Olympique Lyonnais overcame a spirited performance from Gazelec Ajaccio to win 4-0 and reach the French Cup final on Tuesday, with all the goals coming in the second half when the semi-professionals were down to 10 men.
Lyon are fourth in Ligue 1, but they struggled at times against a team two divisions below in the National League and playing with 10 men after midfielder Anthony Colinet was sent off late in the first half.
Alexandre Lacazette scored in the 59th minute and strike partner Lisandro Lopez made the game safe in the 73rd with his fourth goal in three games. Midfielder Clement Grenier and striker Bafetimbi Gomis added late goals.
In his first season in charge, coach Remi Garde has guided Lyon to two domestic finals and they are also chasing third place in the league and a spot in the Champions League qualifying rounds next season. Seven-time former French champions Lyon will try and win their first trophy since clinching the domestic double in 2008 when they take on Olympique de Marseille in Saturday’s League Cup final.
Lyon midfielder Kim Kallstrom forced Gazelec goalkeeper Lucas Rastello into a superb save early on and then hit the crossbar with a stinging free-kick. Rastello frustrated Lyon, keeping out a header from Jimmy Briand, who also hit the crossbar with another effort.
Forward Mickael Colloredo also hit the bar for the Corsican side, but the match turned in Lyon’s favor when Colinet was shown a straight red card in the 38th minute for tackling Lacazette from behind.
Despite being a player down, Gazelec continued to cause problems and forward Nicolas Verdier hit the post five minutes into the second half, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris beaten.
Rastello then denied Briand and Lopez in quick succession as Lyon poured forward looking for the first goal.