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Olympique Lyonnais 3-1 Girondins de Bordeaux: Gones With The Wind As Laurent Blanc’s Men Beaten

Olympique Lyonnais 3-1 Girondins de Bordeaux - Lineups/Stats
Champions League Fixtures & Results

Olympique Lyonnais have taken a large step towards the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in their history having taken a commanding 3-1 advantage over French rivals Girondins de Bordeaux in the first leg of their quarter-final.

A non-stop first period saw les Gones enjoy a half-time advantage. Lisandro Lopez poked the hosts ahead only for Marouane Chamakh to produce a swift equaliser. Neither defence looked especially comfortable, and after a slip in the visiting rearguard, Michel Bastos powered OL 2-1 up.

Bordeaux got more of a handle on proceedings after the break, but a controversial penalty was converted by Lisandro to give Claude Puel’s men a healthy advantage ahead of next week’s second leg in the Garonne.

The opening moments of the game confounded expectations as it began at a rip-roaring pace that would not relent until the half-time whistle had been blown. Firm tackles flew in and competition for the ball was fierce, though there was not a notable effort on goal until OL powered into the lead.

Michael Ciani has earned plaudits for his performances in the Champions League this term, though the former Lorient man was culpable as the home side snatched the initiative with ten minutes gone. A hopeful ball into the box from Aly Cissoko was poorly judged from the centre-back, who could only flick his header to Mathieu Bodmer. From a position on the right of the six-yard box, the utility player fizzed his centre across the face of goal for Lisandro to toe into the corner.

Les Girondins immediately silenced Stade Gerland by hitting back decisively. Yoann Gourcuff got the better of Jeremy Toulalan down the right, creating enough room to whip a magnificent centre onto the head of Chamakh, who directed his effort perfectly into the corner of Hugo Lloris’ goal.

Unrelenting in its intensity, the match could have been grasped by either side over the period until the half hour mark, but it was OL who had the better chances. Cesar Delgado found himself through on goal with just Cedric Carrasso to beat but could only ram his shot against the goalkeeper after Bastos had bent an earlier shot wide. Les Girondins would respond in kind, with Lloris brilliantly clawing away an audacious flick from Yoan Gouffran.

Another defensive error from the visiting side would present Lyon with the opportunity to move ahead once more. Some incisive one-touch passing allowed Miralem Pjanic to break forward. The Bosnian’s cross should have been cleared by Tremoulinas, but the left-back got caught under the ball, allowing Bastos to take a touch before whipping a shot into the net with his left foot.

Moments later, Delgado cracked an effort off the bar after a Bastos knockdown, though the assistant referee’s flag would have nullified the effort had it been just six inches lower.

Play was still rather frantic as half-time arrived, with comfortably saved snapshots from Chamakh and Delgado were the most meaningful strikes at goal.

While much of the bite and intensity to the fixture was maintained over half-time, Bordeaux regained their defensive composure, building a steady platform from which to attack their opponents. Efforts from distance from Wendel and Gourcuff didn’t test Lloris, but it would only be a matter of time before the custodian had to come alive in wonderful fashion.

Characteristically adventurous full-back play from Matthieu Chalme saw the former Lille defender whip a terrific diagonal cross into the Lyon box. Chamakh used every inch of his frame to direct an effort toward Lloris’ goal from six yards, but the home custodian somehow managed to react to get a firm hand on the ball, turning it away from its seemingly inevitable course into the net.

Opportunities at the opposite end of the field were rare at this point, though Jean Makoun passed up a glorious chance to extend OL’s lead. Having ghosted into space deep inside the Bordeaux box, the Cameroonian failed to take a good first touch and struggled to get power in his effort, allowing Carrasso to make the block.

Bordeaux swept to the other end of the park and gave the hosts an almighty scare within seconds. Wendel sent a thumping drive off the face of the bar, though Gourcuff seemed to handle the ball in the build-up to the Brazilian’s effort.

Quarter of an hour from time there came a massive twist. Cissokho tried a speculative effort from range that clattered off the arm of Chalme, who was stationed just inside the box. While much of the crowd anticipated a corner, referee Felix Brych pointed at the penalty spot, from where Lisandro coolly converted.

The tie could have been utterly over moments later when Cissokho sped by Chalme to reach the bye-line, dinking in a cross that was volleyed just wide by Sidney Govou. The substitute had already been booked, rendering him unable to participate in next week’s second leg, and he will be joined in the stands by Lisandro, who was harshly cautioned with ten minutes remaining.

Largely content with their lot, OL set about shutting down the game, though they did offer some threat on the break. Indeed, Makoun had a header blocked on the line by Tremoulinas.

A 3-1 lead will certainly thrill the hosts, who know how sound Bordeaux generally are defensively. After years of quarter-final frustration in the Champions League, les Gones are well placed to progress to the final four when their power domestically is arguably as low as it has been in almost a decade.

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