Friendly round-up: Lille record first win, Lyon go down again
Champions Lille registered their first pre-season win in a derby clash against Valenciennes on Saturday, but Lyon suffered a second consecutive defeat under Rémi Garde.
Lille coach Rudi Garcia opted to send out his strongest side for a match that was played behind closed doors in miserable conditions at the club’s training base while a new pitch is laid at the Stadium Lille-Métropole. Moussa Sow and Dimitri Payet got the goals as LOSC recorded a first summer victory following their draw with Bordeaux last weekend and a narrow defeat to Ligue 2 Reims on Wednesday.
“I said before that this was when things would start to get serious for us,” said Garcia afterwards. “Our objective was to let what we see as our first-choice eleven get plenty of game time and find cohesion together.
“We have worked really hard at helping Marko Basa, Benoît Pedretti and Dimitri Payet integrate since their arrivals. Today I was impressed with a lot of what I saw collectively. Our three attackers and our three midfielders combined well with one another.”
De Melo sidelined
It’s not all good news for Lille just now, though, with Brazilian forward Tulio De Melo having been ruled out for two weeks due to swelling in his left leg. He will miss the Champions Trophy showpiece against Marseille in Tangier on July 27, and is already a doubt for the opening league game of the season at Nancy.
Following their reverse at the hands of Salzburg in Austria last week, Lyon were beaten again on Saturday, this time going down 3-1 at Belgian champions Genk.
Yoann Gourcuff and Aly Cissokho were among those missing from an OL team which featured Michel Bastos at left-back and saw Bafétimbi Gomis make his comeback after two months out with a knee injury.
Captain Elyaniv Barda scored a penalty to put Genk in front, and 17 year-old Anthony Limbombe Ekango extended the hosts’ lead before Jimmy Briand pulled one back. However, Ndabashinze Dugary made it 3-1 late on.
“We created plenty of chances in the second-half, but we couldn’t put the ball in the net.” said Garde. “That was probably due to a lack of freshness in the legs. The intense work we have done both in terms of fitness and shape had an impact on us today. We were slow at times.”
Gameiro off the mark
Paris Saint-Germain are another side still awaiting a first win in pre-season. A day after losing to Benfica, their second match of the Guadiana International Tournament in Faro, Portugal, ended in a 1-1 draw against Anderlecht.
Kévin Gameiro netted his first goal for his new club, only for Lukas Marecek to equalise for the Belgians in a game that was missed by PSG’s new sporting director Leonardo, the Brazilian having returned to Milan for the weekend.
Lorient 1-0 Brest
Toulouse 0-0 Arles-Avignon
Évian-T-G 1-1 Clermont
Sochaux 1-1 Créteil
Dijon 2-0 Visé (BEL)