If Lyon was looking for a confidence boost in Caen ahead of its trip to Manchester City next week, the seven-time French champion got the opposite on Saturday. Against a side reduced to 10 men after 55 minutes, Lyon drew 2-2 in Normandy following a late equalizer from Ferland Mendy which spared the blushes of another defeat. Lyon will travel to England full of doubts for the start of its Champions League campaign.
Lyon has already lost twice, and is lagging eight points behind league leader Paris Saint-Germain after only five rounds. Set up down the left side near the area, Mendy dribbled past a defender and into the box to unleash a low shot at the far post that beat goalkeeper Brice Samba the 89th minute.
Nabil Fekir put Lyon in front from a free kick at the stroke of halftime. Claudio Beauvue leveled for Caen against his former club from the penalty spot in the 53rd. Just two minutes later, Caen defender Alexander Djiku jeopardized his team’s chances by getting sent off following a high foot in the face of Fekir.
Caen took the lead against the run of play when Prince Oniangue headed home a free kick from Morocco international Faycal Fajr. At fault on Fekir’s goal, Samba made a couple of good saves in the second half but could not stop Mendy’s effort. Tempers frayed in stoppage time and Caen lost another player when Baissama Sankoh was red-carded for headbutting Rafael.
Making his debut for Lyon after joining from Celtic Glasgow, Moussa Dembele made only a few touches and was a non-factor.
PEPE’S HAT TRICK
Nicolas Pepe won two penalties, converted them both, and completed his hat trick from Jonathan Ikone’s assist to help Lille beat Amiens 3-2. With four goals and three assists in five matches, Pepe is the most efficient attacking player in the French league. The result lifted the northern side to second place in the standings, five points behind Paris Saint-Germain.
Lille `keeper Mike Maignan saved a penalty in the second half. He has conceded only three of the 10 penalties he’s faced in the topflight.
Monaco traveled to Toulouse without eight important players and continued its poor start to the season in a 1-1 draw. The absence of Radamel Falcao, Russia midfielder Aleksandr Golovin and goalkeeper Danijel Subasic undercut Lenoardo Jardim’s side. Monaco played better after the interval and Youri Tielemans opened the scoring for the visitors with a powerful strike under the bar.
Substitute Aaron Leya Iseka put the teams level with 10 minutes left. Monaco, which finished runner-up to PSG last season, has won just one league match ahead of next week’s Champions League home game against Atletico.