After trailing by a seemingly insurmountable margin, Remi Garde's men rallied impressively to overturn their spirited hosts in an outstanding matchOlympique Lyonnais’ three-season wait for silverware is in the verge of ending after they overcame a 2-0 deficit to dramatically progress to the Coupe de la Ligue final after claiming a 4-2 success over Lorient at the Stade du Moustoir following a period of extra time.
The raucous atmosphere in the stands was matched by a thrilling game on the artificial field. Lorient struck out what seemed to be a decisive advantage in the second half, with goals from Innocent Emeghara and Kevin Monnet-Paquet. OL’s response began with a thrilling Alexandre Lacazette strike, but even that didn’t match the drama of Jimmy Briand’s 93rd minute header, which took the game to an additional half hour.
With the wind in their sails, Remi Garde’s side found an extra-time winner as Bafetimbi Gomis blasted home before Lacazette notched a cruel fourth.
Lorient started the game with a significantly changed side against Lyon’s strongest unit, and this was reflected early on as the home side found the going tough, with Lisandro Lopez unusually wasteful for the visitors when presented with three glorious openings.
After this uncertain start, the hosts started to exploit Lyon’s open formation, with their speed and direct running posing problems that OL could not answer. Monnet-Paquet was the first to find the formula to beat the visiting defence, speeding down the flank before delivering a cross that Maxime Barthelme turned past Hugo Lloris only to see Aly Cissokho clear from the line.
Thereafter, the host were on top, fashioning several fine chances. Their best moment came from Mathieu Coutadeur, who sent a superb volley crashing off the top of the crossbar.
Emeghara would prove to be the chief threat for the Bretons following the break, and after creating a couple of chances, he scored one himself, turning away from the immobile-looking Cris before lashing past Lloris from inside the box.
Lorient soon added a second to their tally. Once again Emeghara was the catalyst, this time bursting down the right, but though his progress was ultimately checked, a loose ball broke kindly for Monnet-Paquet to smack home from an acute angle.
It was not until Lacazette struck with an outstanding drive from range that Lyon genuinely looked like they could find a path back into an engrossing fixture.
An open game then became even more end-to-end at the death, and Briand’s late header from a corner took the game to extra time, which looked improbable after Benjamin Lecomte brilliantly denied Michel Bastos.
Lyon enjoyed the better of extra time, and after a piercing run from the vibrant Lacazette was ended, Gomis was able to feed off the scraps and shoot past Lecomte.
With Lorient out on their feet late on, Lacazette almost literally walked the ball into the net right at the death, securing OL's spot in the final, where they will meet Olympique de Marseille or Nice on April 14 at Stade de France.