Lyon 1-0 Marseille: Houssem Aouar fires the home team in the French semi-final … despite the missed penalty by Moussa Dembele!
- Lyon-striker Moussa Dembele missed a penalty early in the second half
- But the home team found the breakthrough through the strike by midfielder Houssem Aouar
- Marseille couldn’t catch a late equalizer and so Lyon went on to the semi-final
A 12 meter hero. Then the fall man is within 11 minutes. Life as a keeper can be cruel – just ask Yohann Pele.
Not long after he had saved Moussa Dembele’s penalty to keep Marseille on terms in this quarter final of the Coupe de France against Lyon, goalkeeper Houssem allowed Aouar’s effort to fly through him and make the home team’s passage to the final four to ensure.
It was almost deserved on the part of Rudi Garcia, for whom this competition represents a last chance for silverware for the season.
Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar fires in the Groupama stadium against the winner against Marseille
Earlier in the second half, attacker Moussa Dembele did not score from the penalty spot
LYON 1-0 MARSEILLE – EQUAL FACTS
Lyon: Lopes, Tete, Andersen, Denayer, Cornet, Caqueret, Tousart (Mendes 51), Aouar, Toko Ekambi, Terrier (Traore 77), Dembele (Marcal 85)
Goals: Aouar 81
Manager: Rui Garcia
Marseille: Pele, Sarr, Kamara, Gonzalez, Sakai, Rongier, Strootman (Khaoui 85), Sanson, Lopez (Chabrolle 87), Germain, Payet (Ake 73)
Bookings: Sakai, Sanson, Strootman
Manager: Andre Villas-Boas
For Andre Villas-Boas and Marseille, in the meantime, there is only the hope of catching runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain in the battle for Ligue 1 glory.
The visitors were the more composed side for much of the game, but Lyon improved after the break and could have made it two or three due to the final whistle.
But this last part of an old rivalry took a while to catch fire. Indeed, VAR intervention was needed to light the blue touch paper.
With less than 20 minutes to go, referee Benoit Millot awarded the home team a penalty for handball after consulting his pitchside monitor. It was saved, but Lyon insisted and received their reward nine minutes after time.
The flurry of late action came after a terrible first half, with few chances and mistakes in abundance.
Marseille, seven places and 16 points better off in the Ligue 1 rankings, made a number of changes, but looked even more dangerous in the beginning.
Captain Dimitri Payet – booed by the home crowd – saw a speculative long-distance effort flying high and wide before Kevin Strootman’s volley was kept out by Anthony Lopes.
Former West Ham player Dimitri Payet was another star in the show, captain of Marseille
Their first real chance, at 20 minutes, fell to Valentin Rongier of Marseille after good work from right back Bouna Sarr.
The right back won the ball, drove in the direction of the byline before he pulled a ball back into the path of Rongier, only for the midfielder to throw his effort over the bar.
It was a mistake that almost cost the visitors a few minutes later. Lyon struggled to get started and almost took the lead thanks to a huge fortune.
The free kick of Moussa Dembele from 25 meters seemed harmless enough when he hit the wall. But the deflection brought the ball in the direction of Pele’s right hand post.
Dembele runs the ball between Alvaro Gonzalez (L) and Kevin Strootman (R)
Fortunately, the goalkeeper just missed.
That was just as good as for the home team until VAR offered a helping hand.
Karl Toko Ekambi was furious after his goal shot was blocked by Hiroki Sakai. The winger wanted handball, the referee said no.
Moments later, however, the official went to his pitchside monitor and decided it was worth a fine.
Marseille coach Andre Villas Boas watches from the sidelines on Wednesday evening
Then it was Marseille’s turn to rage. The ball hit Sakai’s arm – away from his body – but the defender had almost no time to respond.
Dembele stepped up, whose wired penalty was held to the left by Pele. The save led to parties on the couch in Marseille – and pandemonium around the floor while the pockets of visiting fans celebrated among their frustrated hosts.
Tempers in a corner of the stadium seemed to be boiling over, with security officials rushing to intervene.
Aouar celebrates his 81st minute match winner who made up for Dembele’s penalty miss
With nine minutes to play, however, it was home supporters who laughed last thanks to a moment of sparkle from Bertrand Traore.
Toko Ekambi drove to the left before firing a low cross pass to the other flank. Dembele left it to Traore, who designed to shoot before he played a delightful reverse pass for 21-year-old Aouar.
He stabilized himself before he shot the ball through Lopes into the net. It was hit well, but the keeper knows he should have done better. Like he only had a few minutes earlier.