Debuchy strikes late as Saint-Etienne hold Lyon
Mathieu Debuchy equalised at the death (90') for AS Saint Etienne to cancel out Mariano Diaz's opener (20') as it ended 1-1 in the Derby du Rhône.
Olympique Lyonnais 1-1 AS Saint-Etienne
Lyon have endured a difficult run in the league in recent weeks, dropping 11 points in the four games prior to this one, and their fortunes looked set to continue on that dismal path when Robert Beric converted Mathieu Debuchy's cross from the right, but the goal was quickly ruled out for offside (16'). Minutes later the home fans were in raptures, though, with Mariano fending off Sainté captain Loïc Perrin in the visitors' box before lashing his 15th goal of the campaign beyond a powerless Stéphane Ruffier (20'). OL right-back Rafael picked up an injury just past the half-hour, but a like-for-like change for Kenny Tete later (36') and Bruno Génésio's men looked to be back on track, with Memphis Depay unlucky not to make it 2-0 before the interval with a trademark thunderbolt from long range that Ruffier forced clear (39').
Given both team's first-half exertions, the second half got off to a surprisingly sedate start, and it wasn't until the hour mark when Ruffier was next called into action. Nebil Fekir found Mariano in the box and the former Real Madrid man once again illustrated his combination of steel and silk, but this time the ASSE shot-stopper saved in instalments (60'). At the other end, Beric had another chance following slick play out wide from Debuchy and Jonathan Bamba, but Marcelo threw himself at the danger to deny the Slovenia forward what would have been his fourth goal since returning from his loan spell at Anderlecht in the winter transfer window (73'). OL's volume was tempered towards the end when news filtered through that Fekir - their top scorer with 16 French top-flight strikes - had damaged knee ligaments prior to making way for Mouctar Diakhaby (70'); and their disappointment was complete when Debuchy forced home the equaliser with the last attack of the game (90').
THE PLAYER: Mathieu Debuchy
Debuchy has been eminently impressive since returning to Ligue 1 Conforama from Arsenal last month, but this is the performance that ween win over even the most cynical of Les Verts fans' hearts. The 32-year-old was up and down the right-hand side like someone ten years younger than that, and was rewarded with a goal - simple as it was - that will live long in the memory.
THE STAT: 2
Debuchy has scored two goals in his last four games for ASSE. His last two goals came over a 93-game period. Perhaps a France recall is in the offing after all?