Bafetimbi Gomis targets Lyon century
Bafetimbi Gomis has set his sights on reaching a century of Ligue 1 goals after he and fellow former Lyon outcast Jimmy Briand helped the club to a first league win in over a month.
After beginning the season with four straight wins in all competitions, the seven-time Ligue 1 champions had not triumphed since August 16 prior to coming from behind to beat Nantes on Sunday.
The main catalysts of OL's first triumph and goals in seven competitive fixtures were Gomis and Briand who had been declared persona non grata by club president Jean-Michel Aulas during the summer transfer window as Lyon sought to offload the French international duo.
"We've both gone through difficult times, and they've made us stronger. In life and in a career, there are ups and downs. Jimmy and I have played 500 matches between us in Ligue 1. That counts for something. We bring our experience to the team," said Gomis, whose 26th-minute equaliser -- his 89th Ligue 1 career strike -- stemmed from a Briand flick-on.
"I've moved on. I'm happy to score for OL and my objective is to reach 100 Ligue 1 goals in the shirt of this club."
Briand, who has struggled to work his way into the first-team since an aborted move to Monaco last January, earned his first start since April. He rewarded coach Remi Garde with an assist as well as his side's third goal, which followed a stunning Clement Grenier free-kick that had been won by Gomis.
"For me, the page has been turned for a while," Briand said. "People have talked a lot, but we've proved to everyone that all of that is behind us. It's not revenge, and I don't harbour any ill feeling. I was asked to make a difference. If I had given up, I wouldn't be here."
Both players had faced public criticism from Aulas, in particular, over their refusal to move away from the Stade Gerland with just a year left on their contracts. After both players had been told they would not participate in the first-team's pre-season training camp and been ordered to play with the reserves, Gomis even heard it announced he was no longer part of Garde's plans. The former Arsenal midfielder has clearly had a change of heart.
"I'm happy that the team won and particularly because it's the players who have had a difficult few weeks who scored. It creates a lot of column inches, but there have also been talks within the club," Garde stated to the media. "Everyone made the right resolutions as soon as the transfer window was closed, and I could see that in training and during the international break."