Lyon, Montpellier play to scoreless draw in Ligue 1
Lyon were held to their third goalless draw this season at the Stade Gerland by Montpellier in a game the hosts largely dominated from start to finish.
Clement Grenier tested visiting goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren from several free-kicks in what proved to be a hotly-contested duel but Montpellier held out to stretch their unbeaten run in Ligue 1 to nine games.
La Paillade looked to press early on and make it difficult for their hosts, who themselves came into the game in good form with just one defeat in their previous 13 league games.
AC Milan loanee M’Baye Niang found himself in the referee’s book early on after the in-form striker caught Jordan Ferri with an elbow, leaving the Lyon youngster in a bloody heap on the floor as both sides struggled in front of goal.
With little over 20 minutes played Les Girondons had a half-hearted penalty appeal turned down when Alexandre Lacazette went down under a Daniel Congre challenge but referee Lionel Jaffredo was having none of it.
As tempers began to boil, the first real opportunity came Les Gones way when Clement Grenier tested Geoffrey Jourdren direct from a 30-yard free-kick but the keeper appeared to touch the ball over the bar before the referee’s assistant awarded a goal-kick.
Grenier went close once again with a direct set-piece and, despite Jourdren fumbling in the Montpellier goal, his defense helped out to get the ball clear as Lyon looked to turn the screw.
Lacazette saw a volley from a tight-angle tipped wide from Ferri’s ball before Niang had Montpellier’s best chance of the half at the other end, but Anthony Lopes got down well to his effort from the edge of the area and the scores remained level at the break.
Grenier continued to cause problems with his set-pieces and once again he caused Jourdren to fumble but, despite pouncing on the rebound, Jimmy Briand was flagged offside as Montpellier continued to live dangerously.
In a similar fashion just minutes later, Grenier did manage to beat his rival in the Montpellier goal but was unfortunate to see his effort finish up just wide of the right post as both players continued to try and thwart each other.
With time ticking away for Remi Garde’s men, Gomis hit a volley from a tight angle straight at Jourdren before Marveaux made poor contact at the other to waste a good opportunity on the counter after Remy Cabella had released him.
Lyon went agonizingly close to stealing all three points in the final five minutes when Bakary Kone met Grenier’s corner but his powerful header was hacked off the line by Benjamin Stambouli and Montpellier survived to take home a hard-fought point.