Suffering French giants Lyon still winless

AFP , Sunday 5 Nov 2023

A week after coach Fabio Grosso was injured in an assault by opposing fans Lyon remained winless and rock bottom of France's Ligue 1 despite clawing back a 1-1 home draw against fellow strugglers Metz on Sunday.

Grosso
Lyon s head coach Fabio Grosso shouts during the French League One soccer match between Lyon and Metz in Decines, near Lyon, central France, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

 

Champions League semi-finalists as recently as 2020, Lyon are adrift with four draws and six defeats in the French top flight this season.

Adding injury to insult, Lyon were ambushed outside the Marseille stadium last week and their Italian coach Grosso was hit in the face by a projectile that smashed through the team bus window.

On Sunday, in Grosso's fifth match in charge since taking over from Laurent Blanc, Lyon fell 1-0 behind to Ablie Jallow's long-range snap-shot that pinged in off the post on 77 minutes.

Grosso cut a stark figure pitchside with stitches in his eyebrow and a black eye, but he would soon have something to smile about.

Giant Lyon striker Skelly Alvero saved a point for the hosts with his own long range shot on 84 minutes, giving the Lyon faithful something to cheer about.

"It was great to hear the fans react. We also sensed they were behind us after what happened last week too," said the 2.02-meter (6-foot-8) tall Frenchman.

"This is going to be a struggle, but we are fighting with everything we have and we need to keep out wits about us."

Grosso predicted a tough slog ahead.

"The longer it takes the harder its going to be," said Grosso, who won the 2006 World Cup as a player with Italy. "The players are too tense to show their true colours. We have to keep working at it."

Later on Sunday, Nice can climb back to the top of Ligue 1 when they host Rennes in the last match of the round.

Both of Saturday's Ligue 1 games finished goalless as fourth-placed Lille were unable to sink Marseille and Lens stuttered in Lorient.

Paris Saint-Germain beat Montpellier 3-0 to climb top of Ligue 1 on Friday, with Ousmane Dembele providing much of the ammunition.

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