OL - Juventus : A feat to set us on our way! (1-0)
4 '. Small lob attempted by Ronaldo which passes by the goal.
21 '. Toko Ekambi's header crashes off the crossbar.
27'. A shot from distance by Sandro flies over.
32 '. Tousart scores from point blank range from a cross by Aouar. 1-0.
34 '. Shot by Dembélé is off-target.
35 '. Ronaldo has an unsuccessful attempt.
41 '. Toko Ekambi comes close after taking advantage of an opponent's mistake.
45 + 2. Shot from distance by Guimaraes ends up in Szczesny's gloves.
69. Half-volley by Dybala passes close to the post.
82. Higuain misses a header.
90 + 4. Ronaldo has a free header... off target!
The dream week could begin at last. Wedged into the fixture list before the derby and a Coupe de France semifinal against PSG at home, the visit of Juventus in the Round of 16 of the Champions League served as the first episode of a prestigious trio of matches. The Groupama Stadium, as usual, responded by showing up in fine voice, as they do for major events. On the pitch, Rudi Garcia had decided to bring back the three-man defense used in Metz at the weekend to try to counter the Turin side. The start of the match proved him right with a low block in place but above all a team who were transformed offensively. Combinations, movement, an enormous sense of determination ... so many ingredients served to destabilize the Old Lady, who came very close to conceding on when Toko Ekambi hit the crossbar. The breakthrough came when Houssem Aouar surged forward on his side and crossed for Lucas Tousart to open the score. One would have imagined that the reaction of Juve would be immediate and quick to cool a fiery affair. Lyon, however, had a plan to respond, keeping their opponent in check. A breakthrough goal was even deserved just before the break but it did not come in the end.
Juventus seemed to return from the break with other intentions, but Lyon had kept their own. Twenty minutes played in the second half and Anthony Lopes was still unbothered in his goal, despite possession being in favor of the Italians. The bianconeri pressure was getting a little stronger but Jason Denayer's teammates fiercely defended their narrow lead. The hosts were buoyed by an audience as noisy as they were enthusiastic. Higuain did not have his usual success and allowed OL to keep dreaming. Added time was announced but Lyon did not crack and avoided a goal conceded at home, which could have cost them dearly! OL did the job during this first leg and will go again on March 17 with an eye towards qualifying for the quarterfinals!
. EXPERT ANALYSIS - BRYAN BERGOUGNOUX
The Lyon players raised their level and reminded everyone that OL are a great European club. Congratulations to the players who delivered a great performance, especially in a first half perfectly mastered from both a technical and tactical standpoint and delivered throughout with a lot of commitment. There was a very good start to the match. We were very good at using the ball. The Italians could not break out of their half. We must congratulate the coach who made great tactical choices. Juve didn’t show much but it’s because we contained them well; congratulations to OL.
At Groupama Stadium, Décines.
UCL (Round of 16 first leg) : OL – Juventus Turin 1-0 (1-0)
Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano. Attendance: 57 335.
Goals: Tousart (32’) for OL.
Bookings : Marcelo (28’), Cornet (61') for OL.
OL : Lopes – Denayer (cap.), Marcelo, Marçal – Dubois (Tete, 78'), Guimaraes, Tousart, Aouar, Cornet (Andersen, 81') – Toko Ekambi (Terrier, 66'), Dembélé. Manager : Rudi Garcia.
Juventus : Szczesny – Danilo, Bonucci (cap.), De Ligt, Alex Sandro – Bentancur, Pjanic (Ramsey, 62'), Rabiot (Bernardeschi, 78') – Cuadrado (Higuain, 70'), Dybala, Ronaldo. Manager : Maurizio Sarri.
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