Depay double does for nine-man Nîmes
By D. Crossan
Memphis Depay scored twice as Olympique Lyonnais bounced back from losing to LOSC on Tuesday by winning 4-0 at Nîmes.
Thrashed 6-0 at Bordeaux in midweek, Nîmes were on for another hiding from the fifth minute, when Théo Valls was shown a straight red card for a nasty foul on Maxence Caqueret. Anthony Lopes was still required to save from Anthony Briançon (12') before OL were awarded a penalty when Bertrand Traoré was fouled by Pablo Martinez. Depay scored with a cheeky 'Panenka' down the middle.
Depay was in the mood and hit the post (23') as the Dutchman went for power and OL sought to build on their advantage. Nîmes were then reduced to nine men (40') as Gaëtan Paquiez was shown his second yellow card in the space of three minutes. It was a nightmare for Bernard Blaquart's side, on their way to heading back to the foot of the table, below Toulouse on goal difference.
OL didn't make the two-man advantage tell until Depay scored his second (64'), controlling on his chest 25 metres out before unleashing a powerful right-footed volley into the corner. Beleaguered Paul Bernardoni in the Nîmes goal didn't even move. Seven minutes later Rudi Garcia's side were three to the good as Houssem Aouar, also just back from injury, scored with an effort that deflected in off Briançon.
Everyone in a blue shirt attempted to get in on the act and club record signing Joachim Andersen, the Danish international defender, helped himself to a first Ligue 1 Conforama goal as he netted with a low shot from outside the box. OL's victory lifted them to 25 points, three points back from LOSC in third. Nîmes have now gone 10 Ligue 1 Conforama matches without a win.
THE PLAYER: Memphis Depay
After a disappointing return to action after injury at home to LOSC on Tuesday, Depay enjoyed a far happier night at Nîmes, skippering OL to success and burnishing his stats for the season. Two goals lifted him to nine in the league for the season and Garcia had the luxury of withdrawing the Dutch international 15 minutes from time in order to keep him fresh for the crucial Champions League game at home to RB Leipzig on Tuesday.
THE STAT: 8
OL have won eight of their last 10 games against Nîmes in Ligue 1 Conforama.