Match-day two arrived in France’s version of the Group of Death with much anticipation…it disappears into the rear view mirror of history with Lyon manager Giovanni Cabrioli struggling to see his three opponents anywhere in his wake.
Two games played, two wins and the rest of the field now battling for scraps…that is the tale from France now for Lyon as the competition looks towards next weeks fixtures.
The battle at the Parc des Princes in front of a crowd of 10,746 proved an enjoyable pitched struggle for those in the stands, both managers had obviously given instructions for a degree of getting ‘stuck in’ and the 4 yellows and a Red Card for Wakaso of Lyon in the 79th minute would suggest the instructions got through to the players.
Tactically both sides went with the same formation, more indication of the nature and tightness this group suggested on paper but Lyon must now feel confident of progressing after goals by Rodrigo (14) and Man of the Match Klaassen (43) sent the teams in at half time with PSG scratching their heads and Lyon comfortable for the 2-0 lead. Pastore pulling one back in the 65th minute suggested a bit of fight in the home side and with Wakaso getting sent of with 11 minutes to go it looked like PSG might manage to scrape a point at least but Lyon have a glint in their eye and a bit of steel now and they succeeded in seeing out the 10 man period with little worry.
A win next Wednesday at home to Monaco might all but wrap things up nice and early now for Lyon…such is the reality of a group with one team now head and shoulders above the rest.
The battle for the 3rd Division bragging rights over at the Louis II stadium in Monaco was…predictably…a draw!
Both sides went with a fast, pressing game with Monaco edging the stats but of course stats mean nothing when the goals tally ends up at 2-2.
It was entertaining for the 6,430 who turned up to watch, good strength squads were deployed and both managers did take it seriously but there was always a chance that separating them would be hard and 2-2 was a good reflection on where these sides are at the moment in their development.
Monaco opened the scoring on 19 minutes through Gobi, Marseille pulled one back through Dje Djedje on 30 minutes before a lovely goal by Vieirinha latching on to falcao’s second assist gave the home team the edge at the break. Marseille pressed hard for the equalizer and were rewarded in the 73rd minute when Ben Yedder once again impressed with a finish worthy of the affection the Marseille fans are starting to hold him in.
Its a bit of a climb now to catch Lyon for both these sides and PSG too, Marseille know that after they visit Paris next Wednesday they then have three home games to finish the group…it might give them a bit of a chance, especially if they can beat PSG next week and Monaco slip at Lyon…but this group may yet have a few twists to come and no one can deny that it is tight in France right now for at least three of the four sides…the aim of all now is to pull Lyon back into the pack.
Onward to match-day three…