Olympique Lyonnais 2-1 Lille: Lisandro sends 10-man hosts into the Coupe de la Ligue semi-finals

A brave performance from Remi Garde's men saw them play with a player short for nearly 80 minutes yet recover from Joe Cole's opening goal to progress into the last four
Olympique Lyonnais will join Olympique de Marseille, Nice and Lorient in the last four of the Coupe de la Ligue after overcoming Lille 2-1 at Stade Gerland.

The odds seemed stacked in the favour of the visitors when OL had Mouhamadou Dabo sent off after only 10 minutes, particularly when Joe Cole then gave Lille the lead, but as the first half closed Kim Kallstrom levelled matters. After the break, Lisandro Lopez snatched the winning goal with a typically composed finish.

Lille also finished the match with 10 as Mathieu Debuchy was dismissed close to the end.

The Ligue 1 champions started the match very much in the ascendancy, with Florent Balmont driving a shot into the side netting of Hugo Lloris’ goal after only four minutes and then nearly succeeding in lobbing the goalkeeper soon afterwards.

When Dabo was dismissed for a high challenge on Laurent Bonnart only after 11 minutes, it seemed that the French champions were set to progress.

This idea was reinforced when Cole gave them the lead. Eden Hazard laid the groundwork for the Englishman with a typically incisive surge, which was matched by the on-loan Liverpool man’s rasping finish.

OL’s resistance, which would not become apparent until the 30th minute, was led by Lisandro, whose combative attitude unsettled the visiting defence and offered les Gones’ first sight of goal, even if it was comfortably shut out but Vincent Enyeama.

This sparked a period of significant pressure that brought the levelling goal. Michel Bastos’ free kick was too hot for the Nigerian goalkeeper, and Kallstrom was on hand to tuck the ball home.

After being overwhelmed by Lyon’s impressive first-half surge, Lille tried to reassert their dominance of the fixture after the break, but despite a header from Ireneusz Jelen flirting with Lloris’ net, they rarely came close to re-establishing their lead.

Lyon might not have been the same threat they were late on the in first period, but that did not prevent them moving into the ascendancy for the first time. Once more it was Bastos at the heart of the goal, centring for Lisandro to finish with the side of his foot.

In the closing stages LOSC struggled to get on terms with their buoyant hosts, who actually came closer to extending their lead on a couple of occasions through Lisandro, though by this stage Lille were also playing with 10 as Debuchy had seen two yellow cards.

This result certainly sends out a warning shot to Lyon’s Ligue 1 rivals that their title hopes have not vanished, and it sets up a semi-final that will be played in a fortnight's time.