Ligue 1 – Between revenge and survival: against Nice, Olympique Lyonnais wants to exorcise its old demons


109 days have passed, yet the wound is still gaping. Go back a few months. We are on October 24, 2021. Olympique Lyonnais moves on the lawn of the Allianz Riviera for the account of the 11th day of Ligue 1. The men of Peter Bosz then remain on a series of 6 matches without defeat in all competitions (for 4 wins) and have only bitten the dust in the league twice, on the lawn of the Parc des Princes after a match that was nevertheless under control and during the second day of L1, in Angers.

If OL are only 7th in the championship, we promise Lucas Paqueta’s teammates a rather bright future. Yet that evening, on the Côte d’Azur, nothing will ever really be the same again for this OL version 2021/2022. The Lyonnais sink on the lawn of Nice. In large widths. In front of the score (2-0) until the 80th minute of play, OL then saw the match escape them. The expulsion of Tino Kadewere 5 minutes from time tipped the match into the irrational. Les Aiglons finally won 3-2 and plunged OL into their first crisis of the season. Then followed several weeks of wanderings where OL were surprised at home by Reims and then went on to a series of 4 consecutive draws in the league.

Of course I’m revengeful

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Almost four months later, if the headache has passed, the scar is struggling to close on the side of Décines. Because this defeat against the men of Christophe Galtier marked a real turning point in the Lyon season. After this crushing blow, OL, by stringing together a series of two victories in 8 Ligue 1 games, seriously jeopardized their chances of European qualification and saw their main rivals, including OGC Nice, distance themselves in the standings. .

A painful memory still vivid in the minds of Lyon players and staff. So, this Saturday, revenge will obviously be a question. Questioned in the pre-match press conference, the OL coach did not hide it. « After what happened in the first leg, of course I’m revengeful » claimed the Dutch coach.

OL players contest the red card given to Tino Kadewere during Nice-OL / Ligue 1

Credit: Imago

« People haven’t forgotten the last day of last season either » he then added. Because in addition to this incredible match in October, which Lyon supporters should remember for many years, the two teams also had a dispute since last season.

Nice had deprived OL of C1

During the last day of Ligue 1, May 23, 2021, and while OL can still hope for qualification for the next Champions League, the Lyonnais stumble at home 2-3 against Nice who have nothing left. to play. « There is a spirit of revenge after the first leg but also compared to last year » also explained Henrique at a press conference. The Brazilian side who arrived last summer between Rhône and Saône apparently heard about this meeting which had concluded the adventure of Rudi Garcia on a false note.

If Bosz and his men say they want « focus on this new confrontation against Nice« , they will have these two previous clashes in the back of their minds and will want to settle their account with the Nice formation. An additional source of motivation for a team still on the edge after their defeat last weekend at Louis II, and who knows that each L1 match until the end of the season will be essential.

15 finals to play for OL

For the reception of Amine Gouiri’s teammates, Peter Bosz could count on the returns of Jason Denayer and Tino Kadewere. Both players trained all week with the group. Karl Toko Ekambi, who recently returned from the Africa Cup of Nations, could also apply. Enough to offer the Olympian coach greater coaching possibilities.

The Lyonnais know it. The last 15 days of the championships will serve as 15 finals in the race for Europe. But one thing at a time. And after the relapse in Monaco last week, Bosz is cautious: « For the moment it is useless to speak of podium« . Jean-Michel Aulas’ club is currently 8 points behind third place occupied by OGC Nice. A victory against Gym would allow them to reduce this gap and dream of a successful end to the season. A great way to definitively sweep away his bad memories of Nice.

Peter Bosz during Lyon – Reims in Ligue 1 on December 1, 2021

Credit: Getty Images

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