Cris strikes, Sakho sees red
Cris scored the winning goal as Lyon came from behind to beat ten-man Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 and move back to within three points of second placed Montpellier. Mevlut Erding fired PSG in front but Mamadou Sakho's red card changed everything and Bafétimbi Gomis and Cris struck second half goals.
Saturday January 31 2010
Olympique Lyonnais / Paris Saint-Germain : 2 - 1
It was OL’s third straight Ligue 1 win and PSG’s third straight league defeat. PSG remain in the bottom half of the table. Out of both domestic Cups, Lyon are focusing on Ligue 1 and a mouthwatering Champions League Round-of-16 tie with Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Erding fires PSG in front
PSG were good value for their half-time lead after a pulsating, chance-laden opening 45 minutes. Miralem Pjanic had forced Apoula Edel into a decent stop from a long-range free kick before Erding gave PSG the lead with his side’s first chance. Lyon were static defending a Stéphane Sessegnon corner and Erding darted to the near post to turn the ball past Lyon goalkeeper Rémy Vercoutre, deputising for Hugo Lloris, the French international custodian missing this game through illness. It was Turkish international striker Erding's ninth Ligue 1 goal of a productive if injury-disrupted season.
A first for Hoarau and Erding
Erding and Hoarau had managed just 37 minutes of Ligue 1 football on the same field together before this game and this was the first time they had been paired together at the start of a league encounter. The duo’s confidence was high after a successful sortie against Evian in the French Cup in midweek with Hoarau scoring on his return from three months out with a knee problem. Erding scored the other two as PSG beat lowly Evian 3-1 to qualify for the last 16 of the competition.
Hoarau had been repeatedly denied by Lloris when the sides met in Week 6. Vercoutre carried on his colleague’s work, first denying the tall striker after good play from Erding and then tipping over a Hoarau header from a Ludovic Giuly cross.
Sessegnon’s return from Africa Cup of Nations duty with Benin is another reason for optimism for PSG and wonderful skill from the diminutive playmaker in midfield sent Erding running free, only for the forward to slide his shot across the face of goal.
Post saves PSG
OL grew in stature as the half wore on. Kim Källström stung Edel’s hands before Jérémy Toulalan had a shot from the edge of the area deflect off PSG defender Sammy Traoré. Travelling at a snail’s pace, it hit the post. Following up, Bafétimbi Gomis was beaten to the ball by some sterling defensive work from Hoarau.
Hoarau, PSG’s top scorer last season, went close to the goal his all-round performance richly deserved with an overhead kick just after the break. On the hour the game took a dramatic twist as PSG centre-half Mamadou Sakho was red carded for a foul on Gomis when last man on the edge of the box. To shore up PSG’s defence, Antoine Kombouaré brought on Christophe Jallet for Giuly.
It became a rearguard action from the ten men of the capital club. Edel saved from Lyon substitute César Delgado and then turned a powerful Gomis shot from a tight angle on to the post.
On 77 minutes the PSG resistance cracked. Edel got to Dejan Lovren’s header from a Delgado corner but Gomis was there to slam it over the line with some glee. It was the French international striker’s seventh Ligue 1 goal of the season. Lovren was delighted to have made a positive contribution on his Ligue 1 debut after joining the club for a reported 8 million euros earlier this month from Dinamo Zagreb.
Three minutes later OL went in front. Again it came from a set-piece. Lisandro helped on a free kick from the left and Cris pipped Sylvain Armand to the ball and generated sufficient power to head the ball over Edel and into the back of the net.
Jallet was clean through on Vercoutre late on but the former Lorient man elected to pull the ball back to Hoarau, who was not in as good a position, rather than pull the trigger himself. Gomis then struck the crossbar from the edge of the box with another piledriver in the first minute of stoppage time at the end of the game.