European Cups: Lyon and Monaco win, Marseille and Rennes held in check

After the Champions League and the mixed entry of French clubs Lille and PSG, the Europa League and the Europa League Conference smiled a little more on French football, Thursday, September 16, for the 1e day of the other two European football competitions. Lyon, Monaco won and Marseille brought a draw in the Europa League, while Rennes conceded a draw at home in the Europa League Conference.

  • Lyon’s success in Glasgow

The Olympique Lyonnais of Maxence Caqueret (red jersey) clinches an important victory for the Rangers, in Glasgow, on September 16, 2021.

Olympique Lyonnais confirmed their recovery seen last weekend in the league by winning 2-0 at Ibrox Park with Glasgow Rangers, – the most formidable opponent in group A -, trained by the former Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.

After twenty rather muddled minutes, Karl Toko-Ekambi illuminated the evening with a beautiful sequence starting along the left touchline, to transplant to the center and place a wound shot towards the base of the opposing post (23e).

It was not until the start of the second half to see OL give themselves a little more air. After repulsed strikes from Aouar, Paqueta and Islam Slimani, the ball ended up returning after two rebounds on defenders of Rangers (55e).

A flattering score, however, because the locals could have largely picked up on the score, or even hooked something up. Les Gones take advantage of the draw between Brondby and Sparta Prague, in the group’s other match, to take the lead of their group on their own.

  • Monaco wins without convincing

Monaco, which remained on four defeats and a draw in six games, resumed, in difficulty, with the victory against the Austrians of Sturm Graz (1-0). In terms of accounting, the Principality’s team is doing a good job and, with three units, is ahead of its group before its trip to Anoeta at the end of September, to face Real Sociedad, which drew a draw at PSV Eindhoven ( 2-2).

On the ground, the reality is less brilliant. Because Sturm Graz is certainly the weakest team in Group B and, in the perspective of a qualification, victory was an obligation. However, it was very complicated to obtain.

Despite insolent possession of the ball (70%), Nico Kovac’s men were unable to score for a long time. It took many changes from the Croatian coach (entry of Fabregas, Ciao Henrique, Golovine and Ben Yedder) to finally find the fault thanks to a header from Krépin Diatta, after a combination between Ben Yedder and Fabregas in the surface, and a center of Golovin (66e).

Without ever being afraid, Monaco then mastered the end of the meeting to win. But it will be necessary to show much more Sunday in the league in Nice in the derby of the Côte d’Azur.

Read also Champions League: Monaco eliminated by Chakhtar Donetsk in play-offs
  • Null frustrating for Marseille

Marseille almost started its Europa League campaign with a victory on the lawn of Lokomotiv Moscow. OM, serious and well organized, believed to win thanks to a penalty from their Turkish striker, Cengiz Ünder (59e), who had just suffered a foul in the Russian area and perfectly transformed this opportunity to open the scoring.

The Russians, currently third in their league, then played for half an hour, 10-11, with Ünder fouler Nair Tiknizyan sent off for a second yellow card. But they managed to equalize, against the course of the game, one minute from the end of regulation time, on a nice shot from their midfielder Tino Anjorin (89e).

With this 1-1, OM therefore left with one point of their trip to Russia before receiving, on the second day, the Turks of Galatasaray who beat Lazio Rome 1-0.

  • Rennes resists Tottenham

Rennes got off to a decent start in the other European Cup, the Europa League Conference, by clinching a 2-2 draw against all-favorite Tottenham in the first group match at Roazhon Park. and yet the departure was complicated. Feverish, the Rennais let the English take the game to their account from the first minutes. Challenged by Lucas Moura, launched in depth by Harry Kane, Loïc Badé deceived his goalkeeper Romain Salin by deflecting the center of the former Parisian winger (11e).

Pushed by more than 21,000 supporters and carried by wild midfielders, Rennes gradually let go of the brakes. And quickly, Flavien Tait relied on Guirassy to equalize with a strike from the right after a very nice collective movement (23e).

In the second half, the Bretons even managed to take the advantage. The former Montpellier Gaëtan Laborde, last offensive touch of a summer transfer window of nearly 80 million euros, took advantage of a shot rejected by Spurs goalkeeper Gollini to score his first goal in Red and Black (71e). But a few minutes later, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg took advantage of a badly deflected center by Tait to allow his team to bring back a point from this first trip (75e).

The Rennais will have to show as much commitment and if possible a little more skill in defense, Sunday in Marseille, not to be left behind in the league, and will not have the right to make mistakes against their next opponents, Vitesse Arnhem, 2-0 winners of Slovenes from Mura.

The World with AFP

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