UEFA Champions League Review: Lyon vs. Real Madrid


27 September 2020

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After an obvious handball player from Lyon, Jose Mourinho made a spectacular save. . . Ozil and Benzema then forced the ball from a Lyon player, Ozil sent to Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldo sent it to Benzema. Benzema then refused to give the ball to anyone on either team, ran parallel to the goal and let go of a well-aimed strike that sailed into the back corner of Lyon's goal, from his former team's goal.

Karim Benzema has five goals in this UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid suddenly felt they had the victory. Until this goal, which came in the 66th minute, RM and Olympique Lyonnais were in each other's throats during the 16-part meeting yesterday at the Stade de Gerland. There were strong kicks and arguments, and physical play was in abundance.

The match was to be RM's revenge after Lyon, a minnow who barely came on RM's cards last season, managed to defeat RM in the draw round of last year's UEFA Champions League. And when Karim Benzema, a former Lyon player, came in and proved that Fiorentino Perez, RM's president, was right, RM felt the victory was theirs. Suddenly, Ozil was subbed next to Marcelo, one of RM's most overrated players, a defensive left whose defense is so poor that he continued yesterday as a midfielder. That should have been a signal because it meant Mourinho, RM's head coach, went for an all or nothing victory.

Yesterday, as I previewed this match, I wrote that RM's biggest mistake is its confidence. So when they went into all-out attacking mode after an hour of measuring Lyon's strengths and weaknesses and of playing against Lyon with respect and after respectfully scoring a goal against Lyon, I got a little worried. If a system worked, and if it was clear that Real Madrid could score against Lyon without going all-out, and if Lyon should have been the one attacking, being down with a goal, why did Real Madrid suddenly move forward with its lines bit? And then, of course, it would be a mistake by Marcelo, one of the most overrated players. Of course, the goal would come from a free kick after a stupid and careless free kick from Marcelo.

Gomis scored Lyon's goal in the 83rd minute. Only a minute later Marcelo lost the ball again and it would have been a very dangerous game, once again, for Real Madrid it would not have been too stupid luck for the team to win the ball back. Real Madrid continued their attacks for the rest of the match, but a draw was there. They retain an away advantage over Lyon, but should they lose 1-0 in Madrid on March 16, that away goal is not worth much.

As Lyon showed throughout the match, they are ready to score against Real Madrid and know how to attack the Spanish giants from the wings and use counter-attacks effectively. Unfortunately for Lyon, they wasted most of the first half with boring attacks that rarely threatened goalkeeper Iker Casillas. The match in Madrid will be a fascinating match given the fact that the first stage so far was one of the most evenly matched and exciting matches in the entire round of 16. However, Real Madrid will know that they have now gone seven matches without defeating Lyon, and that they had victory in their hands, and so they threw it away. Lyon might just come forward (again) for more information click here


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