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Lille-Lyon: Jonathan David against Alexandre Lacazette, scorers duel for Europe

Attackers listed in Ligue 1 for several seasons, Jonathan David and Alexandre Lacazette are not used to scoring on Mondays.

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Lille-Lyon: Jonathan David against Alexandre Lacazette, scorers duel for Europe

Attackers listed in Ligue 1 for several seasons, Jonathan David and Alexandre Lacazette are not used to scoring on Mondays. However, this evening of May 6, we will have to get used to it. The day after the tribute to the Furiani disaster in 1992, which means that no professional match will take place on May 5 in France, LOSC and Olympique Lyonnais meet at the Décathlon Arena (9 p.m.) for this offbeat match of the 32nd day of the championship. An important meeting between two confident formations, which have the same objective in their sights: Europe. At a very high altitude, Lille, 4th, two points behind Brest, covets the podium, synonymous with direct qualification for the Champions League. While Lyon, a little further down, hopes to regain 7th place in Rennes and remain in the race for the Europa League.

Winners of Monaco (3-2) last weekend, the Gones arrive in the North full of ambition, before a more favorable final schedule (trip to Clermont, reception of Strasbourg) then an exciting Coupe de France final to play against PSG on May 25. But more than ambition, the visitors will need quality and efficiency if they want to bring back a result from the Lille fortress, where the Mastiffs have been undefeated since September 26 (1-2 defeat against Reims).

Who better than Alexandre Lacazette to embody Lyon's hope? Equalizing scorer against Monaco then assisting Malick Fofana in the 3-2, the “General” finished the season with a bang, like last year. This is demonstrated by his five goals, always decisive (Valenciennes, Nantes, Brest), during OL's last five meetings. Now he has 16 goals in 26 Ligue 1 games, close to reaching twenty for the fifth time in his career. As a regular, the Lyon captain carries on his shoulders the offensive sector of his team, which has returned from hell to the gates of the Top 6. Since his return to Rhone in June 2022, he has panicked the statistics just behind the untouchable Kylian Mbappé (43 goals against 55 for the Parisian). Only one distinction still turns its back on it, that of the UNFP Trophies.

Unveiled last Tuesday, the list of five names for the trophy for the best player of the season called Kylian Mbappé, Ousmane Dembélé (PSG), Pierre Lees-Melou (Brest), Edon Zhegrova (Lille) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (OM) . The absence of Lacazette sparked many reactions, as did that of Pierre Sage in the coaching category. Asked about the subject at a press conference, the Lyon technician remained playful, sending his “congratulations to those who are in the running”. “I'm not interested in individual statistics,” he added, no doubt hoping that his striker Lacazette would do the same. The latter can console himself, if necessary, by comparing himself to his alter ego of the day, named Jonathan David. Despite his 17 goals this season (in 31 games), the 24-year-old Canadian is also absent from the list of nominees. His lackluster first phase probably explains this, while the voters (the elite players themselves) had voted for him last year. But regardless of the possible individual frustration, the Lille pyrotechnician will be eagerly awaited to deceive the crumbly Lyon defense (15th in Ligue 1, 51 goals conceded) this Monday evening.

During this top-of-the-table clash at home, it was a great opportunity to bring his total to 18 goals, after having experienced a frustrating double confrontation against Aston Villa in the Europa Conference League. In any case, the ingredients seem to be there since LOSC, best record at home (36 points taken out of 45 possible), are masters of their home. “This is probably the first time in my career that there is such a difference between our results at home and away. We are stronger at home but, honestly, I have no rational explanation for that, conceded Lille coach Paulo Fonseca before this meeting. We have created a special relationship with our supporters, the atmosphere at home this season is magnificent. Its very important for us. It is perhaps the players who feel the strength of the supporters with this atmosphere in our stadium. Of this double face of Lille, David is the perfect symbol. 13 of his 17 pawns in Ligue 1 were registered at the Decathlon Arena, Marseille, Rennes (double) and Le Havre (treble) still remember it. Will number 9 of the Dogues add Lyon to his list? The leader of Les Gones Lacazette does not hear it that way...

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