In what was arguably the best day in the history of Olympique Lyon’s history, the French team applied a 3-1 rout against English Premier League giants Manchester City. Lyon knocked City out of the ongoing UEFA Champions League and booke semi-final clash against Bayern Munich.
On the other hand, Manchester City, who were being touted as one of the favourites to win the title this season, wasted the opportunity. Manager Pep Guardiola will be questioned for his decision to put Fernandinho on the right, Aymeric Laporte in the middle and Eric Garcia on the left in a very defensive line-up.
Even though in the first few minutes it looked like Guardiola’s tactic was paying dividends, Lyon acclimatised within 10 minutes. After City created three chances in the opening eight minutes with a lion’s share in ball possession, the game started to change and the Lyon team started to take shape.
Surprising mane around the globe, Lyon went up in the 23rd minute when Maxwel Cornet saw the back of the net through a rebounding delivery which came off Garcia’s tackle of Toko Ekambi’s strike. The goal was even reviewed by the video referee, but confirmed shortly thereafter.
City’s response came soon after, with the English team growing in the game against Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes performing four saves in the first half, ensuring that the game went to the interval with minimal advantage.
At the beginning of the second half, Guardiola was forced to bring on attacker Riyad Mahrez for Brazilian defender Fernandinho.
The change seems to have had an effect and after 23 minutes of the half, when Mahrez on the left released Sterling, who assisted De Bruyne from the byline.
Four minutes later, Lyon’s number nine, Moussa Dembele, received a free kick on the right, advanced and hit between the legs of Brazilian Ederson. The French team was again ahead on the scoreboard.
Five minutes later, after Ederson’s rebound, Dembele scored the third and finish off oil-rich City, who are still yet to progress to the semifinals of Champions League, despite spending more than two billion euros on player transfers in the past decade.
With this result, the semifinals are already defined with two French and two German teams. On one hand, Paris Saint Germain and RB Leipzig are playing on Tuesday, and on the other, Bayern Munich and the newly qualified Lyon, on Wednesday.
With IANS inputs