Lyon’s hopes of qualifying for European football received a huge boost as they picked up a rare away win at Marseille.
Castello Lukeba, Moussa Dembele and Karl Toko Ekambi all netted in the second half to earn the visitors a 3-0 victory that leaves them five points behind fifth placed Nice.
The hosts should have taken the lead in the first half, with Arkadiusz Milik missing two great chances, firstly prodding off-target when running onto a ball over the top before somehow firing over the bar when it was easier to score as he reached Gerson’s inch perfect cross.
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Marseille also thought they should have had a penalty in the opening 45 minutes, with another Gerson cross appearing to strike the arm of Jerome Boateng, but the referee and VAR turned down their appeals for a spot-kick.
They were made to pay for those missed chances 10 minutes after the break when the visitors took the lead. Emerson’s free-kick deflected off the wall, and although Pau Lopez saved Dembele’s effort, the ball fell to Lukeba, who poked home his second senior goal.
It should have been 2-0 just a few minutes later when Dembele skied over the bar when meeting a corner at close range, but the striker made amends late on as he brilliantly headed home his 19th of the season, arching his neck to nod Malo Gusto’s right-wing cross into the back of the net and put the game to bed.
And Karl Toko Ekambi put added gloss on an already polished performance when he finished off a counter-attack to give the visitors a third goal late on.
TALKING POINT - Should Marseille have had a penalty?
Chances in the first half were few and far between, but Marseille certainly had huge claims for a penalty following a clever free-kick routine on 26-minutes as Dmitri Payet played the ball short to Gerson instead of whipping it into the box.
The Brazilian’s low cross appeared to hit Jerome Boateng on the arm, but his appeals for a spot-kick were turned down, despite television replays confirming it had caught the former Manchester City player on his bicep.
Marseille were incensed, with manager Jorge Sampaoli receiving a yellow card for dissent, as even though VAR looked at the incident, they refused to overturn the referee’s decision in what proved to be a huge turning point in the game.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Malo Gusto (Lyon). The defender is only 18-years old, but he was a constant threat when getting forward from right-back, with his superb cross for Moussa Dembele’s goal effectively helping put the game to bed.
A France under-21 international in his second season in the Lyon first team, Gusto coped brilliantly with the likes of Dmitri Payet, who had to drop deep to pick up possession, and Cengiz Ünder, who was hooked off in the second half.
But it was not just his faultless defensive display that was so impressive, but also his delivery from the right, which created further chances for the visitors, while his link-up play with the lively Paqueta and fellow youngster Bradley Barcola caused no end of problems for the Marseille defence.
MARSEILLE: Lopez 6, Lirola 6, Caleta-Car 6, Kolasinac 6, Saliba 5, Gerson 7, Karama 6, Gueye 7, Under 5, Payet, Milik 5. Subs: Guendouzi 6, Dieng 6, Harit n/a, Rongier n/a, Bakambu n/a
LYON: Lopes 6, Gusto 8, Boateng 6, Lukeba 8, Emerson 7, Barcola 6, Mendes 7, Paqueta 7, Aouar 6, Toko-Ekambi 7, Dembele 8. Subs: Tete 6, Ndombele 6, Faivre n/a
26’ - PENALTY APPEAL TURNED DOWN: Gerson tries to hook a low cross into the box and it clearly hits the arm of Boateng, but the referee, and VAR, reject the penalty appeals. Jorge Sampaoli gets a yellow card for his protests
43’ - HORRIFIC MISS BY MILIK: Payet beautifully picks out Gerson, who slides a ball across to Milik. The ball is begging to be fired home and it's basically an open goal, but he somehow lifts over the bar.
55’ GOAL! MARSEILLE 0-1 LYON (Lukeba). The visitors have the lead! Emerson's free-kick deflects off the wall and drops to Dembele, who forces a terrific save out of Pau Lopez, but the ball drops to Castello Lukeba who stabs home!
76’ GOAL! MARSEILLE 0-2 LYON (Dembele). Lyon counter-attack down the right and Gusto’s cross is brilliantly headed home, with Dembele arching his neck and nodding into the far post
88’ GOAL! 3-0 LYON (Toko-Ekambi). Lyon counter attack quickly and Tete brilliantly tees up Karl Toko-Ekambi at the back-post, who stretches and coolly converts his 19th of the season
- That was only Marseille’s second defeat in eight games - they had won the other six
- Lyon have completed a league double of Marseille for just the fourth time in their history - and first time since 2018/19
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