Dijon FCO – Match Report vs Olympique Lyonnais 28/08/2020

This was always going to be a difficult fixture for Dijon to take something from, as they travelled to Champions League semi-finalists Lyon in their second match of the 2020/21 campaign. Unfortunately for Dijon, it panned out as expected, as they fell to a 4-1 defeat which in the end probably flattered them, as it really could, and perhaps should, have been 6 or 7.

Having said that, the away side got off to a flying start, absorbing early pressure before going up the other end and grabbing a goal through young striker Scheidler. For much of the first half, it looked as though Lyon may be made to rue missed opportunities, but then they were awarded a penalty that Depay expertly converted five minutes prior to the half time whistle. This then opened the floodgates as Lyon managed to score twice more and take a 3-1 lead into the interval. Lyon continued to dominate both possession and chance creation in the second period, with the odd flurry of energy from Dijon giving them some feint glimpses at goal on the counter, but the result never really looked in doubt after half time. To compound Dijon’s misery, they conceded another penalty on the 66th minute that Depay dispatched to grab his hatrick in what was Lyon’s first league game of the season following their european exploits of the disrupted previous campaign.

Dijon set up in a 4-2-3-1 system, that looked to use the pace of Amalfitano and Ebimbe around the target man striker in Scheilder, whilst Chouiar operated in the number 10 role and was the creative driving force in the side. Ndong and Marié screened the central areas of defence quite well from midfield, but Dijon struggled with the sheer numbers that Lyon were able to commit to attacks, as well as the movement of the likes of Depay, and so gaps became apparent as the away team became increasingly stretched as the game wore on. There is no real shame for Dijon in losing to a side that has just shown they can win against the world’s best, but there will be some concerns over the way they were carved open and the mentality behind the sudden collapse before half time that effectively put the game to bed.

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

Mounir Chouiar

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 23/01/1999
  • Current Club: Dijon
  • Career: Lens, Dijon
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Secondary Position: Right Wing / Attacking Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Due to Lyon’s dominance and the crowding of central areas by the likes of Guimarães and Caqueret, Chouiar was starved of possession for long periods of this match before being withdrawn 10 minutes into the second half. The creative youngster only managed to have 19 touches in this game, but even still managed to display his quality on the ball at times. He rarely gave away possession, completing 12 of his 13 attempted passes, but he was also progressive with the ball at his feet and created space for his teammates on the counter attack.

His awareness of the positioning of the opposition players was key to any success he had, as he was able to smartly turn around the corner and beat his man before releasing a forward pass. This turn and pass allowed his team to progress as he could accomplish it in fairly deep midfield areas and get his team running towards the opposition goal rather than sitting absorbing pressure. He has good quick feet and ball control that allows him to get away from defenders, whilst his passing was accurate and well weighted for the most part, inviting the wide players to drive forward. Like the entirety of his team, he failed to have a huge impact in the final third as they rarely ventured that far up the pitch, but the 21 year old did show a glimpse of his ability, taking the ball smartly on the turn before releasing a shot that was just blocked by one of Lyon’s three central defenders.

Defensively Chouiar was quite passive and, although he adopted sound defensive positions in the system, he showed little willingness to press the opposition midfield players. Having said that it would have been difficult for him to have much of an impact, as due to the the numbers Lyon committed to attacks, they always seemed to have an available option for the man on the ball.

Overall, it was a tidy and relatively forward thinking performance from Chouiar who tried to put his team on the front foot, but it was always going to be a difficult game and he was withdrawn after 54 minutes, possibly to protect him for the long season ahead. I will be watching Chouiar again this season, and he will be an important asset for Dijon, especially in tighter games when they need a creative spark in the final third.

Rating: A2

Éric Ebimbe

Ebimbe (Centre)

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French / Cameroonian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 21/11/2000
  • Current Club: Dijon (On loan from PSG)
  • Career: PSG, Le Havre (L), Dijon (L)
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary Position: Left Wing / Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Ebimbe was another bright spark for Dijon going forward, though the PSG loanee showed less maturity than Chouiar in his performance and is still quite a raw entity. He played on the left wing in this match and displayed his capability to be skilful with the ball at his feet and take on the defender, utilising his pace and strength, as well his ball control, to get past his man and drive forward. The winger completed all four of his attempted dribbles, and is a strong runner who has the ability to muscle his way past the opponent. At 6 foot and with a decent sized frame, he is not a traditional small lightweight winger but instead more of a powerful option out wide. This allowed him to compete in shoulder to shoulder duels when running forward, or he was able to hold up the ball for his team in wide areas in order to bring others into play.

