Nice - Lyon: 5 epic finales

The Gym's 2022/2023 campaign comes to a close on Saturday 3 June when they host Lyon (21:00). It is a fixture that has become a familiar end to the season since the Aiglons' return to Ligue 1 in 2002. Here's a look back at some of these often high-stakes and sometimes spectacular encounters. 


LYON 3-4 NICE (MD38, 2011/2012 season)

Sunday 20 May 2012. A date that will live long in the memory of all the Gym fans old enough to have watch this dangerous trip between the Rhône and Saône. The Red and Blacks, who were just one point clear of the relegation zone going into the game, needed at least a draw to ensure their survival in the top flight. Didier Digard and his team-mates were in the ascendancy, but found themselves 2-0 down on the half-hour mark against Ligue 1's fourth-placed side.

But René Marsiglia's men, buoyed by their warrior spirit, snatched an equaliser through Fabian Monzon and then Kafoumba Coulibaly, before getting a helping hand from their former goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who scored an own goal. Jimmy Briand equalised shortly after the hour mark, but the 21-year-old Esmaël Gonçalves pulled off a solo goal to keep the Aiglons up (3-4) in a match that has gone down in the club's history books.


LYON 3-3 NICE (MD38, 2016/2017 season)

In 2016/2017, Lucien Favre's men arrived at Groupama Stadium under less pressure. Already certain of finishing the season in a record third place in the league, Les Niçois, who had an eleven-point lead over their opponents in fourth, were keen to finish well after two defeats in a row. With Dante, Ricardo Pereira, Mario Balotelli and Alassane Plea all missing from the starting line-up, Le Gym were caught off guard from the off by an unlucky own goal from Maxime Le Marchand.

But Les Azuréens quickly responded through 'Tassos' Donis, who equalised for a second time in the second half after OL had regained the lead through Lacazette. Gym showed their mental strength again at the very end of the match when Jean-Michaël Séri scored from the penalty spot in injury time to level the scores for a third time.


LYON 3-2 NICE (MD38, 2017/2018 season)

One year on, it was the same old story all over again. Les Aiglons, in 6th place and provisionnally through to the Europa League play-offs at the start of the next season, needed to win at Lyon to be sure of a place in Europe. Le Gym took the game by the scruff of the neck, opening the scoring through Alassane Plea after 18 minutes.

But Les Gones, buoyed by the great Memphis Depay, who scored a hat-trick, and over-motivated by their desire to book their place in the Champions League, rallied. Plea's 88th-minute goal sent a final shiver down the home side's spine. But that last gasp was not enough and the Gym, who saw their two direct rivals, Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne, win at the same time, finished 8th, one point off Europe.


LYON 2-3 NICE (MD38, 2020/2021 season)

The scoreline was the opposite three years later. In the final game of a season in which they finished in 9th place, the Rouge et Noir won 3-2 in Lyon after another crazy encounter. Trailing twice after two goals from Karl Toko Ekambi, Adrian Ursea's men came back first through Kasper Dolberg and then after a powerful shot from Hassane Kamara. A goal from William Saliba, on loan at Le Gym for half a season, completed the comeback for Les Aiglons, who denied their opponents a place in the UEFA Champions League.



NICE 1-1 LYON (MD37, 2012/2013 season)

Nice-Lyon on 19 May 2013 was not the end of the season, but it did conclude the Aiglons' 2012/2013 campaign at the Stade du Ray, which they would leave the following season. The stakes were high: if they won, the fifth-placed Red and Blacks could move level on points with their opponents and continue to dream of a podium finish, synonymous with a place in the UEFA Champions League.

Gym struck first at a raucous Ray, opening the scoring thanks to a penalty from their Argentinian goleador Dario Cvitanich (47'). But despite dominating the game, Claude Puel's men conceded an equaliser from Clément Grenier's free-kick. They would go on to claim their fourth place and European ticket with a win away to Ajaccio the following week.

Hugo Rondet

OGC Nice