Lyon secure slender lead against galacticos of Madrid

Lyon 1 Real Madrid 0

Lyon 1 Real Madrid 0

Jean Makoun's brilliant second-half strike gave Lyon a deserved lead to take into the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash against Real Madrid.

Following a scoreless first half that saw Lyon make most of the running and also hit the woodwork, Makoun struck what would prove to be the only goal of the game two minutes after the break with a stunning 25-yard effort.

That goal consigned Madrid to their third successive defeat at the Stade Gerland, and the Spanish giants - whose Bernabeu stadium is the venue for this year's final - have work to do if they are avoid being dumped out at the last-16 stage for the sixth successive campaign.

An impressive Lyon side enjoyed plenty of possession in the first half and were not slow to try their luck when the opportunity presented itself.

However, all of the early efforts lacked accuracy with Sidney Govou firing into the side-netting and then over with two ambitious volleys, while Jean Alain Boumsong headed over and Lisandro Lopez pulled another shot wide.

At the other end, a neat flick from Cristiano Ronaldo almost put Gonzalo Higuain through and Boumsong needed to make a vital intervention to prevent Higuain having a tap-in at the far post, but otherwise Madrid produced little going forward in the first half.

The closest either side came to breaking the deadlock before the interval came in the 40th minute when Lyon winger Cesar Delgado hit the woodwork.

A Miralem Pjanic corner was deflected to the edge of the area, where Delgado caught the dropping ball on the volley and his well-struck effort rebounded back off the post with Casillas motionless.

The French outfit may have considered themselves unfortunate not to have been ahead at the break, but it took them less than two minutes of the second period to take the lead.

There appeared little danger when Makoun picked the ball up not too far from the centre-circle, but he was allowed to progress to within 25 yards of Casillas' goal, where he sliced an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net.

That was a huge setback for Madrid, and with their tails up, Lyon quickly set about trying to add to the Spanish side's problems.

Lisandro headed a free-kick over when perhaps he should have done better, but he got an immediate chance to make amends when, from the resulting goal-kick, Casillas' fluffed clearance went straight to him 30 yards out.

However, Madrid centre-backs Raul Albiol and Ezequiel Garay managed to get back and make things difficult, and the former Porto man ended up firing wide.

Ronaldo briefly gave his defence some respite with a deflected 25-yard effort that Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris palmed away, but moments later a rapid breakaway almost brought the home side a second goal.

Lisandro's pass put the overlapping Aly Cissokho in on the left and it needed a fine stop by Casillas to deny the young left-back.

Madrid were rocking, but then from nowhere they created a great chance to equalise.

A superb long ball forward from Sergio Ramos put Higuain in the clear, but the Argentinian's attempted clip over Lloris was stopped one-handed by the home keeper.

Higuain made way soon after that for Karim Benzema, the former Lyon striker who swapped his home-town club for Madrid in a big-money move last summer.

With Benzema on the pitch Madrid looked more threatening in the final 15 minutes, but none of their numerous attempts really came close to netting them a crucial away goal and they will need to do better in the return leg or bid farewell to their hopes of claiming a 10th European title on home soil in May.

More in this section

IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox