OL close in on knockout phase
Lyon took a giant step closer towards the knockout stage of the UEFA Europa League by swatting aside Everton 3-0 at Groupama Stadium. Olympique de Marseille and OGC Nice both sustained 1-0 losses.
Thursday, 2 November, 2017
UEFA Europa League, Matchday 4
Olympique Lyonnais 3-0 Everton FC
OL's fifth straight victory in all competitions set them up perfectly for Sunday's derby at Saint-Etienne. OL were dominant in possession without creating chances during the first half but Bruno Genesio's men had dropped off their game a touch before making the breakthrough in the 68th minute through Bertrand Traoré as he slid the ball low past Jordan Pickford.
Eight minutes later Houssem Aouar, 19, doubled the home lead. Mariano Diaz was thwarted by Pickford but the ball broke to Memphis Depay and the Dutchman slid the ball to Aouar, who celebrated his call-up by France's Under-21s by finding the bottom corner.
French international midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin was sent off for a second yellow card soon afterwards. OL made the most of their man advantage as Depay headed home a Jordan Ferri cross with two minutes left. OL climbed to eight points, level with group leaders Atalanta, and are three points clear of third-placed Apollon Limassol. Everton are out.
Olympique de Marseille's night started horrendously as substitute Patrice Evra was sent off before the game had even started following an altercation with a supporter. Rudi Garcia's remodelled team struggled to get going, although both Morgan Sanson and Clinton Njie had chances late in the first half.
Cameroonian international Njie spurned a one-on-one 12 minutes into the second half and after that all the best opportunities went the way of the Portuguese hosts. Steve Mandanda made a miraculous save with his knees to deny Raphinha in the 69th minute.
Ten minutes from time Vitoria got their goal as Heldon crossed from the right and Paolo Hurtado, the home captain, was left blissfully unmarked to power a header home. To compound OM's misery Boubakar Kamara was sent off four minutes from time. OM stayed second in the group despite the setback and are still two points above Konyaspor and Vitoria.
SS Lazio - OGC Nice
Nice slumped to a sixth straight defeat in all competitions, falling in the most agonising fashion possible as Maxime Le Marchand put through his own net three minutes into added time at the end of the game.
Les Aiglons had defended very well up until that point and had managed to produce a few chances of their own as Rémi Walter and Wesley Sneijder both tried their luck in the second half. But Lazio were able to follow up their 3-1 win at the Allianz Riviera a fortnight previously with another success as Marco Parolo's corner was turned past Walter Benitez by Le Marchand.
Nice remained second in the group and still have a decent chance of qualifying as they are two points above third-placed Zulte Waregem.