Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chamakh got the goal but Lyon cruised into the semi-finals

**Lyon reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in club history with victory over Ligue 1 rivals Bordeaux.

Les Gones can thank goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for a dramatic late save.

With Lyon losing 1-0 on the night and clinging to an aggregate lead three minutes from time, Lloris leaped across goal to beat clear Wendel's goalbound bullet header.

Marouane Chamakh's first-half goal ultimately counted for nothing as Lyon's first-leg advantage held up through a tense second half.

It was no less than they deserved as, save for a spell late in the first half, they were the more composed team on the night.

Lyon went close to getting what could have been a killer away goal as early as the eighth minute, when Michel Bastos sent a powerful free-kick inches wide of the top right-hand corner of the net.

The visitors were enjoying the better of the opening stages as Bafetimbi Gomis headed just over from Cesar Delgado's corner.

Bordeaux were struggling to get their primary weapon, Chamakh, into the game, and instead their first chance went to Yoann Gourcuff, who headed over when allowed to escape his marker and meet Silva Wendell's inswinging free-kick.

When Chamakh finally did get on the ball inside the area, Jean-Alain Boumsong was able to block his shot before the referee blew for a handball by the Bordeaux forward anyway.

However, the hosts were beginning to find their feet, pegging Lyon back as they sent in several crosses to test the visitors' defence.

Wendell then delivered another free-kick from an identical spot to his first to create another chance for Chamakh. Boumsong's touch dropped the ball at his feet, but the big defender recovered to block Chamakh's shot on the turn.

At the other end, Aly Cissokho could be grateful to escape with a yellow for hitting out at Wendell after losing the ball on the left wing.

Cissokho was riding his luck when he brought down Wendell again to set up a third free-kick from the right wing, but this time the delivery did not clear the first defender.

With half-time approaching, Alou Diarra rattled the crossbar with a superb strike from distance that left Lloris with no chance, but still left Bordeaux lamenting their luck.

But seconds later, they were right back in the tie and inevitably it was Chamakh who got the goal.

Benoit Tremoulinas' cross from the left was touched on by Jaroslav Plasil and Chamakh was on hand to stab home from close range and leave the game beautifully poised at half-time.

Lyon gave Bordeaux a wake-up call early in the second half as Gomis skipped past goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso but, having been forced wide, could only find defender Marc Planus as he cut the ball back.

Bastos then lashed a shot wide from just outside the area as Bordeaux were slow the to start the half once again.

Lyon continued to pile on the pressure, with Michael Ciani forced to dive and head Bastos' goalbound shot away for a corner.

Bordeaux were producing little as an attacking force, but were perhaps unlucky not to get a penalty when Cris clumsily bundled over Chamakh on the edge of the area.

The hosts continued to push for any sort of chance they could create.

Gourcuff's dangerous free-kick from the left was headed away by Mathieu Bodmer under intense pressure, and from the resulting corner Gourcuff found Ludovic Sane free of his marker at the far post but he headed wide from a great position.

Lloris then made the save that kept Lyon in the Champions League, stretching out a strong left hand to claw away Wendell's powerful header back across goal from Mathieu Chalme's cross with three minutes left.

Team Line-Ups :

Carrasso; Sane, Ciani, Planus (Cavenaghi 84), Tremoulinas; Plasil, Diarra (Chalme 70); Wendel, Gourcuff, Jussie (Gouffran 79); Chamakh.

Lyon: Lloris; Reveillere, Cris, Boumsong (Bodmer 77), Cissokho; Toulalan, Gonalons; Delgado, Kallstrom, Bastos (Ederson 88), Gomis (Pjanic 66).


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