You are viewing the content for Thursday 22 February 2007

Cards galore as Roma and Lyon fail to score

Roma 0 Lyon 0
IT finished honours even at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday as Roma were held to a goalless stalemate by Lyon in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 encounter.

Both teams struggled to find their rhythm in a tense affair interrupted by a series of free-kicks and 11 yellow cards from referee Mike Riley.

Roma’s Francesco Totti was the first to catch a glimpse of goal in the 10th minute with a 20-yard free-kick which went high of the mark.

Minutes later, another foul allowed Juninho a free-kick for Lyon, and the visitors came close to opening the scoring when home midfielder Rodrigo Taddei headed the ball onto the right post.

Lyon threatened again in the 17th minute with a right-footed drive from Sidney Govou.

But Roma withstood the pressure and replied with an effort of their own midway through the half when Simone Perrotta drilled a 25-yard strike wide.

Neither goalkeeper had had much to do, but that changed for Alexander Doni towards the end of the half with the Roma custodian first holding onto a Florent Malouda bullet before fumbling a second strike from the French international moments later.

The visitors carried that momentum into the second half and Fred should have done better with a right-footed drive which flashed past the post.

Doni did well in the 65th minute to turn Juninho’s long-range set-piece away from the Roma goal, before Govou volleyed the resulting corner past the right post.

Set pieces provided the best opportunities for both sides as the clock ticked down. Seven minutes from time an inswinging corner from Juninho was swept off the line by defender Christian Panucci. Lyon almost snatched the win in the final minute with another free-kick from Juninho.

ROMA: Doni, Panucci, Mexes, Ferrari, Tonetto, Taddei (Vucinic 86), De Rossi, Pizarro, Mancini (Wilhelmsson 76), Perrotta, Totti.

LYON: Coupet, Clerc, Cris, Squillaci, Abidal, Tiago, Toulalan, Juninho, Govou, Fred (Baros 74), Malouda.

Referee: Mike Riley (England).