“We showed them too much respect”… How could Lyon have signed such a disgusting start to the match?

At OL Park,

What’s the point of investing in a pre-match pyrotechnic show, with the high-energy soundtrack in the background? Master of Puppets of Metallica, if it is to face ten outfield players who seem to have inquired about the integral of Vincent Delerm for a week? The leaders of Olympique Lyonnais were able to make this reflection, Sunday evening, in view of the first 20 catastrophic minutes of their team against PSG (0-1). With Lionel Messi and Neymar in charge, the Parisian ogre created four clear chances in this one-way start, including Messi’s first goal from the 5th minute of play. Adrift on the spot, the players of Peter Bosz witnessed, spectators, a collective movement of 22 passes from the reigning French champion, concluded by a disconcertingly easy one-two between the two ex-Barcelonians.

But how to explain this reckless passivity in the face of such talents, when the hour was already serious for OL, after two defeats in a row at Lorient (3-1) and Monaco (2-1)? “We knew they were going to start strong, says Anthony Lopes, in a great evening with four decisive parades. We intended to do the same. We didn’t sleep, that’s not the term, but we were less concentrated than them. Opposite, they are world-class players, so it’s complicated to chase after the score. We may not have been aggressive enough at the start of the match. “The “maybe” is clearly too much in view of the broth taken without the slightest impact in the duels, apart from an authoritarian stroll from Alexandre Lacazette on Neymar to scratch a touch (3rd).

“It was difficult to get into the duels”

On OL Play, Malo Gusto went there with his attempt to explain: “When you play a team like PSG, you have to be more concentrated. This can sometimes lead to small tensions or hesitations. These were obvious in a first period outrageously dominated by Paris, with 70% possession and 442 passes to 187 in their favor. Faced with the “tenderness” (dixit Rémy Vercoutre, coach of the Lyon goalkeepers) of the evening starters, captain Alexandre Lacazette quickly tried to react with great gestures in the direction of Thiago Mendes and Castello Lukeba.

The interested party explained this after the meeting on Free Ligue 1: “I wanted the defenders to be closer to Kylian, Neymar and Messi. Inevitably, when you play Kylian, there is this fear of being caught behind his back because he is going at 2000 an hour. But on the pitch, I always want my defenders to be close to me”. This was not the case at all during these first 20 minutes, which leads Peter Bosz to an interesting hypothesis.

“We showed them too much respect in the first half. We backed up too much because we were afraid of their speed. When the defense retreats 10 meters too far, it’s difficult to get into duels. I asked at halftime that we go up at least 10 meters, and it was better from there. »

Same words and same evils with Genesio in 2016?

Except that the handicap of a cautious start, technically weak and without the slightest pressing attempted in the Parisian camp, has never been caught up. Last season, Peter Bosz had already blatantly renounced his supposedly “offensive and attractive” style of play to grab a point against PSG (1-1). Further still, in November 2016, OL then coached by Bruno Genesio had experienced a catastrophic first period at home against Paris (0-1, 1-2 in the end), led by a legendary left lane Morel-Rybus.

“We may have respected this team a little too much,” said the current Rennes coach at the time. Hey, hey… Even if several Lyon players/coaches were on the verge of borrowing the concept of encouraging defeat from rugby on Sunday, praising in turn Thiago Mendes’ “huge match” and the game plan in 4-4- 2 offering “more freedom” to Alexandre Lacazette, the raw classification is formal.

Despite Thiago Mendes' big game against Kylian Mbappé, OL are letting go of the good wagon in Ligue 1.
Despite Thiago Mendes’ big game against Kylian Mbappé, OL let go of the good wagon in Ligue 1. – Laurent Cipriani / AP / SIPA

Deprived of the European Cup this season, OL have a “clearly insufficient” record when they start the international break, with a 6th place 6 points behind Lorient (3rd), 7 from OM and 9 from Parisian leader. “When you aspire to be in the top three, to seek qualification for the Champions League at the end of the season, you must not let go, and for the moment we are not in the right rhythm, assumes Anthony Lopez. There are small positive signals: we manage to play and we get chances against Monaco and Paris. We will all raise our heads to go to Lens with a lot of determination in order to take the three points. ” And if The Corons by Pierre Bachelet suited the Lyonnais better than Metallica, in the end?