Lyon's difficult campaign continued in Paris as they were defeated 1-0 by PSG at the Parc des PrincesParis Saint-Germain have reignited their hopes of claiming a Champions League spot next season courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Olympique Lyonnais, whose Ligue 1 title prospects have all but disappeared following defeat in the capital.
Zoumana Camara was the unlikely scorer of the game’s only goal, scrambling the ball over the line from point blank range with his knee after substitute Ludovic Giuly diverted a ball across the face of goal following a rare error from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who made a costly error when coming to claim a free kick.
The Parisians started the match with an impressive tempo, constantly using the height of Guillaume Hoarau as their major centrepiece in the early stages of the game, during which they were at their most dangerous.
Twice in the opening 15 minutes, Hugo Lloris was forced to excel himself by making fine blocks, the pick of which came with a diving stretch to turn a header wide. Moments after that dangerous moment, Mamadou Sakho also tested the home goalkeeper with a header, though this proved a more routine stop.
Lyon were offering very little indeed in the early stages of the game, pinned back by the direct tactics of their hosts. Indeed, OL were lucky not to fall behind when Lloris was caught out of his box following a weak clearance, but Dejan Lovren stationed himself intelligently on the line to clear Christophe Jallet’s shot.
Nene would have the last of the hosts’ big first half chances, but he volleyed high at the back post as Ceara swept a dangerous cross into the box.
Claude Puel’s side had created little in the opening 45 minutes save hopeful efforts from Jimmy Briand and Kim Kallstrom, so it was little surprise to see the ghostly figure of Yoann Gourcuff replaced by Ederson at the interval, changing the dynamic of the offensive line.
Immediately the Rhone side started to look more effective, with Bafetimbi Gomis attacking with particular relish. In the first minute of the second half the former Saint-Etienne man glanced a header wide, but it would be his fine 49th minute hit following Maxime Gonalons’ terrific run that would have Parisian hearts in mouths as it crashed off the underside of the bar before bouncing to safety.
Moments later, the confidence of Gomis was displayed when he sent a fizzing shot goalwards from fully 30 yards, which Gregory Coupet did well to turn over the top.
This block seemed to provide a watershed moment in the game as the hosts started to regain a grip on the midfield thereafter, ultimately building pressure gradually to pave the way for Camara’s goal.
Though Lyon adopted a more offensive approach in the closing moments of the game, they were rarely able to make Coupet sweat, with PSG controlling the ball well when in possession.
Claude Puel’s side are now only one point clear of the Parisians in the race for third, and with Rennes only another mark further back, OL surely have to occupy themselves more with worrying about locking in a top three spot than reclaiming their title, as Lille are six points clear of the Rhone giants at present.