Lyon begins Fournier era with Ligue 1 win over Rennes in opener
Hubert Fournier made a winning start to life as Lyon’s head coach as Les Gones downed Rennes 2-0 at the Stade de Gerland on Sunday evening.
After working wonders with unfashionable outfit Reims last season, Fournier was chosen to replace Remi Garde this summer with Lyon growing ever more eager to clinch the Ligue 1 title for the first time since 2008. Second-half goals from Steed Malbranque and Alexandre Lacazette proved enough to ensure the club a share of first place after the first round of fixtures, with newly-promoted Caen staking a outright claim to top spot on goal difference.
Lacazette was the the first player to threaten as he picked up Christophe Jallet’s pass to shoot straight at Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil from 20 yards. He turned provider in the 16th minute, freeing up Nabil Fekir to smash the ball straight down Jallet’s throat.
The first half belonged to Lyon and, after Abdoulaye Doucoure cleared Jordan Ferri’s goalbound shot off the line, Corentin Tolisso headed Malbranque’s ball from a corner against the crossbar. Rennes tried their luck when play resumed. Jean Makoun laid the ball off to Paul-Georges Ntep and the striker pinged a first-time effort at Anthony Lopes in the Lyon goal.
It was a false dawn for the visitors, though, as Les Gones slowly turned the screw. Costil made a decent save on Mohamed Yattara in the 62nd minute after the Rennes defense failed to clear the lines and, around 60 seconds later, Malbranque had arrowed Yattara’s assist into the back of the net.
Lyon doubled their lead in the 72nd minute after Cheikh M’Bengue fouled Lacazette to concede a penalty. The young forward — a reported transfer target for Newcastle — did the honors from the spot to wrap up the win.