August 2014 - A Superb Start.
With pre-season out of the way, it was time to get the competitive season underway, with myself and the rest of the team in knowledge that a good start was needed to build the foundations for a successful campaign. Whether we could make the step up though in this period, what with competing in Europe as well as the League, would be very interesting that’s for sure.
Our season began with a trip to Scotland in the Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round Leg 1, with Motherwell
having been drawn as our opponents. A win was always expected but to do it in the fashion we did was fantastic, as we stormed to a 6-0 victory. A brace from both Alexandre Lacazette
and Yoann Gourcuff
, an own goal from Anthony Turner
and a Samuel Umtiti
goal gave us a commanding advantage with the second leg still to play.
So, next up was my homecoming. My return to Stade de Gerland. We were taking on Motherwell
, in Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round Leg 2, and with a 6-0 aggregate lead heading into the match it would have to take a miracle to deny us a place in the next round of the competition. Unsurprisingly, Motherwell couldn’t cause an upset as we ran away 3-1 winners and on aggregate 9-1 winners. Once again, Alexandre Lacazette
was on hand to bag a brace, with Maxime Gonalons
grabbing the other.
Another home game followed, but this one was undoubtedly going to be a sterner test. It was the Ligue 1 opener, with LOSC Lille
the team we were matching up to. The game certainly proved to be a closely contested one, but we managed to steal the three points in the last minute of the game, with Jimmy Briand
scoring a late winner. The visitors had gone in the lead, and it took us until the 81st minute for us to hit back, through Yoann Gourcuff
. From then, we did pile on the pressure, and did deservedly score the second goal to win the match.
Our first away game in the league was next on the agenda, as we faced a trip to play Racing Club de Lens
. In the end we dominated the game, controlling possession and creating most of the match’s opportunities. Alexandre Lacazette
and Tom Ince
got themselves on the score sheet, as we cruised to a 2-0 victory.
After progressing into the Europa League Playoff, the draw handed us a two legged tie against Slovakian side Trnava
. As with the previous round, a win was always expected, and again as with the previous round we did deliver. This time though, in the first leg, we managed to achieve a 3-1 victory with the goals coming courtesy of an Alexandre Lacazette
We were back in league action thereafter, our final league game of the month, against FC Nantes
. We proceeded to demolish the away side, with a classy 5-0 win that perfectly showcased our attacking talent. Alexandre Lacazette
struck home twice with goals also coming from Yoann Gourcuff
, a Tom Ince
penalty and Remi Gomis
own goal too.
Wrapping up August we were at home again, for the Europa League Playoff Leg 2 against Trnava
. This time we were even more dominant than the previous encounter, sweeping them away 4-0, for an aggregate win of 7-1. Tom Ince
continued his excellent form with a double, unsurprisingly Alexandre Lacazette
scored too, with Yoann Gourcuff
completing the list of goalscorers.
After three games in the league, we top the standings in 1st
place, after three wins out of three. Stade de Reims
sit on the same amount of points, but our superior goal difference puts us ahead of both.
Player of the Month.
Despite their being many good performers over the past month, there is still one man in particular who stands out from the rest, Alexandre Lacazette
. The French forward is the winner of this month’s award purely for his goalscoring abilities, having bagged a very impressive total of 11 goals, over the 7 games of the new season. He can single handily win us games, obviously making him a huge asset to our side.
It has been a superb start to the new competitive season for Olympique Lyonnais, with 7 wins out of 7, continuing our form from pre-season. I have been impressed with a number of players, and our general attacking play has been fantastic. My chosen 4-2-3-1 formation also seems to be working perfectly so far, making everything look very encouraging at the club for the campaign.