At OL Park,
It took more than a year, from February 2022 to April 2023, to see Olympique Lyonnais finally be able to win a match after being behind. Since the end of this black series against Rennes (from 0-1 to 3-1), Laurent Blanc’s men have succeeded in this performance five times (during the last seven days), like this success with character, Friday against Monaco (3-1). It is not insignificant, would blow Bruno Cheyrou. “The state of mind has changed”, comments for his part the Lyonnais coach, who cannot be held responsible for transcending his group by his public speech, in the middle of the final sprint for the last qualifying place for a European Cup. ‘Europe.
Last Sunday, just after yet another stoppage in Clermont (2-1), the former PSG coach thus slipped coldly “For Europe, it’s grated”. An astonishing posture, when there were still three days to go. Six days later, OL (7th) find themselves only one point behind fifth place synonymous with the Europa League Conference, occupied by Losc who are also challenging OM this Saturday (9 p.m.). Suffice to say that if the Lyonnais refuel against Reims and Nice, they can legitimately hope to scratch a European sesame.
“The words of the coach stung us”
After his hot and frustrating media release, following a hell of a hiccup at Gabriel-Montpied, we expected a more unifying / conquering posture from Lolo White, Wednesday at a press conference. But it was not: “The coach has the right to have freedom of thought and that only engages me. Now, if my players don’t agree with me, prove me wrong, and I’d be very happy to be wrong.” Do we have a prehistoric communication strategy in front of us to try to take the pressure off his group, or is Laurent Blanc the 832nd French coach to snub a “small” European Cup in history? ?
Difficult to be certain of the answer, but on Friday, his coaching much more ambitious/coherent than in Clermont (no Sarr, Aouar, Dembélé, a four-man defense and not a five-man defense) suggests that he does not intend to swing the last chances to enter the Top 5 of Ligue 1 on the gong. And finally, how do the players perceive this apparent lack of clarity from their coach, at a time when the ousting of Jean-Michel Aulas is already quite a shock?
When we lost our match last week, his words were quite accurate, confides Maxence Caqueret, author of the first goal of his career at Parc OL against AS Monaco (2-1, 57th). But on the other hand, we were able to show today that we were capable of doing much better, and of still being able to hope for a European place. Of course the coach’s words stung us. We know it’s going to be complicated since we no longer have the cards in our hands. But there are two games left and we believe we can still hang on to this European Cup at the end. »
“Supporting the team is when you need it”
It is that it is hot for a summer barrage in Vaduz, Czestochowa or Viborg, the Max. “Tonight, all the players had this aggressiveness, this desire to equalize and win the match”, proudly continues the Lyon midfielder. His teammate Rayan Cherki is on the same line: “We are here to prove the coach wrong. We will do everything to grab this fourth or even fifth place”. Good Rayan, it’s hard to imagine Monaco (6 points ahead of OL), Losc and Stade Rennais collapsing at this point and completely freeing up the Europa League for Lyonnais.
It must be said that the U23 international, sometimes on fire against ASM, between a devastating roulette wheel and his superb goal, admitted on Friday “leaving the math aside”, to devote himself to the essentials: “It’s clear that with Maxence and Coco Tolisso, we took a lot of fun tonight in our movements, our passes, our combined games. And the Parc OL, very well stocked (53,980 spectators) for a match placed over a long bank holiday weekend and with a relative sporting stake, played a key role. “The supporters galvanize us, they help us a lot in matches like that,” savored Saël Kumbedi on OL Play.
Here too, Laurent Blanc’s story turned out to be strangely discordant, at the microphone of Prime Video. “The supporters are there to support the team, recalled this one. But supporting the team is when you need it. When it’s 3-1, it’s not fantastic. So good… We ignored that. “Not sure that the north turn, which annoyed the technician by chanting “Wet the jersey” as soon as the score opened on a penalty kick from Wissam Ben Yedder (0-1, 2nd), ignores this (new) tackle from Lolo White towards the supporters. He would like to alienate all OL followers that he would not do it otherwise, despite an overall evening good vibes in Decines. As you will have understood, getting closer (slightly) to the first Europa League Conference in the history of the club does not seem to excite the former captain of the Blues unduly.
Source: 20Minutes – Une by www.20minutes.fr.
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