Friday, April 24, 2009

Les Rouge et Bleu frustrate Lyonnais

While not the optimal result, Les Rouge et Bleu are my very pleased with holding Lyonnais to a scoreless draw at Stade Gerland Friday evening. The result which most likely put the rest the defending champions quest for their eight successive championship while putting Paris Saint-Germain in good position to profit from their remaining matches.

For much of the first half, play was typified by gradually increasing tensions where challenges escalated like the winds of the spring. Stéphane Sessegnon led the way in many forms and his stubborn demeanor set the tone that the Parisians would not back down. After Karim Benzema missed the mark in the later part of the half, PSG was fortunate being adjudged a handball as the young strikers header attempt unquestionably struck Ceará. However while Stade Gerland screamed for just Paul Le Guen's side escaped that call and focused its attention upon air-tight defending of Lyonnais and waited for its moment to strike. As matches of this go, opportunities are the rarest of breeds and usually only present themselves once. Finally three minutes before the hour Ceará long diagonal ball set-up Guillaume Hoarau in on alone on l'OL 'keeper Hugo Lloris but his effort to the right was pushed aside and the deadlock was intact. Minutes later tension boiled over as Stéphane Sessegnon retaliated with a over done challenge of Jean-Alain Boumsong and was lucky to escape with just a yellow. L'OL controlled the majority of possession but attacking advances but fell short in the final third and the few that made it through fell victim to Mickaël Landreau's brilliant work as the match ended as a nil draw.