Les Gones showed les Merlus little mercy...Olympique Lyonnais sent out a warning shot to their Ligue 1 rivals, starting 2011 with a thoroughly convincing 3-0 victory over Lorient.
After stubborn resistance from Lorient, and most notably from goalkeeper Fabien Audard, during the first half, Lyon struck their opening blow just before the interval. Little seemed to be on when Bafetimbi Gomis speculatively struck a bouncing ball from the corner of the box, but the strike was worthy of a €13 million striker, flying by the motionless Audard, who was surprised by how early the forward took the ball.
With the deadlock broken just before the break, Lyon made another decisive move just after the restart. Yoann Gourcuff’s free kick wasn’t well cleared by the visiting rearguard, but Kim Kallstrom’s shot from out of the box was neigh on flawless, flashing into the net.
Les Gones weren’t finished at that, soon striking a third to put any hopes of a comeback from the visiting side on the backburner. Anthony Reveillere’s cross was met by Kallstrom, whose miscued shot bounced up kindly for Gomis, whose header dropped into the net after hitting the underside of the bar.
On 65 minutes, Gomis was so close to completing his hat-trick, clipping a shot over Audard only for Gregory Bourillon to hasten back onto the line to clear at the last moment.
The visiting custodian had to be immaculate in the early moments of the match as OL launched a blitz on the Bretons’ goal. Audard was first called into action when he turned over Jeremy Toulalan’s awkward deflected effort, but from the resultant corner he produced a top drawer save to thwart Dejan Lovren.
Lorient survived these early scares well but were perpetually on the back foot, leading to inevitable Lyon chances. Gomis tugged a good chance wide before the striker’s knockdown was hammered at goal by Michel Bastos, forcing Audard into another good block. In between times, Yoann Gourcuff’s fizzing drive was pushed clear.
Hugo Lloris was to enjoy a quiet night, fielding a Kevin Gameiro free kick, which was Lorient’s best effort, comfortably just before the hour mark. Morgan Amalfitano did attempted a spectacular volley towards the end, but his shot dipped over.
Ultimately, this was an excellent performance from Lyon, the kind of which has not been seen frequently enough this season. If Claude Puel’s men can continue in such a fashion for the remainder of the season, they will be a side to watch.