PSV Eindhoven 0 Lyon 1
By Phillip Nevers, Phillips Stadium
TEN-MAN Lyon gained a measure of revenge for last season’s quarter-final defeat on penalties to PSV Eindhoven by taking a slender 1-0 lead back to France ahead of the second leg.
Brazil star Juninho scored the winning goal with a long-range free-kick as the French league leaders managed to put one foot in the quarter-finals despite Sidney Govou’s second half dismissal.
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink drew a stunning one-handed save from Lyon keeper Gregory Coupet inside 70 seconds.
In the 11th minute, Govou was released down the right flank and cut the ball back for giant Norwegian forward John Carew but he fluffed his attempted strike on goal.
On 16 minutes, Brazil defender Alex shuddered the bar with a rasping free-kick. It was end-to-end stuff and Juninho forced Gomes to tip a 40-yard free-kick over the bar.
Lyon’s Francois Clerc then came to his side’s rescue, heading the ball away at the far post from veteran Dutch full-back Michael Reiziger’s deep cross with Vennegoor of Hesselink bearing down behind him.
As the half drew to a close, it was Lyon who had enjoyed the lion’s share of the chances but PSV had wasted the clearest opportunities.
As if the first half had not been exciting enough, Gerard Houllier threw on top scorer Sylvain Wiltord for defender Cris and the second half began in much the same manner as the first, with Carew latching on to a breaking ball in the box, only to see his left-foot shot deflected wide.
Lyon’s adventurous approach paid dividends as the four-time French champions began to dictate proceedings.
Wiltord and Clerc sent speculative efforts well wide before Carew beat Gomes to a corner only to see substitute Ismail Aisatti clear his deft back-header off the line.
Lyon’s pressure finally told as the visitors took a deserved lead on 65 minutes through the impressive Juninho, but his vicious swerving free-kick should easily have been covered by Gomes and the PSV stopper will be embarrassed when he sees replays of the ball dipping under his falling body.
With 10 minutes to play, Govou was given his marching orders for a second booking and PSV substitute, the Ivory Coast striker Arouna Kone should have scored a dramatic equaliser two minutes from time but he hit the post with an open goal at his mercy.
PSV: Gomes, Reiziger, Ooijer, Alex, Lamey, Simons, Cocu, Afellay (Kone 73), Farfan, Vennegoor of Hesselink, Culina (Aissati 54).
LYON: Coupet, Clerc, Cris (Wiltord 45), Muller, Abidal, Tiago, Diarra, Juninho, Govou, Carew (Fred 63), Malouda.
Referee: Kyros Vassaras (Greece).