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What impact does Laurent Blanc already have, in three weeks at the head of this new Lyon?

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At OL Park,

Less than 45% ball possession and 6 shots attempted at 15. No, these are not the stats of one of Olympique Lyonnais’ worst debacles with Peter Bosz, but those of the most significant victory of the start of the Laurent Blanc era, Sunday evening against Losc (1-0). When the new OL coach announced, at his first press conference just three weeks ago: “The urgency today is to take points, before talking about the game “, we did not imagine that it would materialize in such a brilliant way, for its big premiere at home.

Suffocated by the pressing and the well-rehearsed collective game set up by Paulo Fonseca, his team was quickly on the edge against Lille. And this due in particular to a badly felt starting lineup, in 3-5-2, and with a feverish and warned Damien Da Silva for his first tenure of the season. But Laurent Blanc was able to correct the situation from the break, with a 0-0 which he recognizes as “quite lucky”, like Jonathan David’s brilliant lob ending on the crossbar of Anthony Lopes. Blackboard stitch with Lolo White.

We had no control over the environment. Lille was often four in the middle and we only three. We were three central defenders for one striker [Jonathan David]. We quickly spotted this problem. I didn’t want to change right away because it still poses problems in terms of collective balance. But at half-time, we had to add a midfielder, and above all a midfielder who defends well while advancing. little John [Lepenant] did it wonderfully. It allowed us not to be pierced in the middle. »

The complicity between Jeff Reine-Adélaïde and Alexandre Lacazette, both involved in the only goal of the match, Sunday against Lille, is symbolic of the good beginnings of the Laurent Blanc era in Lyon. – Laurent Cipriani/AP/SIPA

Between “confidence” and “calm”

Or less in any case, as the former Caen hopeful brought all his ardor into the midfield during the second period. But apart from this inspired tactical reaction, which contributed to OL’s improbable success (1-0), how can we already measure Laurent Blanc’s contribution in three weeks? On a strictly accounting level, the former Parisian coach has already just “grabbed” 6 points out of 9 (success in Montpellier and against Losc, defeat in Rennes), which had not happened to Peter Bosz since the beginning of September. Better: the end of the Europe zone, currently occupied by OM (5th), is only 4 points away, six days from the OM-OL clash at the Vélodrome.

In addition to the accounting aspect, Laurent Blanc obviously revived Houssem Aouar and Jérôme Boateng, out of rotation with Peter Bosz and indisputable holders with him. He especially did good to the heads of Lyon, according to Jeff Reine-Adélaïde: “Laurent Blanc brings us a lot of confidence and calm. At halftime, we weren’t having a good game. He knew how to find the right words so that we entered the field with more confidence. The coach tries to give us game paths, to talk to us a lot so that there are good associations at the heart of the game and in attack”.

Already “a change of mentality”

Well, it was not yet screaming Sunday evening, far from it, but the Queen-Adélaïde-Tagliafico-Lacazette sequence, on the superb Lyon goal against Lille (1-0, 74th), cannot be a coincidence . “The coach arrived totally fresh to get everyone back on their feet, especially mentally, confirms Anthony Lopes. He found the right words. And so he encouraged his group, the first for more than six years in Europe, to learn how to “win in pain”. The former coach of the Blues returned to this on Sunday.

The club and the players had accepted a lot of things, too much in my opinion. The first week, even with me, we agreed not to take points in Rennes [3-2]. I had told them during the week not to accept that anymore. In Montpellier, we did not agree not to take 3 points, we went to get them. This change in mentality is one of the greatest advances that there have been in recent weeks. »

“Not winning in pain every weekend”

With this joy of living and this combativeness a priori found on the ground, even if these values ​​remain fragile. “We are creating something strong, thanks to the unity that there is in our group, even if we hope not to win in pain every weekend”, laughs Jeff Reine-Adélaïde, joker a priori filled, as proved by his angry cry on the Lyon goal, which he initiated with a magnificent opening from the outside of the foot.

Anthony Lopes concludes: “The coach stresses every day that we are in an emergency for points, so it doesn’t matter whether we win in pain or not. Many people have become aware of the situation. We know that we are very behind on the objectives that were set for us at the start of the season. But we’re not going to give up.” And especially not when embarking on an Olympico that the Lyonnais have been flying over for many years (1 defeat in the last 15 clashes against OM in Ligue 1).

#impact #Laurent #Blanc #weeks #Lyon

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