Lyon’s title hopes suffer major blow as they lose to struggling Le Havre
Lyon’s title hopes suffered a major blow on Sunday as they lost 3-1 to struggling Le Havre.
The visitors had started the game well and created a number of chances, but they were dealt a major blow when defender Jason Denayer was sent off in the 30th minute for a dangerous challenge.
The hosts took advantage of their numerical superiority and took the lead in the 18th minute through defender Pierre-Yves Hamel.
Lyon responded well and pulled level in the 54th minute through striker Alexandre Lacazette, but they were pegged back again just eight minutes later when striker Aliou Badji scored his first goal for the club.
Man of the Match: Christopher Operi (8.5/10)
Operi had a huge game for the hosts, providing plenty of attacking threat and scoring a stunning goal. His runs down the left flank caused problems for Lyon all night, and he was also involved in the build-up to both of the Havre goals.
Arthur Desmas (6): The Havre goalkeeper was largely a spectator for most of the game, but he made a couple of important saves to keep his team in the lead.
Arouna Sangante (7): Sangante was solid at the back and made some good clearances, but he was also at fault for Lyon’s goal when he failed to communicate with Youté.
Étienne Youté (6.5): Youté was also impressive at the back, making a couple of important tackles and interceptions. He was also unlucky to be involved in the mix-up that led to Lyon’s goal.
Gautier Lloris (7): Lloris scored the opening goal for the Havre, and he was a threat in the air throughout the game. He also made a good clearance to deny Lyon a late goal.
Christopher Operi (8.5): See above.
Oussama Targhalline (7): Targhalline was tireless in midfield, and he made some key interceptions and passes. He was also unlucky not to score when he hit the post in the second half.
Loïc Négo (3): Négo was given plenty of opportunities, but he failed to make the most of them. He was often wasteful with the ball and lacked the creativity to unlock the Lyon defense.
Daler Kuzyaev (5.5): Kuzyaev was involved in the build-up to the first goal, but he was also guilty of some poor passing. He was replaced by Nabil Alioui in the 70th minute.
Yassine Kechta (7): Kechta was a constant threat on the break, and he made some good passes to set up his teammates. He was also unlucky not to score when his shot was deflected onto the post.
Emmanuel Sabbi (8): Sabbi was a menace for the Lyon defense, and he scored a great goal. He was replaced by Antoine Joujou in the 70th minute.
Joshué Casimir (6): Casimir was a handful for the Lyon defense with his movement and hold-up play, but he lacked the finishing touch. He was replaced by Oualid El Hajjam in the 85th minute.
Anthony Lopes (5): As usual this season, the Lyon goalkeeper didn’t sink despite the shipwreck of his team. He made a good save on Kechta’s long-range shot, even though the corner that followed led to the first Norman goal. Then he prevented the own goal by Kumbedi in the second half.
Clinton Mata (5.5): Given the performances of his teammates who started in the center, the right-back may not have started the match in the right position. Apart from the action of Sabbi’s goal that easily eliminated him, he showed himself to be more solid than his partners, as evidenced by his return on Casimir who was running alone towards the goal.
Jake O’Brien (2): After a dangerous loss of the ball, the Irishman had already come close to being sent off early in the match. An offside probably saved him. But at the half-hour mark, his cleat on Kuzyaev, only sanctioned with a yellow card initially, prompted VAR to call referee Gaël Angoula. Deserved red card and heavy in consequence for OL.
Duje Caleta-Car (3): Sure, the former Marseille player was imperial in aerial duels. But for the rest, his slowness was a real problem against the speed of the Havrais attackers. Overrun, he finally cracked with an unnecessary tackle from behind on Alioui, and was sanctioned with a red card.
Nicolás Tagliafico (5): Opposed to a poor-form Nego, the Argentine left-back never really looked out of place. We can understand his caution after O’Brien’s red card. But his early match was already timid on the offensive side.
Corentin Tolisso (3.5): At fault for Lloris’ goal, with a marking error, the midfielder was not much help defensively. It’s no coincidence that the Lyonnais were being pierced by the Havre counter-attacks. He still tried his luck with a volleyed shot, off target.
Maxence Caqueret (4): For a player of his level, such a technical waste is surprising. The midfielder formed in Lyon even put his team in danger with a risky pass. But he at least had the merit, sometimes, of playing forward.
Rayan Cherki (4.5): An assist for Lacazette, some nice technical moves in the aftermath… And then not much else. Another annoying match from the attacking midfielder who spent his time complaining to his teammates and the ears of the referee, aware of his tendency to simulate… Replaced in the 90th+2 by Adryelson (unrated).
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (3): Invisible on the right side, the former Arsenal player was barely more visible on the left after Moreira’s exit. He brought absolutely nothing on the offensive side. Replaced in the 70th minute by the recruit Malick Fofana (unrated), who showed an insight into his percussion qualities.
Diego Moreira (unrated): Too tender in duels, the Chelsea-loaned winger struggled to exist. After O’Brien’s red card, he was sacrificed and replaced in the 31st minute by Saël Kumbedi (3.5), the former Havrais author of interesting accelerations with the ball at his feet, but whose entry into the game was mainly marked by his simulation before Sabbi’s goal. He then came close to an own goal, avoided by Lopes.
Alexandre Lacazette (5.5): Forced to drop very low to touch the balls, the OL captain looked frustrated for a long time. He was often seen complaining to the referee. He still found the way to the net before colliding with goalkeeper Desmas on a direct free kick.