Follow the Ball – Game 13: Lyon vs Guingamp

 
Another week and a new champion. Paris Saint-Germain didn’t hang on nearly as long as I expected and were beaten by Lyon in only their second game as Follow the Ball champions. The result means I will likely spend the next three months watching French football. With the right set of results I may end up back on the PSG bandwagon and possibly back into Euroe; but for now I’m looking forward to watching some Ligue 1 action.

Game 9: Chelsea (c) 5-1 Newcastle United
Barclays Premier League, Saturday 13th February 2016, Stamford Bridge

Game 10: Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Chelsea (c)
UEFA Champions League, Tuesday 16th February 2016, Parc des Princes

Game 11: Paris Saint-Germain (c) 4-1 Stade de Reims
Ligue 1, Saturday 20th February 2016, Parc des Princes

Game 12: Lyon 2-1 Paris Saint-Germain (c)
Ligue 1, Sunday 28th February 2016, Parc Olympique Lyonnais

After watching Lyon win 2-1 I was reliably informed from a couple of people that I’d witnessed their best performance of the season. One game in and they may have peaked; which could make for some interesting viewing and some very interesting results in the next few weeks.

Game 13: Lyon vs Guingamp
Ligue 1, Sunday 6th March 2016, Parc Olympique Lyonnais

The Skinny: The worry with seeing Lyon play their most impressive game of the season straight off the bat is that I have lofty expectations of what comes next from them. There is so much to like about the players in their squad and it’s clear that they haven’t been at the races so far this season. Had they been, they would be a lot closer to Paris Saint-Germain in the Ligue 1 table than they are.

Maxwel Cornet was very good against Paris and there are at least five or six other impressive youngsters already in the Lyon squad to compliment the teenager. Where Olympique Lyonnais won’t be able to compete with the riches of the league champions unless new owners rock up, there is a chance that with the right mix of exciting young footballers and smart buying they will get close.

Guingamp are in the midst of a relegation battle and will be keen for Lyon to suffer something of a hangover from their victory last week. Nicking points at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais would go down very nicely. Former Lyon man Jimmy Briand is the only name I recognised upon a read through the Guingamp squad.

The Match: I can’t pretend that I watched the entire match. Having been away in Madrid last weekend (to see Real Madrid crash Celta Vigo 7-1 in amongst other touristy fun) a family emergency dragged me to Scotland at the beginning of the week and put paid to any plans of catching up on the game.

I did see the highlights from off of YouTube and read whatever match reports I could.

The young front three of Cornet, Alexandre Lacazette and Rachid Ghezzal appear to have caused Guingamp all sorts of problems; which is delightful. I was worried the trio may have cooled off after being so busy against Paris the week before. All three got on the score sheet and – from what I saw on the highlights – used their movement to keep their opponents from keeping them under wraps. Cornet’s finish was excellent.

Guingamp’s goal was a poor one to concede. The scuffed cross should have been cut out, and Mevlüt Erdinc shouldn’t have been allowed to drift into the penalty area; but I’ll forgive them as they scored five times.

The Result: Lyon 5-1 Guingamp

What’s next? Rennes vs Lyon in Ligue 1

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