In a deep crisis, Lyon seeks a draw with Metz, but remains at the bottom of Ligue One

After the sad incidents that canceled the match against Olympique de Marseille last week, Lyon returned to the field this Sunday (5) and struggled to draw with modest Metz, only 16th in Ligue One. Ablie Jallow scored a Beautiful goal in the middle of Parc OL, but Skelly Alvero managed to equalize the score at 1 x 1 and avoid a new defeat for the Gones at home.

In 10 matches, the team coached by Italian Fábio Grosso has not yet won, drawn four and lost another six, occupying the last place in the French Championship with just four points. Metz is also having a weak campaign, but at least they have two wins and 10 points in second to last place.

First half is boring until the final minutes, when Metz piles up chances

Still with the 12 stitches on his face, Fábio Grosso innovated in the lineup by placing the three defenders Clinton Mata, Sinaly Diomandé and Jake O’Brien. Midfielder Maxence Caqueret was right at the base of the ball, giving freedom to midfielders Mahamadou Diawara to go up the left and Skelly Alvero to the right. The experienced captain Alexandre Lacazette formed an attacking partnership with Mama Baldé and had the support of wingers Nicolas Tagliafico and Sael Kumbedi, who formed a line of five at the time without the ball.

Tactically, Metz relied on very low marking lines, normally in a 4-4-2 formation, but the attackers on the flanks, Kevin Van Den Kerkhof and Joel Asoro, sometimes sunk so deep into the marking due to the opposing wingers that they formed lines of marking. five or even six in defense.

With the support of the fans, who didn’t even fill Parc OL that much, Lyon came with everything to open the scoring and with less than a minute Baldé came face to face with Alexandre Oukidja, who saved and conceded a rebound, but it was not taken advantage of by the owners of the team. House. Metz’s response came from the opponent’s own feet. That’s because Diomandé tried to cut a corner taken in the area, made a big mistake and the ball went towards Anthony Lopes. The Portuguese was connected and fit.

Despite these two chances at the beginning, the match soon returned to the rhythm of a clash for Z3 in Ligue One, with many mistakes and little quality to create. Lyon dominated possession, rotated and looked for spaces – without success in almost half an hour, other than the first big opportunity. Metz was fast, vertical, but that doesn’t mean effectiveness, which was lacking in those minutes. At least the Graoullys, as the visitors are known, bothered Lyon to the point of forcing the opponent to make fouls close to the area. In one of them, not so close to the goal, but in a counterattack, Diomandé was punished with a yellow card.

An unusual event happened in the 17th minute of the match. Goalkeeper Okidja, from the visitors, had to leave after feeling his knee in a challenge with Baldé. With that, Guillaume Dietsch gained an opportunity among the starters. The young French goalkeeper only went to work with 36, in a corner taken by Caqueret, the ball came straight into his hands.

Lyon x Metz
Goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja receiving medical attention before being replaced due to injury (Photo: Icon Sport)

Metz finally created their big chance in a rare and long exchange of passes. Standing upright, the ball reached Maxime Colin on the right, passed through Jean Jacques and left the ball for Ablie Jallow, on the edge of the area, to send a bomb and Lopes defended with his fingertips. Soon after, the Graoullys managed to create again, but this time with their best feature, the counterattack. Vacilo de Mata, Simon Elisor took advantage, picked up speed and served Jallow, who again finished very well and Lopes intervened in another great save. On the ropes, Lyon missed another ball, Lamine Camara stole and took a risk from distance, seeing the ball go straight out.

Even at the end, the home team managed to recover from the blow of the opportunities lost by their opponents. The starting point was a shot by Alvero, from distance, which went over Dietsch’s goal. In stoppage time, the Gones gave speed to an attack created entirely by Diawara, who broke through, invaded the area, and, facing the opposing goalkeeper, shot with an ugly shot, the ball didn’t even go close.

Lyon loses, but seeks a draw and almost turns it around

At halftime, neither team changed, and the pace returned to the same as at the end of the first half. With less than 10 minutes, Lacazette fought, made a great move and Alvero, full of space from outside the area, finished and demanded the first difficult save from Dietsch, who again made a spectacular intervention in the sequence, in a corner, when the captain of the Gones finished from the small area and the young goalkeeper was like a wall. Metz launched a counterattack afterwards, Caqueret retreated weakly and almost handed the goal to Elisor, but managed to recover and blocked the opponent’s striker’s shot.

With 12 minutes, Grosso made the first changes to the team. Rayan Cherki replaced Mama Baldé and Ernest Nuamah replaced Diawara. As a result, the team’s formation maintained the line of three, but now had two more aligned midfielders, in this case Cacaquet and Alvero, and Lacazette, previously floating more, was stuck as a fixed center forward, while Cherki and Nuamah appeared behind.

Lyon even had more people attacking, they showed a greater desire to win, but there was still a long way to go before an organized team appeared. Seeing Metz struggling in the second half, coach Laszlo Boloni replaced Asoro and Elisor with Joseph N’Duquidi and Ibou Sane.

That intense rhythm of the opening minutes did not take over the rest of the game. Increasingly retreating, the visiting team was unable to counterattack with quality. Grosso’s team even pressed, preventing the opponent from stealing the ball, but they couldn’t bother Dietsch.

And in this dull moment, with little emotion, Metz opened the scoring. The construction of the play was perfect, from defense to attack. On the ground, he found Jallow, who dominated with a brilliant spin and hit left-handed, in the half-moon, straight from the post into the goal.

In response to the goal, Fábio Grosso dismantled the line of three defenders and replaced the Brazilian Jeffinho, created by Botafogo. Lyon didn’t even need to press that hard for Metz to give in. Less than 10 minutes after conceding a goal, Alvero, who took several chances from outside the area throughout the match, scored this time, left-handed, and goalkeeper Dietsch could have done better.

The pressure from the home team, pushed by the ultras in the stands, was strong. The turnaround came almost immediately, from N’Duquidi on the right, a cross into the area, and Churki and Alvero got confused and were unable to finish in the best way.

Understanding the importance of adding a point in this relegation dispute, Boloni established a line of three defenders with Fali Candé, who replaced Jacques. The goal scorer, Jallow, also left and Kevin N’Doram got a chance in the game.

There were another five minutes of stoppage time in the match. Lyon tried to find space in the crowd of Metz players, who, when they saw the slightest space, tried to put on speed to counterattack.

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