The 19 year old also made some good supporting runs off the striker and threatened to get in behind, but didn’t do so enough and perhaps made it easier for Lyon to regroup by too often coming short to receive the ball to feet. Ebimbe’s lack of consistency in his first touch and passing is what really let his game down. The youngster gave the ball away on several occasions by letting heavy touches get away from him, during promising situations on the counter attack and in dangerous areas that left his team exposed. Furthermore, the winger ended the game with just a 70% pass accuracy, frequently playing passes behind his teammates and not taking enough care when in possession.

When defending, Ebimbe worked relatively hard to track back, but struggled with the overlapping runs of the Lyon wing back Dubois, however, he made good use of his physicality to win the ball back on three occasions for his team, twice from strong tackles and once via an interception.

On the whole, Ebimbe displayed his quality when driving with the ball at his feet and his ability to take on and beat defenders to create space and get his team up the pitch. However, his lack of concentration when taking his first touch or making simple passes let him down and he failed to have any real impact in the final third.

Rating: B2

Aurélien Scheidler

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 04/06/1998
  • Current Club: Dijon
  • Career: Boulogne, Amiens (L), Orleans, Dijon
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Much like Chouiar, Scheidler lacked service and was starved of possession for long periods of this match before being withdrawn with 10 minutes left to play, however, he did take his chance to get his name on the scoresheet and gave his team an unprecedented early lead.

The 6’4 striker is not the most mobile of forwards, and is instead more in the mould of a target man type player. Therefore, his primary job in this match was holding up the play and bringing his teammates into the game. He did this relatively effectively when given the chances, winning one or two knockdowns near the half way line and holding up the ball well under pressure. Furthermore, despite it not really being his strong point, he showed a willingness to chase down loose balls and run the channels for his team if required.

He was also confident in front of goal and he was able to find the back of the net thanks to his quick reaction to his initial shot being blocked, as he then squeezed his second effort into the near post. He had one other effort from range in the match that was blocked but it showed he was not afraid to take on the keeper.

However, Scheidler’s lack of mobility did hinder him in this game as he struggled to close down defenders and chase loose balls, whilst he was frequently needlessly caught offside due to not getting back on the right side of the defenseive line quick enough when they stepped up. This failure to get back onside immediately put his team on the back foot and it gifted possession back to Lyon who could then launch another attack from near half way. Furthermore, despite his height and strength, he struggled in aerial duels against the three central defenders, only winning 8% of his aerial battles.

Scheidler took his goal well and did his best to bring others into play in what was a difficult game for him, but the lack of service supplied by his team coupled with his immobility meant that he struggled to have much of an impact after finding the back of the net. I would be interested to see him in a more evenly contested match where he has more support around him and his teammates are able to supply better service in the final third.

Rating: B2

Ahmad Ngouyamsa

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Cameroonian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 21/12/2000
  • Current Club: Dijon
  • Career: Dijon
  • Position: Right Back
  • Secondary Position: Left Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

It was a match to forget for young right back Ahmad Ngouyamsa who struggled with the pace and skill of the Lyon forwards, as well as the constant untracked overlapping runs of Maxwel Cornet from left wing back for the home side. He tucked in very narrow from right back almost onto the shoulder of the centre back, probably to offer support in central areas to help cope with Lyon’s front three of Ekambi, Dembele and Depay, but as a result, this freed up a lot of room for Cornet to get forward, and had the Frenchman been more accurate with his crossing, his team could have had even more goals in the end. The right back never really seemed comfortable when defending, having to throw himself in the way of several crosses in last ditch attempts to prevent them reaching the intended target. For the opening 39 minutes he did this effectively and tucked in well when the ball was on the other side to just do enough to put off the forward at vital moments on a couple of occasions.

However, Ngouyamsa’s performance fell apart towards the end of the first period. Firstly, he committed a clumsy foul to bring down Cornet inside the area and allow Depay the chance to equalise from the spot. 5 minutes later, he was beaten by a brilliant piece of skill by Depay who then cut it back from the by-line and the ball was inadvertantly directed into the goal by Dijon centre back Lautoa. Then finally, just before the half time whistle, he allowed Depay to get across him and get his foot to the cross first to find the back of the net. This incredibly unfortunate series of events that lasted about 7 minutes for the 19 year old really hindered what had been a slightly awkward but competent defensive performance up to that point.

With the ball at his feet, Ngouyamsa displayed a good turn of pace and willingness to drive into space. He was happy to step inside with the ball rather than going around the outside all the time, but he rarely got the chance to get forward given Lyon’s dominance. His passing varied, ending with just a 63% pass completion rate, but also finding a couple of decent long balls into the striker to relieve pressure on his team. This completion rate may also not be a fair representation as due to a lack of options he occasionally decided to just hit the channel in order to get his team up the pitch and give them time to regroup.

Overall, this was a difficult game for the 19 year old who was withdrawn 10 minutes into the second period and had not played a lot of first team football in his career before being tasked with going up against a very strong Lyon side. I will be keeping an eye on how he develops this season but he didn’t seem quite up to the required level based on this match.

Rating: C

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