Defeat, tensions and CRS: the nightmarish evening that plunged OL into crisis

Where to start ? By the defeat at home against the penultimate of the championship? By the attacks of the supporters against the bus of the players before the match, denounced by Jean-Michel Aulas (“shocks and firecrackers against the bus”)? By the anger of the president of OL towards his Ultras? By the feeling of helplessness that already seems to inhabit Laurent Blanc? By the abysmal gap (17 points) which now separates Lyon from its initial goal of a podium?

Ponsot and Cheyrou target supporters

For his first match at Groupama Stadium as owner of Olympique Lyonnais, John Textor was no doubt expecting to experience an unforgettable evening. He certainly did not imagine that she would be for these reasons. The American probably did not miss the banner in English where the South Bend challenged him: “John, the house is burning, fire the incompetents” (“John, the house is burning, turn the incompetents”).

Two men were particularly targeted by fan chants: director of football Vincent Ponsot and recruiting boss, unofficial sporting director Bruno Cheyrou. Jean-Michel Aulas stepped up to defend them after the match: “When the supporters attack exemplary leaders, it’s me they attack! They have to stop! We have two high quality leaders who work day and night for the club. »

The president of OL, however, did not try to defend his players. Throughout the game, the Ultras alternately deployed flags flanked by a “release” intended for several of them (Houssem Aouar, Moussa Dembélé and Karl Toko Ekambi). A banner with the image of a goat was also unfurled before and after the match in the North bend. Turkish head of the Lyon public for many months, the Cameroonian Toko Ekambi, who has not scored since the 7th day, spent his nerves on a trash can shortly after being replaced.

At the final whistle, the tension rose a notch with attempts to invade the field in both kops. The excesses were fortunately contained but Laurent Blanc still had to improvise his press conference standing at the edge of the lawn, access to the stadium auditorium having been made impossible by tear gas and other pepper bombs which made the unbreathable air in the passageways of Groupama Stadium. Outside the stadium, stewards and CRS had managed to contain the most angry fans, allowing everyone to leave the enclosure safely shortly before midnight.

Aulas: “The club will recover, I take responsibility. »

Jean-Michel Aulas and John Textor had to slip away much later in the night. After having debriefed the match with the help of a translator just behind the mixed zone, the two strong men of OL had to work on the rest of the winter transfer window. Facing the press, JMA has already promised “a significant move (sic)”. Will the promise be kept? Even Laurent Blanc seemed skeptical: “We will try to improve the workforce but the window is already well under way and it closes on January 31…”.

The technician seemed helpless: “We were already in a difficult situation before this match, you can imagine the situation we find ourselves in now… In our position, there is no point in planning anything, I sincerely think that the season is going to be complicated. ” Jean-Michel Aulas still promises a way out of the crisis: “The club will recover, I take responsibility for it. »


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