Olympique Lyon defeated Rennes 2-0 in their opening match of the 2014-15 Ligue 1 season through goals from Steed Malbranque and Alexandre Lacazette. The victory arrived through possession, speed and a concentrated effort on and off the ball with their 4-1-2-1-2 formation.
Malbranque showed that he still has what it takes to play at a top level at the age of 34. He has not lost a step or even a percentage of his skill as he showed control, composure and accuracy with his opening strike of the new campaign. He will be an important factor this season if he can manage to stay healthy.
Lacazette wears the No. 10 jersey, and for good reason. He is fast, skilled, tricky and intelligent going forward. When he has a player around him with a similar set of skills, he can form a formidable duo that can tire defenses throughout the match. Scoring today just capped yet another brilliant performance.
With the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco being heavily favored ahead of them on paper, Lyon will have to prove that money is not everything by playing extremely well at home and playing bravely on the road — especially against the likes of these two sides. They will have to play without any sort of intimidation and cannot sit back and ask for pressure because they will allow goals by doing so. Playing for the counter is not always the best solution.
Lacazette, Malbranque and Mohamed Yattara are the three offensive guys who can rack up the goals needed for maximum points this season. If they deliver, another title could come Lyon’s way after some years without a glimpse of one.