Sparta almost surprised Lyon
Sparta hosted Olympique Lyon in the third round in group A of Europa League. Both teams were unbeaten till this match and moreover, did not concede any goal. This statement was not correct anymore after the first three minutes when Haraslín scored for Sparta. He also added the second goal with a nice shot. On the other side, Ekambi brought Lyon back into the game before the end of the first half. Olympique then switched to a higher speed and scored three more goals. Successful scorers were Aouar, Paquetá, and again Ekambi. Spartans did not give up, but it was enough only for one more goal achieved by LK37.
Sparta’s coach Pavel Vrba did not make any change in comparison to the game against Rangers FC. The great news was that LK37 was ready on the bench after the injury. On the other side, Peter Bosz did not use Emerson, Paquetá, and the captain of the team, Léo Dubois, in the starting eleven.
Sparta started very actively while the score changed already from the first action of the game in the third minute. Pešek sent a long pass from the side into the penalty area and found Haraslín. He took the ball, went through a player, and shot. His attempt was touched by Denayer and changed the direction to the other side than Lopes made a move, 1-0. Such a great start!
Lukáš Haraslín got a long ball from the defender and took it into the penalty area. Everyone expected a pass, but he made a shot from behind Boateng, and Lopes conceded the second goal. Sparta went after 19 minutes into a lead 2-0.
Lyon had a first clear opportunity in the 37th minute when Aouar passed to Kadewere who went alone to Nita. The Romanian goalkeeper made a brilliant save and did not allow him to score.
Ekambi was more successful than Kadewere in his attempt in the 42nd minute. Denayer passed a long ball behind Sparta’s defense where Ekambi was ready. Face to face Nita did not miss and scored, 2-1. It was the last interesting moment that happened in the first half.
Olympique was not satisfied with the result and made two changes at the beginning of the second half. Ekambi tightly missed a target after six minutes.
Lyon tied the score in the 53rd minute. Paquetá sent a dangerous ball in front of Nita who had to box it. It went directly to Aouar whose shot went through everything on its way, 2-2.
Sparta could score six minutes later, but Hancko’s attempt did not fit inside the goal.
Nita had a difficult time in the 65th minute. Firstly, he had to box a tough ball from Emerson. The ball went right to Ekambi and Sparta’s goalkeeper had to show his magic again. The next chance came a few seconds later and Paquetá hit the right post. Sparta survived huge pressure.
Ekambi was very dangerous in this match. In the 68th minute found Paquetá, who was alone inside the penalty area and made a perfect shot. Nita could not do anything about that, 2-3.
Sparta opened its play and wanted to tie the game. However, Lyon made a fast counter-attack in the 88th minute while the ball found Ekambi who luckily went through Hancko and scored the fourth goal of his team, 2-4.
Spartans did not give up and scored a goal that was refused by VAR. Another shot from Panák tightly missed a target. Spartans were able to score one more goal at the end. LK37 scored a nice header after the long pass from Hancko, 3-4. Unfortunately, it was the last moment in this great match.
Sparta’s coach Pavel Vrba: “I am disappointed with the result but not our performance. It is quite cruel for us. We had a great start, scored two goals but then we conceded four goals, which is a lot. We should have solved at least two of those situations in a better way. We started to lose the ball fast and give them space. I warned my players about that during the half break. Lyon has great individualities, we cannot afford to do that. We were a better team at the beginning and the end. We tried to tie the score but, unfortunately, we were not able to make it. We are still learning. We can compete against such teams only in the European cups. We will be more experienced if we play more games like this. I believe in playing as many of them as possible every year. It will be a great starting point for our future.”
Lyon’s coach Peter Bosz: “It was a crazy match. We did not play well during the first 20 minutes. It was very difficult to come back, but the key moment was a goal scored before the end of the first half. We were dominating in the second half and showed our quality. We also played well when we had one less player on the pitch while we even scored the fourth goal during that time. I am very happy about such a great start in the group stage.”