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OL Memphis Depay won at home, Thursday July 18, against Celtic Glasgow (2-0), during the second day of the friendly tournament in Lyon, showing renewed confidence before facing PSG, in the Coupe de la Ligue final on July 31.
Two weeks away from facing PSG in the Coupe de la Ligue final, and after a failed first match and lost 2-0 against Glasgow Rangers on Thursday for the first day of the Lyon Tournament, Olympique Lyonnais won 2-1, Saturday July 18, against Celtic.
By displaying a conquering and consistent attitude, OL gained confidence before playing two final friendly matches, in Belgium, in Ghent against La Gantoise, and Antwerp against Antwerp, on July 22 and 24.
Lyonnais will then have a week to try to qualify for the Final 8 of the Champions League against Juventus Turin, on August 7 in Turin. after winning the 8e first leg (1-0), February 26 at home.
For his part, the Parisian ogre will have played in the final of the Coupe de France against Saint-Etienne on July 24.
Unlike the match against Rangers, OL started against Celtic against a team that can be described as “type”.
Rudi Garcia abandoned 4-2-3-1 to successfully adopt a 3-5-2 device with Marcelo, Jason Denayer and Fernando Marçal in central defense, Léo Dubois and Maxwel Cornet as full-backs, Bruno Guimaraes, Thiago Mendes, Houssem Aouar in the middle.
Dembélé and Memphis scorers
In attack, Moussa Dembele and Memphis Depay have been associated. They are the ones who allowed OL to lead 2-0 at half-time.
Dembélé headed back to the far post a cross delivered from the left wing by Marcelo to open the scoring in the 4e minute while Depay cleverly deflected a Dubois pass with a heel, shortly before half-time (40e).
The Dutchman, who also found the crossbar (54e), had already scored four times in Evian on July 1 against the Swiss fans of Port-Valais (12-0).
However, apart from his goal, the former Manchester United player, who suffered a serious knee injury on December 15 against Rennes, seemed at times to be short of pace despite his efforts. “He needs playing time but it’s encouraging to see him already at this level,” said Rudi Garcia.
While the two official matches that are looming against PSG and Juve, could determine his future at OL, where he only has one year of contract left, it seems preferable for him, in the immediate future, that it plays in pointe rather than in the heart of the game.
Overall, OL showed good cohesion with a compact team block and consistency between each line. Garcia advocated stability by making only two changes at the end of the game, Marçal and Cornet leaving their place to Kenny Tete and Youssouf Koné.
At the end of the game, Lyon could however have avoided conceding a goal signed by Mohamed El Younoussi, who got the better of Marcelo (87e). “It is a regret when we should have won more widely if we had converted our chances,” said Garcia, who judges his team “on time for their preparation”.