Match Day 29
Lyon vs. Montpellier
Sunday, March 17th 2019
21:30pm (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Groupama Stadium
Last five matches form: L W L W D
Average goals per match: 1.42
Average goals against per match: 1.18
Top Scorer: Moussa Dembélé (11)
Last five matches form: D L L W D
Average goals per match: 1.36
Average goals against per match: 1.11
Top Scorer: Gaëtan Laborde & Andy Delort (10)
Having been unceremoniously dumped out of the Champion's League in Barcelona in midweek, Lyon must turn their attentions back to qualifying for next seasons competition. Currently third, but only three points clear of Marseille, they don't have too much room for manoeuvre. They may face a tough test on Match Day 29 though, as the visitors to the Groupama Stadium are seventh placed Montpellier who themselves will be aiming for a top four finish.
There hasn't been very much to split these sides of late. The games in Montpellier, both this season and last, ending in a 1-1 draw, and the fixture here last season finishing up 0-0.
Amine Gouiri and Anthony Lopes are out for the home side. Pedro Mendes looks like being the sole absentee for Montpellier.
Lyon have lost only twice at home all season, to Nice and Rennes, with even PSG coming unstuck here. This is a tough place to come. They have scored two or more in eight of 14, and hammered Toulouse 5-1 in their most recent game here.
Montpellier's form has been tailing off just a little of late, but they remain a very good side on their day. They have lost only three of 14 away from home all season. It has been in front of goal where their recent struggles have come, scoring more than one goal on the road only once in their past seven.
Much will depend upon the mood in the Lyon camp following that Barcelona battering. Normally we would favour Lyon to take this but can just see Montpellier doing enough to claim a point.
Prediction: Lyon 2 - 2 Montpellier
Half time: 1 - 1
Full time: 3 - 2
Shots: 23 -10
Shots on target: 13 - 4
Corner Kicks: 8 - 6
Possession: 65% - 35%
Rafael Da Silva was booked for the home side, with referee Clement Turpin also taking the names of Andy Delort and Paul Lasne of Montpellier.
There may have only been a goal between the sides at the close of play, but this really was much more like it from Lyon who dominated in terms of possession, territory and efforts on goal. A fully deserved three points.
The home side opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Rafael Da Silva crossing from the right to find Martin Terrier around eight yards out to the right-hand side. Terrier's first-time volley was saved by Benjamin Lecomte, but he was first to the rebound to fire into the bottom left corner from around six-yards out on the right
Nine minutes before the break, Montpellier levelled matters. Florent Mollet taking charge of a free kick around 25 yards out and slightly to the left. Fine strike up and over the wall and into the top left. 1-1 at the break.
13 minutes into the second half Lyon regained the lead. Simple goal this one. Tangut Ndombele slipping the ball through to Moussa Dembélé in the right of the area, Dembélé finishing well into the bottom left from 14 yards.
Nabil Fekir missed a penalty in the seventieth minute to keep Montpellier's hopes alive.
Then four minutes from time the hosts made sure of the points. Leo Dubois crossing from the right and Houssem Aouar sending a header straight through the legs of Lecomte from eight yards out to the left.
Montpellier grabbed a late goal in the first minute of stoppage time. Andy Delort crossing from deep on the left to find Souleymane Camara leaping around twelve yards out in the right of the area. Excellent header from Camara into the top right. 3-2 final score.
With Marseille losing in Paris as expected this was a good weekend for Lyon. They stay third but now move six points clear of Marseille in the race for that all-important third spot. Montpellier remain in seventh position and five points off the European qualifying positions.