The next match. Last Sunday, Olympique Lyonnais came close to tragedy. On the way to the Stade Vélodrome, his bus was stoned. Fabio Grosso and Raffaele Longo, one of his deputies, were affected. The Italian coach, who had to receive several stitches, was subsequently granted total incapacity for work for thirty days, proof that his injury, just above his left eye, was not superficial . The long-awaited meeting against Olympique de Marseille was logically canceled. It has been rescheduled for December 6, without us yet knowing where and under what conditions - particularly for the supporters - it will take place. Les Gones, at rock bottom sportingly since the start of the season, could have sunk a little more during the week. But obviously, they intend to rely on these serious incidents to revive themselves. And this, from this Sunday (1 p.m.), against FC Metz.
Concretely, what happened in Marseille last week united the Rhone group, which has seemed so disunited for many weeks. “I felt great courage, great cohesion after these events. We have to transcribe it on Sunday. If we showed solidarity, that means we have the qualities,” explained Fabio Grosso in a pre-match press conference. Before adding, as instructions: “We have to show that on the ground”. Anthony Lopes, one of the executives of the Lyon squad, says nothing else. “With what has just happened, the links have been even closer. I saw people showing solidarity with the coach, said the Portuguese goalkeeper. I felt a group behind the club, who wanted to get back on track. We will use what happened on Sunday to transcribe it in terms of sporting results.”
Also read: OM-OL incidents: “the bus should not have made this route”, Fabio Grosso points to safety failures
Furthermore, the events which affected the Lyon players and staff brought them closer to their supporters, who were also attacked in Marseille on the journey leading them to the Stade Vélodrome, and who have continued to encourage them in recent weeks despite catastrophic results. “It was important for us and for them to see them after these events. We had to show our solidarity. It was important to do it. We are all in the same boat, assured Anthony Lopes to journalists. We see this in relation to the expected attendance for the reception in Metz. Everyone is concerned by the situation and wants things to turn to the right side on Sunday.”
Also read “My face should not have gone around the world”: Fabio Grosso comes out of silence after the OM-OL incidents
Because sportingly, the Rhone team, bottom of Ligue 1 with only three points and no victory on the clock, absolutely needs to win to (finally) launch its season. And relaunch in the race to maintain...even more so in the face of a direct competitor who is in sixteenth place in the ranking, that of roadblocker, with six points more than her. “At Olympique Lyonnais, there is pressure in every match. We have to change things and do the work necessary to take the three points. Everyone is aware of the situation,” Anthony Lopes reassured this Friday.
Fabio Grosso, one of the men most affected by the incidents that occurred last Sunday, is apparently even more motivated than usual to reverse the trend. “We feel concerned by what he tried to put in place this week to have a competitive team against Metz. He wants to fight it out and take the three points on Sunday,” said the Lyon goalkeeper about him. Will having a united and motivated group be enough for Olympique Lyonnais to achieve their first success of the season?