Olympique Lyonnais 2-1 Toulouse: Yannis Tafer & Bafetimbi Gomis Seal Turnaround Win

Gomis

Les Gones may have trailed le Tefece at the break, but an impressive rally in the second half saw them claim three points.

Claude Puel’s Olympique Lyonnais side produced a strong second half performance to shrug off the challenge ofToulouse and move top of Ligue 1.

A goal from Moussa Sissoko had pushed Alain Casanova’s men ahead in the early stages of the first half allowed the guests to edge the first half, but the introduction of 19-year-old Yannis Tafer sparked a home comeback. The youngster scored the first goal and then watch Bafetimbi Gomis convert from close round, ensuring OL claimed maximum points.

The first half would prove to be a highly attractive affair, characterised by an upbeat tempo and plenty of attacking play from both sides, though chances were perhaps not as frequent as they might have been.

As one would expect, les Gones made the early running, but they would fall behind after only eight minutes when a slip from centre-back Mathieu Bodmer invited Sissoko to have a shot at goal. Brimming with confidence after some bright early-season performances, the 20-year-old blasted the visiting side into the lead.

When Hugo Lloris in the home goal uncharacteristically misjudged a corner kick, it could quite easily have become 2-0 to Alain Casanova’s side. Andre-Pierre Gignac’s effort in a crowded penalty box squeezed between two players but past the post.

Lyon had created chances to that point, with Bafetimbi Gomis and Jean II Makoun the two liveliest of the OL side. Indeed, chances would seem to attract themselves to the Cameroon international, who would strike wide when well positioned on the edge of the penalty area and would then pass wastefully when he found himself in a similar area again.

The tempo of the game remained high, with some sloppy midfield play frustrating the home side, who then allowed Toulouse to break dangerously on several occasions. However, the most dangerous moments continued to be in front of the visiting net. 

Miralem Pjanic’s audacious free kick from 40-yards forced Pele into a save, but the goalkeeper was exerted a great deal more only a few minutes later when Kim Kallstrom’s knuckleball shot dipped viciously in front of him, forcing the former Le Mans man to turn the ball by the post.

Meanwhile, OL’s defence continued to look uncertain. Lloris was having a difficult evening, and when he again missed a cross ball, Sissoko was taken by surprise and headed past an empty net.

An acrobatic effort from Makoun completed the half, and Puel would shuffle his pack at the interval, withdrawing Bodmer and deploying young forward Tafer, a move that would quickly pay dividends.

Within seconds of the start of the second half it was clear that Lyon would play in a far more incisive manner, passing the ball with more purpose and moving with more intelligence. Five minutes into the second half, Toulouse buckled.

A sweeping move down the left saw Cissokho bomb forward in a trademark style, and his near post centre was met by
Tafer, whose shot flew high into the visiting net.

Only seconds later it could so easily have been two. Gomis held up the ball superbly and shuffled it back to Govou, who in turn pushed it into the box towards Tafer. However, the youngster’s shot slipped just by the post with Pele really toiling.

By now Lyon were in their pomp. Kallstrom’s subtle angled cross picked out the unmarked Gomis at the back post, but he couldn’t steer the ball over Pele and into the net. The Swede tried himself only a couple of minutes later, forcing Pele to show safe hands under pressure plunging to his right.

Gignac remained a troubling presence for the Lyon defence, though this was not one of his brighter nights. His sheer presence induced Cris to kick out as the pair challenged for a loose ball, and the Brazilian centre-back was fortunate to avoid a costly red card, instead booked by the referee.

Having survived this scare, Govou’s penetrating run down the right won a corner. The kick broke to Pjanic on the edge of the area, and though his shot was missing the target,
Gomis was on hand just a yard from the line to head past Pele.

The former Saint-Etienne man was then denied by a fine save from the visiting goalkeeper after Tafer had made a strong break down the left, showing his savvy by producing a clever cut-back.

Play bounced from end to end, with several good positions created by Lyon, for whom Tafer was thoroughly impressing. A slick through pass for Gomis with five minutes remaining nearly yielded a crucial third, but Pele was off his line quickly enough to induce an off-target dink from the forward.

Toulouse had few late chances, with a Gignac shot deflected over by Cris, while at the other end a late Makoun opening was smothered by Pele.

Three points ahead of their Champions League fixture against Debrecen on Tuesday were welcome for OL, particularly because of their inclement injury situation. Indeed, Puel has now seen strong performances from some of his young guns, and they could be included  in midweek after impressing.

Goal

~ by footballdirecta on September 27, 2009.

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