Days after upsetting Arsenal in the Emirates Cup, Olympique Lyonnais weren’t quite able to do the same to reigning European champions Liverpool as they were beaten 3-1 in the Swiss city of Geneva. The fixture was Liverpool’s final pre-season one and the victory was a timely one for the Reds after failures to beat Sevilla, Sporting and Napoli.
Jurgen Klopp, with one eye on the Charity Shield fixture against Man City, chose to call up many of his big names- the likes of Alisson, Firmino, Salah, Shaqiri and Keita were all taking the pitch for the first time this season. There were plenty of changes in the OL lineup as well, with Sylvinho shuffling his troops.
Alisson, fresh from a Copa victory with Brazil, had the worst possible start to the game as he dropped an easy cross and fouled Dembele, allowing Memphis to put OL ahead from the spot in the 4th minute.
After soaking up an early spell of pressure, Liverpool were able to draw level when Roberto Firmino fired home in the 17th minute. There was perhaps an element of luck in the way the ball fell to the Brazilian, but his finish was top class.
Joachim Andersen’s unfortunate own goal four minutes later (bizarrely under no pressure at all), saw Lyon fall behind. Harry Wilson, whose exploits with Derby endeared him to many a Reds fan, sealed the deal with an absolute stunner eight minutes after the interval.
Liverpool weren’t at their best, but they would definitely be happy at beating an OL side that had upset Arsenal just days ago. Man City look the stronger side going into the Charity Shield, but Klopp’s focus will be more on his side’s league opener against Norwich next week.
Lyon’s pre-season so far
Lyon 1-2 Servette
Lyon 3-4 Genoa
Arsenal 1-2 Lyon
LFC 3-1 Lyon
Les Gones’ next fixture is also against English opposition, this time in the form of Bournemouth. That will be played on Saturday afternoon at the Vitality Stadium, with the Rhone Valley then returning back to France to begin preparations for their Ligue 1 opener against Monaco.
Like Liverpool- OL are pretty much a work in progress. Sylvinho has tried out various systems in pre-season (4-3-3 and 4-4-2), and the loss of Nabil Fekir will definitely hurt. The fans will give the Brazilian a bit of time to get things together, but they can ill-afford a start like the one ASM had last year.