Lyon coach Remi Garde was delighted with his side after they defeated rivals Saint-Etienne with just 10 men in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
Garde’s side won 1-0 thanks to a superb free-kick from Brazilian Michel Bastos in the second half – extended their lead at the top of the table over Paris Saint-Germain to five points after 16 games.
The goal came 10 minutes after Mouhamadou Dabo – who was sent off in the same fixture last year – was given a red card for head-butting exciting Saint-Etienne winger Max Gradel.
Saint-Etienne also had a man sent off – Argentine Alejandro Alonso was given his marching orders with five minutes left – but it was Lyon who would leave the match with all three points.
“A success here in Geoffroy Guichard (Saint-Etienne’s stadium) always gives a lot of happiness,” Garde said.
“Of course, there is also this satisfaction because we dealt well with the red card. The players showed a lot of abnegation and bravery I would say.
“Because at the end, we had to resist, there was a little bit of tiredness and it became a bit crazy. But the team kept a good organization and the players all together were very strong tonight.”
“At 10 against 11, you have to be even stronger mentally. I know that the players, currently, want to produce efforts collectively for each other. And that is very important.”