Lyon out to get back on track in Guingamp
By I. Holyman
Olympique Lyonnais need to arrest a dip in form when they travel to bottom side En Avant Guingamp on Saturday if they are not to see their rivals get away from them.
En Avant Guingamp - Olympique Lyonnais
Third last season, Lyon now find themselves four points off the Ligue 1 Conforama podium after a run of just two wins in their last eight competitive fixtures. They felt they should have improved that stat in midweek, but let slip a two-goal lead as Hoffenheim claimed a UEFA Champions League point.
"It's not a good evening for us," admitted captain Nabil Fekir, who found the net in the 2-2 draw. "Leading 2-0 at the break, we had the game in hand. When you drop off a bit, you pay for it and we did this evening. We had things under control, but the first goal we conceded hurt us. We lost confidence despite having performed well overall. We're disappointed. We could have taken a big step towards qualifying. We have two games left, we have the means to do it."
Lyon are second in Group F to leaders Manchester City, who are yet to come to the Groupama Stadium where OL needed Anthony Lopes in sterling form to secure a point with a 1-1 draw against Girondins de Bordeaux last weekend.
WATCH: Bordeaux peg back Lyon
"We did practically everything well, but that's not enough in the Champions League. You have to be able to kill games off, we had a lot of chances, but weren't clinical enough," said coach Bruno Genesio, who still saw more positives from the midweek performance.
"There was a lot of commitment, played well, chances, which wasn't the case against Bordeaux. We're still in a position to qualify, but we're still very disappointed."
Disappointment has been an almost permanent fixture at Guingamp this season. The Breton club lost their opening six matches of the campaign, and have won just one so far. They had gone five games unbeaten, however, before crashing to a 5-0 defeat at FC Nantes last time out that cost coach Antoine Kombouaré his job.
WATCH: Sala makes it five as Nantes tear Guingamp apart
"What can you say, it was a deserved defeat because we were catastrophic in the second half and there was no fight. I am angry because we were solid and played well in the first half. The penalty hurt us. The players felt it was an injustice and when you are bottom of the table and a bit fragile, it was all we needed," said the former Paris Saint-Germain defender, who leaves the team four points from safety.
"We gave up, gifted them goals. It is a blow, but we are ready, don't you worry, we are ready to fight until the end and to try to get a very different result next weekend against Lyon."
Kombouaré will now have to watch from afar to see if his former players can find a response, while new boss, Jocelyn Gourvennec — back at the club he guided from the third tier to the top flight in a six-year spell between 2010 and 2016 — will only take charge after the game.
Guingamp: Johnsson – Ikoko, Kerbrat (cap.), Sorbon, Rebocho – Blas, Didot, Deaux – Coco, Thuram, Benezet
Lyon: Lopes – Denayer, Marcelo (cap.), Morel – Tete, Diop, Tousart, Aouar, Mendy – Depay – Dembélé