Jocelyn Gourvennec, the defeat that hurts a lot. Two weeks after the Hatem Ben Arfa episode, LOSC saw their series of eight unbeaten matches in the league come to a painful end against RC Lens in the North derby (1-2), Saturday evening, during the 32nd day of Ligue 1. A defeat which highlighted the shortcomings of the defending champion, a voluntary team but limited in the finish and much more fragile defensively than under the Christophe Galtier era.
The possibility of seeing the reigning French champion end his « after season » empty-handed has increased after this new failure at Pierre-Mauroy. The one who best understood the accounting and psychological damage of this setback was obviously Jocelyn Gourvennec. Hot, the technician appeared dejected when commenting on the result. « It’s hard to accept because the team usually responds in big matches, but not tonight… We had a better face in the second half but it’s not enough, we didn’t responded present. There, it’s difficult to snatch matches… We’re extremely disappointed, I’m extremely disappointed, I see it as an affront, like an injury, and it hurts, very badly“, he commented.
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Yet determined to be more offensive than usual, which was precisely Ben Arfa’s reproach after Bordeaux, Gourvennec and his men were caught in their own trap. Opportunistic, Lens scored first, controlled, before leading by two goals in the 37th minute. The reduction of Xeka’s score did not change the scenario of this match, where LOSC tried, but above all were clumsy in the execution. Basically, there were all the pieces of the puzzle, but not put in the right order.
« We ruined our match. We wanted to attack hard and we got trapped after four minutes on a corner where we are not attentive…“, added Gourvennec. “Like that, we cannot win a game at stake, a derby which was important for our supporters. We do one half out of two and on matches like that, it can’t work. We have to apologize to our supporters. We disappoint everyone and we disappoint ourselves. »
While aiming for a fantastic and somewhat unexpected rise to the European folding seats after a diesel start, LOSC have been tripping over the mat since the beginning of April, a draw against Girondins de Bordeaux (0 -0) serving as the starting point for a series of three games without a win. Six days from the end, the northern club, 8th with 48 points, is 11 points behind OM and 2nd place, 8 from 3rd (Stade Rennais) and temporarily 4 from 5th (Strasbourg), synonymous with Europa League Conference, the very last ticket for competitions on the Old Continent in 2022-2023.
The result for Lille will be full-bodied. If the trips to Reims, next Wednesday, and to Troyes on May 1, can possibly help to rebound, the rest of the calendar is scary. In a week, we will have to receive a candidate for Europe, Julien Stéphan’s RC Strasbourg, then Monaco (May 6, 36th day), go to Nice (May 14, 37th day) and receive Stade Rennais again, during of the last day (May 21, 38th day). A hearty menu, facing teams that are targeting Europe. A frightening menu that suggests a downward sloping end to the year. Unless a last burst of pride occurs.
Lensois Patrick Berg and Jonathan Gradit surround Lille’s Gabriel Gudmundsson during the Derby du Nord in Ligue 1
Credit: Getty Images
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