’s confrontation with Paris Saint-Germain, in which they’ll hope to cap a incredible second half of the season with a sixth cup, we take a look back at their last title, which came thanks to one familiar face and more than a few legends of the game in France.

2011/12 was a challenging season for Lyon — a newfound austerity under Rémi Garde saw the club sell several key pieces from the team that had reached the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League two seasons early with midfielders Miralem Pjanic and Jérémy Toulalan chief among these. While they would eventually finish fourth — ten points behind Lille in the last Champions League spot, a wobbly defence had Les Gones as low as seventh following a 2-0 loss to Nancy in early February.

They had done better in the Coupe de la Ligue, reaching the final and losing to Olympique de Marseille, but their Champions League exit, against unfancied Cypriot side APOEL, surely stung. The Coupe de France, though, offered a firm reminder that this side, despite their inconsistencies, could be a real powerhouse on their day.

In the Round of 64, a tie against amateur side Lyon Duchère was navigated with ease, thanks to a Lisandro López hat trick, and in the Round of 32 the Argentine and Bafetimbi Gomis then each struck in the second half away to Luçon, earning them a tie with Girondins de Bordeaux in the Round of 16.

While not quite at the same level as the team that won the Ligue 1 Uber Eats title in 2009, Bordeaux were still a dangerous side, finishing fifth that season, and the visitors looked well on their way to the quarterfinals thanks to a Jussiê goal midway through the first half. Lyon responded quickly, though as Alexandre Lacazette, enjoying what would be a breakthrough season, turned home a loose ball, levelling the score before Jimmy Briand and Gomis netted in extra time.

Lyon’s reward in the quarters was Paris Saint-Germain, a team against whom they’d played out a memorable 4-all draw in the league that season. Eager to right the ship, things looked bleak for OL after an early Nêne penalty, but a pair of goals before the break and a third from Gomis in second-half stoppage time secured a second successive 3-1 win.

After facing two of Ligue 1’s top sides in the previous two rounds, Lyon could breathe easier in the semifinals and finals, beating Gazéléc Ajaccio 4-0 on the road thanks to a flurry of second-half goals, while in the final, they beat amateur side Quevilly, unlikely finalists after having upset Marseille and Stade Rennais in previous rounds, 1-0, thanks to López, whose typically cool finishing would see him finish as the competition’s top scorer with seven goals.

The task facing OL tomorrow is a far sterner one than an amateur side, but with Lacazette back in the side following his return in 2022, could the former academy product now play the role of veteran marksman, powering his team to a sixth title?