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25 April 2024

Lyon ready for 'game of season' with Barcelona after Guingamp win

Photo: AFP


Lyon edged rock-bottom Guingamp 2-1 in Ligue 1 on Friday with a fabulous winner from captain Nabil Fekir, just days ahead of Barcelona's visit for a Champions League clash.

Lyon consolidated third place in Ligue 1 while resting a couple of key players and even taking their foot off the gas with Barcelona in mind.

"It's our game of the year, it'll be a big match, but we often do well in them," Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas told French TV.

"Bruno (Genesio the Lyon coach) takes tactical risks and we have surprised (Manchester) City before, and this stadium was built for matches like this," he added on their 60,000-capacity home.

"Many of the players had Tuesday on their minds but with Barcelona coming that's normal," said Genesio, mastermind of the four points Lyon took off City in the group phase to squeeze into the last-16.

"We have some doubts still about who is playing on Tuesday, but you'll have to wait until Monday to find out," Genesio added.

Ahead of their Sunday game with Saint Etienne, PSG still lead Ligue 1 on 59 points with Lille second on 49 and Lyon third on 46.

Martin Terrier put Lyon ahead after a scramble on 15 minutes before defender Leo Dubois was then overpowered five minutes later by Guingamp's Cameroon midfielder Felix Eboa Eboa, who rushed in for a header at the far post shouldering the defender out of the way to make it 1-1.

But then on 35 minutes Fekir controlled the ball on his chest, took a quick touch to set himself up for the shot and curled a fabulous left-foot shot into the top corner from outside the box.

Fekir, however, will miss the game against Barcelona through suspension.

"I'll be in the stadium supporting my teammates from the stands and I'll believe in them all the way," said French international Fekir.

One other worry for Lyon was the loss of lively striker Moussa Dembele, who was replaced late on by Dutch forward Memphis Depay.

Earlier Friday, Nimes secured top flight survival with a 2-0 win over Dijon.