Close to relegation last season, Lorient made a strong start to the year. With five wins in seven games already, will the Breton club earn anything other than a place in the soft underbelly for the next few months?
Lorient have been unstoppable since the start of the season.
By passing on Christophe Plissier, who managed to raise and maintain Lorient, two consecutive seasons, in Ligue 1, Loc Fry took a big risk. But the president of the Breton club, who has learned to seize to become one of the most influential people in the business since taking power in 2009, knows better than anyone the value of his people. And by launching Rgis Le Bris, at the head of the youth teams for ten years, the manager has an empty nose.
Lorient, the best team in transitions
Lorient has rarely shown such an attitude since the departure of Christian Gourcuff in 2014. Long renowned for producing a good game, the Breton team has a new style of the 46-year-old manager: bend but not break , submission. .and exploded against. Since the start of the season, FCL has been the most wait-and-see team before triggering a push for a lower position. On average, opponents complete 21 passes before losing possession. Similarly, Lorient is one of those curiosities who explodes so fast projecting themselves forward with just under 10 assists before getting the ball… or scoring.
Among the teams, which, like Lorient, are usually dominated by the use of the ball, we find Reims, Clermont, Brest, Monaco, Troyes, Auxerre, Strasbourg, Nantes and Montpellier. All have negative goal differentials, except for MHSC, helped greatly by their card against SB29 (0-7). In this pack, only Lorient, who have scored more than they have, stands out, thanks to the balance that his coach has found perfectly: a defensive base that is strong enough to resist the opposing attacks. attack and offensive players who are efficient to make the difference in any phase of the game.
Mvogo makes the difference
Compared to last season, Yann Mvogo brought more than Matthieu Dreyer and Paul Nardi. With 26 saves, the Swiss international is the third busiest goalkeeper after Alexander Nbel (36) and Mory Diaw (33). In addition to being impressive in his line, the former PSV player allowed Lorient to support his game in transition thanks to an amazing hand game. For example, in the last two goals against Olympique Lyonnais (3-1) on Wednesday, the Swiss quickly found their attacking partners to take advantage of the high position of the opposing defenders. What’s the point of going through defense or mid when you can hit your attackers in less than two seconds?
Among the defenders, we also have a new one. In the middle, Julien Laporte forms a complementary pair with Montassar Talbi. The two control laps are the players who have made the most clearances since the start of the Ligue 1 season (44 for the Frenchman, 39 for the Tunisian). It is no coincidence that Lorient dominates the fair play ranking with 10 yellow cards (0 red). Proof that Le Bris has full confidence in his defense, none of the players in the line of four has missed a minute this season, while Gdon Kalulu has two assists in his last two outings.
An offensive sector that recites its score
If the defensive midfield players, Laurent Abergel and Bonke Innocent, do the job without exceeding their main function, Enzo Le Fe, he is on the screen. Defensive duels, interceptions, forward passes, ball development, dribbling, shooting, the metronome from Lorient is one of the most influential players in the French championship in his sector with Marco Verratti and Youssouf Fofana . Unlike the Parisian and the Mongasque, he was able to be dangerous in set pieces, like his goal from a free kick to launch his team against Les Gones.
The Lyonnais will also remember two hake attackers Dango Ouattara and Terem Moffi. The Burkinab (3 goals, 4 assists) and the Nigerian (5 goals) have been walking on water since the start of the exercise and put all defenses through a difficulty thanks to their complementarity. Despite the departure of Armand Laurient, the solutions remain many with Ibrahima Kon (2 goals) and Yoann Caithline, author of the second goal against Nantes (3-2). An offensive sector armed enough to hurt many teams … and allow Lorient to believe in something other than maintenance?
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