Nantes-OL: the Paqueta-Depay duo pushes the Canaries, the crazy title race continues

Carried by his doublet Paqueta-Depay, OL won (2-1) in Nantes this Sunday, at the end of the 33rd day of Ligue 1 and remains in contact with AS Monaco, PSG and Lille in the title race.

OL’s difficult victory in Nantes (2-1) confirmed what sounds obvious. To see Lyon reach their goal of playing the Champions League next season, the agreement between Memphis Depay (21 goals, six assists in Ligue 1) and Lucas Paqueta (six goals, three assists in Ligue 1), positioned more close to the attackers for several matches, will be essential. And it was still decisive against the Canaries, whose defense is, it is true, quite permissive this season. Against Nantes, in the first leg, Paqueta scored the first of his seven goals in Ligue 1.

An obvious technical complicity

The Brazilian again offered a recital to the maneuver, posing a lot of problems for the Nantes people between the lines. The conductor played at his own pace, with a first acceleration from the 5th minute, for an early opener, with Memphis Depay at the conclusion. In the heart of the game, with or without the ball, as the custodian of the game or in the recovery, Lucas Paqueta was once again omnipresent. And decisive a second time, with a pass for Toko-Ekambi who obtained a penalty, transformed by the inevitable Depay (37th).

Against Angers (3-0), already, the former player of AC Milan and Flamengo had regaled the captain of OL. This Sunday, Paqueta still relied more often on Depay, and vice versa, with an obvious technical complicity which has again stuck out the eyes this evening. Lucas Paqueta and Memphis Depay emerge as the two men in the form of a Lyon team, currently fourth in the standings, which hopes to return to the Champions League at the end of the final sprint. But for that it would also be necessary that Olympique Lyonnais does not always offer two faces as different.

A team with two faces

After a controlled first act against a feverish team, OL began to thwart for no apparent reason. The technical faults then multiplied, the players of Rudi Garcia lost many balls, and experienced serious difficulties to come out of their camp cleanly. Ludovic Blas framed a first strike (52nd), before Nicolas Pallois definitely sounded the revolt by equalizing (59th). Isolated at the far post, the Nantes defender pushed into the net a ball pushed back to his line by Lopes after a header from Kolo Muani.

OL did not give up playing football, and continued to provide opportunities in another register, against, without however managing to materialize them. And as the Nantes people were a little less clumsy and much more aggressive than in the first act, quite the opposite of the Lyonnais, the game was somewhat balanced. The best opportunities, however, remained in Lyon, with Paqueta in charge. But the score will no longer change despite an obvious desire to score this liberating third goal. This precious success allows Lyon to come back two points behind Monaco.

The two teams will face each other in the quarter-final of the Coupe de France on Wednesday, before a shock in Ligue 1 which could be decisive in two weeks, for the attribution of the third and last place on the podium. . For Nantes, which is the 15th defeat and the fourteenth game in a row without a win at home this season, the situation is complicated, however. Nantes remains 19th and penultimate three points behind Nîmes, 18th and play-off.


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