BY HENRY MHARA FORMER Manchester United superstar Memphis Depay is enjoying his partnership with Tino Kadewere in the Olympique Lyonnais attack as the Warriors star continues to impress in his debut season at the French giants.
Kadewere was involved in three of Lyon’s four goals in the 4-1 win away to Nice on Saturday to help his club climb to the top of the Ligue 1 table.
The club’s front three which also include Cameroonian Karl Toko Ekambi were all on the scoresheet as they took their combined league goal tally of the season to 22 from 16 games.
“I am happy with the victory. We came to win so we are satisfied. I am happy with the relationship among myself, Toko Ekambi and Kadewere. The substitutes also bring their qualities to the match,” the Lyon captain, who has been linked with a January move to Barcelona, said.
Kadewere, on his part, is content with his performance after he fired blanks in midweek’s 2-all draw away to Brest. He also expressed his delight with Ekambi and Depay.
“We are very happy. We needed to win after a tough match against Brest. We wanted to come back with the three points. This kind of match gives us confidence. We worked together. There is one match left before the break, we have to stay focused. We played well together, Toko Ekambi, Memphis and myself everything is going well. It is good for the whole attacking line to score,” he said.
The 24-year-old won the penalty that was converted by Depay to hand the visitors a 32nd minute lead before the Warriors star striker took his tally for the season to six goals on 39th minute.
He intercepted a Hicham Boudaoui pass and beat goalkeeper Walter Benitez with ease.
- Chamisa under fire over US$120K donation
- Mavhunga puts DeMbare into Chibuku quarterfinals
- Pension funds bet on Cabora Bassa oilfields
- Councils defy govt fire tender directive
Kadewere turned provider on the 63rd minute as he set up Ekambi with a squared pass into the box.
The three points were secured with less than 30 minutes to go as France playmaker Houssem Aouar fired home from close range.
With this result, Lyon, who are unbeaten in their last 13 games, took over the Ligue 1 leadership position with 33 points from 16 games, pending the outcome of last night’s fixture between Lille and PSG.
“We understand each other on the pitch. We have played a lot of very good matches, but this is only the start of the season. We need to work more to finish the league with a lot of points and return to the Champions League again. I am happy; I am playing with very good teammates in a very good team. We need to continue like this,” Kadewere said.
Lyon were last season’s Uefa Champions League semi-finalists, but are not taking part this campaign because they finished seventh in the league last term.
On his adaptation to Lyon he said: “I had a very good season last year with Le Havre, but when I arrived here I found quality players who help me all the time. Everyone here wants to play so the competition is tough, but that makes us a very good team. We interact a lot and it explains why I adapted very quickly. If you play with players like my teammates, it is wonderful. It is good for me. It is going very well for me and I will try to continue like this and work hard for the team.”
The former Harare City striker has hit the ground running since joining Lyon from Ligue 2 side Le Havre. He made history on November 8 when he became the first player to score a brace for the club in the derby win against Saint-Etienne.
So huge was the achievement that his number 11 jersey, which he wore on the day, was put on auction by the club to raise money for a charity organisation.
Lyon return to action on Wednesday when they host Nantes which will be their last match before they break for the festive holidays. Ligue 1 returns on January 6.
Follow Henry on Twitter @henrymhara