Saint-Etienne 0-5 Olympique Lyonnais

Lyon swept aside Saint-Etienne with a crushing 5-0 win at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard to complete a Ligue 1 double over their bitter rivals and maintain the pressure on PSG and Lille at the top of the table.

Back in November, Lyon had won this season’s first edition of the Rhône-Alpes derby 2-1 at the Groupama Stadium and they piled yet more misery onto their hapless opponents with a repeat of November 2017’s 5-0 rout in this fixture.

Aside from a great chance in the opening minute and a shot against the post in the second half, Saint-Etienne put up little visible resistance and for most of the encounter it looked like men against boys, such was the chasm between the two teams.

Lyon controlled the game and dominated possession throughout, cutting their opponents open at will. Tino Kadewere opened the scoring in the 16th minute, poking in a corner from close range, and Marcelo doubled the advantage in the 36th minute with a towering header from another set piece, this time a free-kick from the right by Dubois.

The Brazilian centre-back repeated the trick in the second half, once again converting a free-kick from Dubois on the right flank and Kadewere grabbed his own second of the game in the 68th minute when he was picked out by Depay, beat his defender and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way before rolling it in at the near post.

Depay got in on the act himself when his 82nd minute free-kick ended up in the back of the net, although it was helped on by the head of Saint-Etiennes’s Denis Bouanga and may go down as an own goal. That completed the scoring, although Lyon could easily have had a few more. The only other event of note was a late debut off the bench for Lyon academy graduate Malo Gusto.

Despite there having been multiple substitutions and a few other stoppages in the second half, referee Benoît Bastien decided to put Les Verts out of their misery and didn’t add on any additional time at the end of the ninety minutes. Perhaps the recent Covid outbreak in the Saint-Etienne camp partly explains why their performance was so limp today, but whatever their excuses, it has to be said that Lyon were on top form.

The occasion didn’t really have the feel of a derby. The absence of supporters in the stadium due to the pandemic left the atmosphere flat and the match was too one-sided to be much of a spectacle. It’s the fans who make a derby different from a normal match and it’s a shame they were missing today.