Lyon labour to Dijon draw in Rudi Garcia’s first game

PARIS (AFP) – Lyon stuttered to a 0-0 draw against fellow Ligue 1 strugglers Dijon last Saturday night as already-embattled new coach Rudi Garcia took charge for the first time.

The 55-year-old’s appointment was greeted with anger by Lyon supporters because of his three-year stint at bitter rivals Marseille. He was roundly booed at the Groupama Stadium ahead of kick-off.

Garcia’s day did not get any better, as his side wasted a string of excellent chances against dogged Dijon.

“The fans were good during the match, at the end of the day they’re not happy with results and neither are we,” he told Canal+.

“We weren’t missing much, aggression in front of goal. We’re starting from scratch. When we play a team in the relegation zone, we must win.”

Lyon, who sacked Brazilian Sylvinho, in his first job as a head coach, after only 11 matches earlier this month, have failed to win in eight league games.

Sporting Director Juninho has been responsible for hiring both former Arsenal and Barcelona full-back Sylvinho and Garcia.

But the former Brazil international insisted that there were positive signs.

“What hurts is to look at our place in the table,” he said. “Concerning the first week under Rudi Garcia, the players have responded, very good things have been seen.

“If we manage to play as well (against Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday), we will be able to reverse the situation.”

The draw left Lyon languishing 16th in the table after 10 matches, just one point off the bottom.