Champions League: Lille stumbles on Wolfsburg but is reassured

It was a game to get up. It will have served to reassure oneself. In a meeting yet totally dominated by Lille (seventeen two shots in particular), the Mastiffs and the Wolves (nickname of the players of the German club Wolfsburg) parted, Tuesday, September 14, in a draw (0-0) at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d’Ascq (North), in a group G where Seville and Salzburg were also neutralized (1-1), on behalf of the first day of the Champions League.

The reigning French champion – who opened the scoring before seeing the goal canceled by video arbitration – forgets the gloom of the national championship a little, and launches his competition with a convincing performance.

The Lille public offered a very nice atmosphere despite a contrasting crowd.

Jocelyn Gourvennec, the coach of Lille Olympique Sporting Club (LOSC) had, in a pre-match press conference, called on his players to change their mindset for the Champions League. It is done after the first day of the continental competition.

Dominant but inefficient LOSC

To start this campaign, the people of Lille went ahead. From the start of the meeting, Burak Yilmaz signaled himself with a free kick (13e minute) with a deflected shot by Koen Casteels, the goalkeeper from Wolfsburg. Seven minutes later, the Turkish striker is receiving a cross from Canadian Jonathan David but misses his shot by tackling with his right foot.

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The German possession is sterile while the Lille opportunities are dangerous. In the first period, Gourvennec’s men hit six times (only one shot on target), when the players of Mark van Bommel – the former rough Dutch midfielder – could not find the cage defended by Lille goalkeeper Ivo Grbic.

Burak Yilmaz and Jonathan David sow terror in the defensive hinge of Wolfsburg, but they lack accuracy and realism in the last move. The Lille public, it did not fill the stands (32,000 spectators for 50,000 seats) but it offered an atmosphere of great evenings.

A goal canceled by the video

Upon returning from the locker room, Lille confirmed their domination. At the 48e minute, Jonathan David takes advantage of the return of Jonathan Ikoné’s header to open the scoring with a crushed strike with his left foot. But the goal is finally refused, after video examination, because the ball recovered at the start of the action by Angel Gomes was out of touch.

Lille's Jonathan David, in a duel with Wolfsburg defender Jérome Roussillon.

The Northerners keep up the pressure, even pushing Wolfsburg to fault and finish ten after a hand from John Brooks, synonymous with a second warning. Lille take advantage of this numerical superiority to get more chances. Jonathan David sends a powerful strike from the right deflected by the goalkeeper of the leader of the German championship (63e). Nine minutes later, it was Burak Yilmaz who made the Belgian goalkeeper work with a solidly blocked point blank head.

Eleven against ten but blunt, Lille think they will get a last chance at the end of extra time: referee Danny Makkelie awards them a penalty for a foul by Josuha Guilavogui on Amadou Onana; before changing your mind with the help of the video, because the German foul is outside the box.

The LOSC ultimately failed to find the loophole and may harbor some regrets. ” What we can blame ourselves for is not having finished our actions well ”, Jocelyn Gourvennec analyzed after the meeting. “It can only be played a few centimeters away. We have shown that we are capable of conquering, of being together, that’s what is important ”, positively the Lille coach.

For its return to the Champions League, the northern team has indeed offered a reassuring performance for the rest of the season.

The results of the evening

the Bayern Munich behaved like a boss on the lawn of FC Barcelona, securing his 3-0 victory thanks to his attacking stars Thomas Müller, and Robert Lewandowski who scored twice. To avoid winning entry, the Blaugranas will have to be better on the next day on the lawn of Benfica. The Portuguese came close to disaster on Tuesday among Ukrainians in Dynamo Kiev (0-0), conceding a goal in added time… before it was invalidated for offside after resorting to video assistance.

At 36, Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has put Manchester United into orbit after only thirteen minutes of play against the Young Boys from Bern, signing his 135e goal (a record) in 177 Champions League matches. But then everything went wrong for the players of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, outnumbered after a nasty sole from Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and unable to create the slightest opportunity. The English were punished by Moumi Ngamaleu then by the former Rennais Jordan Siebatcheu in added time (2-1). In two weeks, it will already be necessary to raise the bar in front of the Spaniards of Villarreal, held in check 2-2 at home by the Italians of the‘Atalanta Bergamo.

The “Blues” of Chelsea, reigning European champions, provided the minimum service at home against the Zenit St. Petersburg (1-0) thanks to their Belgian rookie Romelu Lukaku (1-0). For its part, the Juventus, marked by the transfer of Ronaldo and the false start in Serie A (zero wins in three matches), regained color in Sweden with a clear victory against Malmö (3-0). The attacking doublet Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata put the “Old Lady” in the shelter after the opening of the quick score of Alex Sandro.

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