Bafetimbi Gomis shows Newcastle what they are missing in 3-1 victory

Bafetimbi Gomis v Brest

Lyon pushed forward in their push for the final Champions League place, while Lille, Marseille and Saint-Etienne could only pick up a point.

In the race for third place in Ligue 1, Olympique Lyonnais were the big winners on Sunday. Outside of the top two, they were the only side in the top six to pick up three points.

Bafetimbi Gomis scored the third in the 3-1 win over AC Ajaccio; the 90th minute strike takes his tally for the season to 10 league goals. There is a very good chance that his latest vein of form will once again spark interest from Newcastle United.

Remi Garde’s side were expected to take all three points from bottom club Ajaccio, but the islanders made it difficult for the Coupe de la Ligue finalists. It took an excellent curling finish from Gueida Fofana to open the scoring before half-time.

The game looked done and dusted when Henri Bedimo advanced down the left, combining with Jimmy Briand’s head for his sixth assist of the season. The forward has earlier missed an earlier chance to double the lead, but Bedimo’s excellent cross made it very hard for Briand to miss. Ajaccio grabbed a life-line when substitute Denis Oliech finished well after an excellent piece of skill on the edge of the box. It was left to Gomis to seal the victory.

Gomis had played well for the majority of the game and would be been disappointed with a couple of the chances he had failed to convert; he made no mistake with his last chance of the game. Cutting inside on his left-foot, the forward curled the ball beautifully past Guillermo Ochoa in the Ajaccio net.

That’s his third goal in four games, and his 10th of the season. After all the drama that followed his potential move to Newcastle in the summer it seems absolutely crazy that there has been talk that Gomis may sign a new contract with Lyon.

This is the player that was banished to the CFA reserve side, and wasn’t allowed to train with the first team, that was alongside the other goal-scorer Jimmy Briand. Now his performances and his manner around the club have led to speculation that he could stay beyond this season. A lot would depend on where Lyon finished in the table. However with every goal that Gomis scores, the interest from the Premier League is likely to return. Newcastle are continuing to monitor the situation, if he scores around 15 goals, then his list of suitors will be very interested in the player who’s contract expires on the 30th of June.

Lyon’s win put pressure on third place Lille, and the northern side failed to pick up all three points, coming from behind twice to steal a point away in Annecy. Evian had deserved more than a draw, but Bernard Laquait was beaten by Ryan Mendes 93rd minute cross. The ball looped to the back post and the ‘keeper could do nothing to prevent it finding the back of the net.

Evian’s plight remains in a precarious position, as the point means they are only three points above Valenciennes in the dreaded 18th position. This will feel like a defeat for Pascal Dupraz side, so close to another famous victory at home, and after dominating for the majority of the game, it was a killer blow from the Lille substitute.

Sunday’s last game gave both Saint-Etienne and Marseille a chance to close the gap on Lille, but in the end it was the tale of another late late goal that would see the match end in a draw.

Marseille took a second half lead through defender Nicolas N’Koulou and it looked like his volley would be enough for OM to move up to fourth, but former Marseille striker Brandao had other ideas.

Deep in injury-time, Marseille managed to clear a dangerous free-kick; however the ball was kept in play and swung back into the danger area. Brandao had managed to shake off Souleymane Diawara, and the Brazilian’s header found the bottom corner of the post and squeezed across the line. It was a dramatic end to a tense affair. It means it’s all gotten closer in the race for third.

Only six points separate Lille in third to Reims in 7th and set’s up next Sunday’s clash perfectly. Lyon in 6th travel to Lille, a win for the away side would reduce the gap to only two points and give both St-Etienne and Marseille another chance to move closer in what is going to be a dramatic end to the Ligue 1 season.

images: © Jejecam, © Jejecam

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