The French Super Cup, Trophée des champions, has been played away from France for the last four years, this time using Red Bull Arena in New Jersey as its home. French Cup holders Lyon with a mostly French lineup came back twice against the Champions Montpellier before claiming their eighth trophy by winning through a penalty shootout.
Lyon haven’t made any additions to their squad this summer, so far, as it looks like the only busy team in France is the one from Paris. Money troubles and trying to settle with a more home-grown, French and young squad might be the new direction for the club that is still trying to get used to the fact that they aren’t the best in France anymore, while trying to hold on to their only world class player, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Montpellier have made a few changes this summer, most notably letting Olivier Giroud go to Arsenal, while adding Emanuel Herrera for €3.5 million, an Argentine from Union Espanola in Chile, and Anthon Mounier from Nice for the same price. Herrera was one of the scorers yesterday, giving Montpellier a temporary 2-1 through the penalty spot. Mounier last 80 minutes before coming off.
For Lyon, Bafetimbi Gomis and Jimmy Briand did most of the scoring but Alexandre Lacazette was the impressive of the first XI, also adding the early candidate for miss of the season in a goal that could have given Lyon the regulation win. Another youngster, 17 year old Yassine Benzia, showed that very soon he might be the next big thing in French football, getting a Montpellier player sent off being his biggest contribution to the match.
Eventually, it’s hard to see Montpellier retaining or even challenging for the title they won last season. All the money being spilled by PSG will eventually start winning them titles, probably sooner than later. For Lyon, returning to the Champions League will probably the most they can hope for, although we always have surprises in the French Ligue 1, more than in any other league.