If they are far from the mark in the league, Peter Bosz’s players often manage to give the best of themselves in C3. Big gap.
For several seasons, the Lyonnais have got into the habit of performing in the European Cup. OL have made European matches their DNA, and Peter Bosz’s men hope that their adventure in the Europa League, a competition “which corresponds to them“, will continue beyond the round of 16, they who face Porto this Thursday evening after a positive result in the first leg in Portugal (1-0 victory).
When Peter Bosz arrived last summer, Olympique Lyonnais experienced particular enthusiasm and Ligue 1 observers all agreed that Jean-Michel Aulas’ club had made a bold but justified choice. . Anxious to move forward after the failures of Sylvinho and Rudi Garcia on the bench, the management of OL bet on a coach with a CV and attractive game principles. Passed by Ajax Amsterdam which he managed to take to the final of the Europa League in 2017, or by Bayer Leverkusen with which he qualified for the 2019-20 Champions League, the Dutch coach had to embody the revival of OL. With an ambitious transfer window and Xerdan Shaquiri or Jérôme Boateng, Mr. Aulas and his sports director Juninho had provided equipment to their coach. Since then, the tide has turned… The wind of failure.
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Les Gones capable of the best and the worst
Only 10th in Ligue 1 after 28 days, the Lyonnais find themselves nine points from the podium. Too irregular, they realize a season very far from their ambitions. With a workforce cut to play the leading roles, the second Ligue 1 budget is currently missing its subject. Peter Bosz fails to consistently enforce his playing principles and his players remain capable of the best and the worst. In a sluggish season during which the Lyonnais were also excluded from the Coupe de France following incidents between supporters against Paris FC, the Europa League is like a breath of fresh air.
After a crushing defeat against Rennes on Sunday (4-2), Peter Bosz admitted in a press conference that his team was more comfortable in the European Cup than in the league: “We don’t forget what happened on Sunday but now we think of Porto. We won there, against a great team and that too should not be forgotten. I do not doubt. I trust my team. The team is more consistent in the Europa League than in the league, that’s a fact. It’s hard to explain why. Sometimes we are not stable but since the truce it is better“.
Accustomed to achieving great performances for several years on the European scene, the club of Jean-Michel Aulas demonstrates it again this season and has still not experienced defeat. During the group stage, the men of Peter Bosz flew over the debates and beat Sparta Prague, Rangers and Bröndby. With a record of five wins and a draw in six games, they were already qualified for the round of 16 from the fourth game!
More than the results, it is the game offered by the Lyonnais on European lawns that inspires enthusiasm. With two wins 3-0, 3-1 against Bröndby and 3-0, 4-3 against Sparta Prague, the OL players were seductive by playing an attacking game with a lot of intensity, as their coach. Against Rangers, considered Lyon’s main adversaries, Lucas Paqueta’s teammates were no more in danger with a draw (1-1) and a 2-0 victory.
“I don’t know why we perform better in the European Cup than in the league. Maybe this competition suits us well. »
Would the C3 be more attractive than the championship in the eyes of Lyon players? It is a hypothesis recognized half-word by Anthony Lopes in a press conference. “We are in a club with a lot of ambition. We are constantly under pressure for results. I don’t know why we perform better in the European Cup than in the league. Maybe this competition suits us well“said the Portuguese international goalkeeper.
The Rhodaniens do not hide it, they dream in any case of winning a first European title. Two months ago, Jean-Michel Aulas also put some pressure on his group by declaring that he “will not leave without having brought back a European Cup“. In a competition that seems to motivate them more than Ligue 1, the Lyonnais can believe in a new great European epic. They will aim, this Thursday, to confirm the result of the first leg in Porto in order to climb into the quarters and continue to dream. Remember that a coronation in C3 offers a ticket in C1.