FC Lorient – Match Report vs RC Strasbourg 23/08/2020

In both team’s opening encounter of the Ligue 1 season, newly promoted Lorient played host to RC Strasbourg who went into the game having lost 10 of their last 14 matches against newly promoted sides. The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on every team’s preparation for the new season, but perhaps none more so than Strasbourg who had nine players test positive for the virus in the month leading up to the first competitive fixture of the 2020/21 campaign. By contrast, Lorient gained promotion early due to the outbreak as they sat top of Ligue 2 by one point when the season was brought to an abrupt end.

Despite the hampered preparation for the new season, Strasbourg went into half time with a 1-0 lead thanks to a Mehdi Chahiri strike on the 30th minute with what was the best chance of the game up to that point. However, Lorient had looked promising in the opening 45 as they recovered following an early set back of new signing Diarra limping off prior to the opening goal. It was in the second half that Lorient really announced their return to the French top flight, grabbing an equaliser in the opening exchanges of the second period via the head of Yoane Wissa, and then going on to take the lead thanks to a Grbic penalty before sealing the win with a third goal in the 87th minute. Strasbourg offered little in the way of a reaction and saw their terrible record against newly promoted teams extended.

Lorient set up in a 4-2-3-1 system and despite sometimes struggling to play through central areas, Boisgard and Wissa provided some quality from wide areas whilst the striker Grbic made himself a nuisance for the Strasbourg centre halves.They set about the game with a good amount of energy and aggression, as you would expect upon their return to the top flight and in the end deserved the three points on the balance of play.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Quentin Boisgard

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 17/03/1997
  • Current Club: Lorient
  • Career: Toulouse, Pau (L), Lorient
  • Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Centre Midfield / Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Quentin Boisgard had a good game for Lorient and was their primary creative outlet in the final third. Initially deployed as a number 10, he was shifted out to the right hand side to take the place of the injured Stéphane Diarra after just 12 minutes.

The 23 year old was comfortable with the ball at his feet but rarely looked to go past defenders, instead he was more of an orchestrator of the attacks and preferred to find passes to teammates or get the ball into the box. His passing was an important part of his game, finding nice first time balls into forward areas and completing two key passes in the match.

His final ball varied in quality, delivering some into great areas and playing a fantasically weighted cross from deep into the path of Wissa who nodded home the equaliser. He was also the set piece taker for Lorient in this match, but took some time to find his range, with his first few deliveries failing to beat the first man or floating over everyone, yet he also showed his capability to deliver quality crosses into areas for his teammates to attack.

His movement was also impressive and allowed him to get in behind the full back on a couple of occasions whilst also making a few underlapping runs into the final third. He found it quite easy to find space in wide areas to put crosses in and this ended up being effective as it was his deliveries that lead to Lorient’s first goal and then the penalty being won that was converted to give his team the lead.

Boisgard worked hard defensively for his team, making tackles and tracking the full back, although he did commit a couple of clumsy fouls that resulted in him receiving a yellow card. The 5’9 midfielder is fairly lightweight but was aggressive in the challenge and was able to compete physically.

Based on this performance, the Frenchman certainly has the ability to be a creative talisman for his side in the coming season, and it would be interesting to see him play longer in a more central role to see how effective he is when putting fewer crosses in from out wide.

Rating: A2

Yoane Wissa

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French / DR Congo
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 03/09/1996
  • Current Club: Lorient
  • Career: Châteauroux, Angers, Stade Laval (L), Ajaccio (L), Lorient
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Secondary Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Yoane Wissa looked an exciting player, operating on the left wing for Lorient in this match. He has an excellent burst of pace at his disposal which he used to get in behind on several occasions and he put one or two dangerous deliveries in from out wide, though he preferred to cut inside onto his stronger right foot.

His movement at the back post caused real problems for the Strasbourg defence, as he would sometimes drop off to the edge of the box to receive a cut back, whilst for his goal he made an inside run off the back of the central defender before heading home. On a couple of occasions he received the ball to feet in the box but seemed hesitant to shoot and delayed too long, allowing himself to be closed down and the chance to go begging, but it was a decent finish for his goal as he headed it back across the goalkeeper having made a run to the back post.

Wissa also showed his ability to drop deep and drive his team forward. He would drop into midfield before picking up the ball and driving into the opposition half, beating defenders or winning fouls and he completed the most dribbles of any player on the pitch. This allowed him to inject pace into his team’s attacks or draw fouls to take the pressure of his side and move them up the pitch. However, once or twice when dribbling with the ball he was eased off by firm but fair challenges and he could improve upon his strength and ability to protect the ball.

Defensively, Wissa displayed good anticipation to pick off loose opposition passes and showed good aggression to fight for his team in the latter stages when they were protecting their lead.

On the whole it was a solid performance from Wissa who demonstrated that he could also be an important player for Lorient this season with his ability to carry the ball and his goal threat making runs towards the back post. Perhaps his lack of physicality and possible hesitation in the final third could be improved upon from this match.

Rating: B1

Enzo Le Fée

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 03/02/2000
  • Current Club: Lorient
  • Career: Lorient
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Defensive Midfield / Attacking Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Le Fée’s Ligue 1 career got off to a positive start with this display from central midfield. The young Frenchman showed good composure in possession to dictate the play at stages and influence his side’s build up. He provided a creative force from deeper areas, with his ability to play progressive passes and quickly turn defence into attack during transitions.

He played some nice switches to keep the ball moving and stretch the opposition and was happy to join the attack when his team were on the front foot. His first touch was positive and allowed him to look forward and turn sharply in midfield whilst he was effective in the final third, making three key passes, the most of any player on the pitch, one of which was very instrumental in Lorient’s third goal late on in the match. However, he did also play some overhit passes that, although had the right intent, went wayward of the target and wasted good opportunities.

Once he had the ball at his feet, he could influence his team’s tempo with the quality of his passing, but sometimes he did struggle to find space in the midfield. At certain stages of the game he neither came short to receive the ball off the defender, nor did he try and get beyond the opposition midfield and so he was easily marked and his impact on proceedings was hindered.

When defending, he pressed well at times and showed good anticapiton to make four interceptions in the match. At 5’7 and with a slim build, Le Fée lacks any real physical presence in the midfield but this was balanced out nicely by the aggression and tenacity of his veteran midfield partner and Lorient captain Fabien Lemoine.

Le Fée showed that he is capable of performing in the French top tier and it will be interesting to see how he can develop further this season at the heart of the Lorient midfield. Without his physical midfield partner he could be exposed in future games and he needed to try and find more space in central areas., but apart from these it was a decent outing from the 20 year old.

Rating: B1

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