Lisandro wins Coupe de France for OL
By A. Scott
Olympique Lyonnais won the Coupe de France for the fifth time in their history with a 1-0 victory against US Quevilly in Saturday's final at the Stade de France.
Saturday, April 28
Coupe de France final
Lisandro López scored the only goal of the game as Lyon were rewarded for a performance that was a vast improvement from their showing in the Coupe de la Ligue showpiece defeat to Marseille a fortnight ago. It is OL's first piece of silverware since they defeated Paris Saint-Germain to lift the same trophy in 2008. However, Quevilly - who lie 14th in the third-tier Championnat National - deserve huge credit for their showing as they ran one of France's biggest clubs so close. Indeed, after controlling the game in the first half, the Ligue 1 outfit were given a torrid time by a supremely fit Quevilly side throughout much of the second period and were ultimately relieved to hear the final whistle.
With Yoann Gourcuff making his first start since the 3-1 victory against Bordeaux in the Round of 16 in early February, OL settled the better of the two teams and almost took the lead inside the opening quarter of an hour when Lisandro spun beautifully away from his marker only to see his shot come back off the base of the post. Quevilly replied with a Matthias Jouan effort from distance that flew narrowly over Hugo Lloris' crossbar before Lyon were dealt a blow as centre-back Dejan Lovren was stretchered off to be replaced by Bakary Koné.
But Rémi Garde's side did not let that upset their rhythm. The lively Alexandre Lacazette was a constant menace for Cédric Vanoukia down the Lyon right in the first period, and he was desperately unlucky to see his shot cleared off the line after cutting in from the wing and skipping around goalkeeper Yassine El-Kharroubi. Bafétimbi Gomis then headed Gourcuff's cross just wide.
The goal then arrived just before the half-hour, and it owed much to the persistence of Lacazette. After some lovely play between Gourcuff and Gomis, the 20-year-old cut the ball back from the byeline for Lisandro to slot home his seventh goal in the competition this season.
OL could have put the game to bed at the start of the second half, but a Lacazette shot hit the underside of the bar and rolled to safety after being deflected over El-Kharroubi. Until that point, Quevilly had barely existed as an attacking force but, far from fade as the game went on, they began to cause problems for the Lyon defence. With the vast majority of the crowd backing the underdog, much of the Stade de France was a sea of yellow flags as the Normandy side pushed for an equaliser. Anthony Laup - the matchwinner against Rennes in the semi-final - almost found one as he powered away from the defence only to see his shot from an ever-tightening angle turned on to the bar and behind by Lloris.
As Quevilly pushed forward and left spaces at the back, Gomis fired just wide and substitute Jimmy Briand was denied after being put through one-on-one against El-Kharroubi, but the one goal proved sufficient.