This Ligue 1 season by all measures has been one of disappointment for Lyon. Between the failed transfer attempts this January and the club’s inconsistency on the pitch, the path to success this season seems cloudy. However, there is still hope for OL supporters in the Coupe de France.
Head coach Laurent Blanc spoke about the cup stating, “We know that the Coupe de France is the shortest path to Europe, it’s not me who says it, it’s a well-known adage.”
OL have been able to score goals. Especially with the return of the beloved Alexandre Lacazette back in top form with 13 goals (second in the league). Yet, the defense has still been a source of concern even with the tactical adjustments and personnel changes. The former Les Bleus coach spoke about the issue explaining, “When I see what we can do, we have to be more aggressive. Football is also about matches within a match. If you win your duels defensively, you are more solid. Some players are still soft for my taste. But we are a young team so we can’t have it all yet. Dejan (Lovren) brings us a lot in this area and in defensive solidity.”
One place OL has always found solace is at home amongst their fans. This season has even turned those matches a source of stress. Blanc stated, “It’s just as difficult to play at home as it is away. It should be a strength to play at Groupama Stadium. The context is difficult but we have to move forward, be conquerors. We try to be, we work for. You have to give everything not to have this feeling of having lost a match without having given everything. If the opponent is better than you, he will be, but you must not lose by not giving everything.”
Thinking ahead to the Coupe de France the head coach spoke about the strength of Lille and their place amongst the top teams in Ligue 1. Again he stressed the importance of how his team must play off of the ball. Now 9th in the league OL faces a difficult stretch of games. If Les Gones can turn things around by defeating Lille it may be what they need to jump-start the season.
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