Europa League Preview : Besiktas v Olympique Lyonnais

Morel v Besiktas

It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for Lyon. First they contrived to lose 4-1 at home to Lorient, who had only just managed to drag themselves off the bottom of the table, with a series of defensive screw-ups, and after an ill-judged-in-retrospect Lions v Fish tweet from Memphis. Then the first leg against Besiktas saw kick-off delayed by 45 […]

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Coupe de France Quarter-Final : Angers SCO v GD Bordeaux

Laborde CDF

While the other quarter-finals involve combinations of minnows and the top two, this rerun of last year’s round of 32 match which Bordeaux won 2-1 should be one of the closer encounters of the round. The league fixtures have been pretty tight, Angers winning 1-0 in Bordeaux in game 5, and getting a 1-1 draw at home, while in the […]

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l’Euphorie Pure: Coupe de France Quarter-Final – Etoile FC Fréjus-Saint-Raphaël v EA Guingamp

Frejus 700x300

Quarter-final stage of the Coupe de France, possibly the world’s largest cup competition, and two amateur sides are still in it. One is Etoile FC Fréjus-Saint Raphaël, of fourth-tier CFA, who have already made club history but want to make a little bit more. They face En Avant Guingamp, eighth in Ligue 1, and a tricky prospect for teams much […]

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Coupe de la Ligue Final – AS Monaco v PSG

CDL Final medley

It’s tough to tell if 1st April is an appropriate or inappropriate date for the final of France’s junior cup competition, as football is of course a serious business. There are a lot of tempting options for practical jokes, however – the mascot who turns out to be Nicolas Sarkozy, the goal-line technology team deciding to have a bit of […]

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Europa League Preview : Roma v Lyon

Lacaz v Roma crop

The first leg of this clash ended 4-2 to Lyon, but there were some nervy moments as Roma went in at half-time 2-1 up, and let’s face it, nobody in France right now is looking at first-leg scorelines and going “ooh, comfortable“. Things started well at the Parc OL as break-out centre back Mouctar Diakhaby opened the scoring inside ten minutes […]

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History Corner : Parking the bus 1950s-style ?

Kopa v Germay crop

After picking up some helpful tips about how to improve French football from the 1920s, a couple of further forays to Montpellier’s book market (every Saturday on the Esplanade, also Peyrou Sundays – if it isn’t raining) produced ten copies of the periodicals Mirroir Sprint* and But Club – Miroir des Sports, dated between 1950 and 1955. These trace an interesting series […]

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Europa League Preview : Lyon v Roma

Dzeko v Lacaz

Thursday night, and Lyon are the last French team standing in the Europa League after another traditionally shaky set of performances from the Ligue 1 contingent: LOSC didn’t make it through the qualifying rounds, Nice didn’t make it out of the group, and Saint-Etienne didn’t make it past Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who must feature in Stephane Ruffier’s nightmares. OL, of course, […]

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Montpellier – after the storm

Ait Fana crop

Claudio Ranieri was sacked as Leicester Manager on Thursday – and on Friday, his statement was widely shared, starting “yesterday, my dream died”. As Leicester headed for the title last season, parallels were drawn with Montpellier’s win in 2011/12, which we addressed. Now, with Leicester still in the Champions League but in big trouble in the Premier League, it seems a good […]

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