Fabio Grosso has come to terms with the reality of the relegation scrap. Despite Olympique Lyonnais earning their first victory of the season, the Italian is under no allusions. Lyon will be fighting for their survival until the end.
There was an air of denialism, at least from owner John Textor, who in October dismissed talk of relegation as “nonsense.” However, reality has dawned on key figures at the club, including Grosso and Corentin Tolisso. “For us, it is going to be constantly difficult until the end. We have to acknowledge it; we have to be in this mentality,” said Grosso after Sunday’s victory over Stade Rennais.
Grosso saluted OL’s “great match” against Rennes, who themselves are engulfed in something of a crisis. Guéla Doué’s red card in the fifth minute put Bruno Genesio’s side on the back foot from the offset. Whilst it took a while for Lyon to make that numerical advantage count, it eventually did with Jake O’Brien netting the only goal of the game in the second half.
“Playing attractive football doesn’t matter, we really just need points” – Tolisso
Despite securing their first three points of the season, Lyon remain bottom of Ligue 1 and are two points away from 17th-placed Clermont Foot and four points away from FC Lorient, who currently occupy the relegation play-off spot. Tolisso recognises the difficult position that he and his teammates are still in.
“It is difficult. Few players in the dressing room have played for survival before. It’s a new experience and we must quickly understand it and we really just need to win. Playing attractive football doesn’t matter, we really just need points […] I think we can get out of it; we have the quality to do so,” Tolisso told Prime Video Sport post-match.
Lyon have a tough run of games coming up. They host Lille OSC after the international break and travel to face RC Lens before facing Olympique de Marseille at the Vélodrome.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle