Monday, August 19, 2019 | ePaper
Lyon beat Monaco in Ligue 1 opener as Fabregas sees red card
Cesc Fabregas (right) of Monaco vies with Thiago Mendes of Lyon during the French League 1 soccer match between AS Monaco and Olympique Lyonnais in Monaco on Friday.
Lyon hammered Monaco 3-0 on Friday in the first game of the Ligue 1 season as former Brazil defender Sylvinho started his coaching reign in perfect style and Cesc Fabregas was shown a red card.
Moussa Dembele and Memphis Depay scored either side of Fabregas' dismissal in the first half.
Midfielder Lucas Tousart added a third with 10 minutes remaining against an inexperienced home side who were without former captain Radamel Falcao who is expected to leave the Principality before the end of the transfer window on September 2.
"I said in the week all of three or four opening games will be difficult and Monaco were a difficult opposition, I'm happy with the result," Lyon boss Sylvinho told French broadcasters Canal+.
"I hoped my team would play like this, there's always improvements to be made but I am happy," the former Champions League winner added.
His side showed minimal rustiness despite seeing influential trio in former skipper Nabil Fekir, left-back Ferland Mendy and midfielder Tanguy Ndombele leave during the off-season.
They claimed an early lead with six minutes on the clock with a powerful Dembele header.
The former Celtic forward beat defenders Kamil Glik and Brazilian Jemerson in the air and his effort fizzed past Monaco's Benjamin Lecomte, making his debut for the club.
The home side's best chance of the first half fell to 22-year-old Benjamin Henrichs quarter of an hour later.
He received the ball from winger Gelson Martins, but his low shot failed to trouble Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.
Things turned from bad to worse for the hosts when experienced playmaker Fabregas was shown a red card for stamping on the back of Leo Dubois' leg on the half hour mark.
In his attempts to chase Dubois down, who was shielding a loose cross out for a goal kick, the Spain midfielder took a stood heavily onto the right-back's calf.
Referee Ruddy Buquet referred the incident to VAR who chose to send Fabregas for an early shower.
Sylvinho's outfit doubled their advantage with nine minutes of the first 45 to play.
Netherlands attacker Depay lined up from outside the box catching Monaco's Lecomte off-guard to nutmeg him for a 2-0 lead.
The referee was the subject of whistles as the teams walked off at the break with the unhappy Stade Louis II crowd voicing their discontent at Fabregas' dismissal.
Despite being a man down, Leonardo Jardim's side looked the most likely to score early into the second-half.
Some tidy passing outside the box led to Martins forcing Lyon's Lopes into a tidy save with his feet on the hour mark.
Bertrand Traore, who set up Dembele for Lyon's first, could have added his side's third but his header from Depay's 65th-minute corner found the side-netting.