Its all Nice for Puel as early goals sink Lyon
Claude Puel enjoyed a slice of revenge against his former club Lyon as Nice scored three early goals here on Wednesday to reach the French League Cup quarter-finals with a deserved 3-1 victory in pouring rain.
The match exploded into life with four goals in the first 16 minutes as coach Puel who left Lyon in acrimonious circumstances in 2011 watched his team seize the initiative against his former employers.
"I am really happy with the performance and for all the players and it is a pleasure to coach this group," beamed Puel.
Lyon's unfortunate Gueida Fofana handled in the box on six minutes and Valentin Eysseric made no mistake from the spot, sending second-string 'keeper Anthony Lopes the wrong way for his second goal of the season.
French international Bafetimbi Gomis swiftly equalised for Lyon just seconds later when former Ligue 1 player of the year Yoann Gorcuff chested the ball down for the striker to blast home his tenth goal of the campaign.
As the rain cascaded down at the Stade Municipal de Ray, Nice went back in front with two quickfire goals from Mali midfielder Mahamane Traore and Argentine Renato Civelli to put Nice 3-1 up after a quarter of an hour.
Nice, who reached the 2006 League Cup final but lost to Nancy and last won a trophy in 1997 when they won the French Cup, held out after the break despite Lyon dominating possession and the goal which would have set up a tense finish never materialised.
To make matters worse Serbian defender Milan Bisevac was shown a straight red card with two minutes left after pulling down Neal Maupay to make Lyon's task all but impossible.
It was a sweet night for the 51-year-old Puel who led Lyon to the 2010 Champions League semi-finals before leaving the club following differences with club president Jean-Michel Aulas and several first-team players over his tactics.
There are three other matches later on Wednesday with the highlight the clash between bitter rivals Ligue 1 tabletoppers Paris Saint Germain and former pacesetters Marseille.
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