Lyon's Claude Puel Hails Barcelona Performance

Speaking to Le Monde, Lyon boss Claude Puel shared his thoughts on tonight's thrilling 5-2 Champions League loss against Barcelona.
Lyon boss Claude Puel spoke to the press after tonight's European tie with Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

Puel was asked for his thoughts regarding the effect Thierry Henry's early goals had on the game.

"My main regret is that we weren't able to develop our game in the first half, and that we had no reply to Barcelona's pressure. They well and truly put us under the cosh, and we had a lot of trouble relaxing their grip.

"We must congratulate Barcelona. There is always room to improve. We have been shown the way to go."

Exiting the pitch at the interval was a difficult time for Lyon, being 4-1 down at the break, but the gaffer said that he had made some changes during half-time that he hoped would salvage the game.

"We played the second half to win - letting go, moving forward. We showed a different face to the one from the first half... we knew we could do more than that. Barcelona pressed us a great deal and played the ball in the style that they know how. We didn't manage to act cleanly with the ball, so we brought Francois Clerc off at half-time so that Mathieu Bodmer could better highlight our possession.

"We had a good start to the second half but Barcelona have ensured that we couldn't play a pacy game, and the match began to grow scrappy. So, we couldn't keep up the pressure on the opponent that we started with at the beginning of the second half. We'd already shown we could turn things around in [Steaua] Bucharest or against Fiorentina. We had our chance, and we had belief in it."

Now that Lyon don't have to worry about the Champions League any more, Puel concluded with a brief thought on his plans for Ligue 1.

"As for the league season, we need everyone to mobilise, to stand up and be counted. On Sunday we have a key match with Auxerre. We must get over this appointment as quickly as possible and start defending our title. This will be a tough goal to achieve given the number of points that we've dropped."

Stephen Crawford,