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Ligue 1

  • September 18, 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Stade de Gerland, Lyon
  • Referee: L. Duhamel
  • • Attendance: 38010

Olympique Lyonnais 2-0 Olympique de Marseille: Michel Bastos inspires OL to the summit of Ligue 1

Remi Garde's men disposed of their southern rivals with a strong showing at the Stade Gerland, in which the Brazilian winger excelled

Remi Garde’s unbeaten start as Olympique Lyonnais head coach continued on Sunday night as he watched his side defeat rivals Olympique de Marseille 2-0 at Stade Gerland to move top of Ligue 1, as OM slumped to dead last.

Bafetimbi Gomis would open the scoring for OL after 17 minutes when he turned home a wicked cross from Michel Bastos, and the influential Brazilian would strike the crucial second for the hosts with a fine finish just before the half hour mark.

The opening period of the game was rather tactical, with Marseille controlling possession but making little headway into the Lyon defence so the opening goal came something out of the blue. A surging run down the left from Michel Bastos was finished by a positive cross that was matched by Gomis’ controlled finish beyond Steve Mandanda.

Against opponents clearly short of defensive confidence, Lyon would quickly add a second goal. Again it owed much to a powerful run down the left channel from Michel Bastos, who on this occasion was able to burst into the box and dispatch a shot into the far corner of the net.

Before the half was out, the Brazilian would make an almost identical foray, though his finish was slashed wide on this occasion.

Lyon were rampant towards the end of the opening period, but they could not find a game-killing third goal, despite a powerful Gomis shot being punched clear by Mandanda.

Didier Deschamps’ side regrouped after the break and offered an improved second half display, though Hugo Lloris in the home net would never seriously be tested.

Loic Remy and Cesar Azpilicueta managed to get in each other’s way mere yards from goal, while a superb one-touch exchange concluded with Lucho Gonzalez’s volley flirting with the right hand post of the Lyon goal.

Although their position was certainly inclement, Marseille did not allow their level to crumble in the closing stages, and their infrequent assaults on the home net continued. With 12 minutes remaining, Lloris was finally beaten as Remy headed positively goalwards from a Mathieu Valbuena corner, but his effort was hacked away on the line.

Lyon would preserve their two-goal cushion to move to the summit of the Ligue 1 standings, with Garde yet to endure his first defeat since taking over in the summer. His young side are playing with enthusiasm and, crucially, confidence, which is a commodity sorely lacking in the ranks of OM, who now prop up the Championnat classification.