Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Five Goals Thriller Lyon vs Bayern

Lyon vs Bayern Munich 2-3
Heading into this contest, both sides had already secured their passage to the next stage of the competition; however both undoubtedly were desperate for victory in this match, as the winner would finish atop of the group.

Bayern Defeat Lyon In Thriller To Top Group F
Lyon may be top of Ligue 1 and into the knock out stage of the Champions League but there is a sense that the perennial French champions are not firing on all cylinders at present, despite the fact that they have won three successive matches in this competition. For this contest, the home side was without Cris and Juninho through suspension, along with Frédéric Piquionne, Mathieu Bodmer, Francois Clerc and Anthony Reveillere who were unavailable through injury.

The situation was different for the visitors however, as they knew that victory or a scoring draw would be enough to finish on top. They had to go about their business without two key players in Lucio and Zé Roberto, who were late withdrawals because of illness and injury respectively. Martin Demichelis partnered Daniel van Buyten in defence, whilst Tim Borowski was given a rare start in the midfield.

First Half

The home side got the crucial Group F clash underway at the Stade de Gerland, and despite losing possession almost immediately, it was they that started the brighter in the opening minutes, as after just two minutes of play, Michael Rensing was forced into making a wonderful save to deny an Ederson header, following a glorious chip into the area by Karim Benzema.

Lyon continued their early dominance with another glorious opportunity, just moment later, when Ederson’s powerful drive was trickled just wide of the post, as the home crowd began to lift in voice.

Despite not having much of the play in the opening ten minutes, it was Bayern that broke the deadlock on 11 minutes, as Miroslav Klose capitalized on some poor defending by Lyon. A wonderful ball into the area by Phillipp Lahm caused some confusion amongst the French defenders, as Tim Borowski and Franck Ribery did well to put pressure on those in possession. Eventually Jeremy Toulalan’s weak clearance fell into the path of Klose, who made no mistake from inside the area.

Immediately following the goal, Mounier went on a surging run down the left for the French club, and his glorious ball into the area was met by the lively Benzema, although once again the ball was narrowly off target.

Moments later, Tim Borowoski managed to get on the end of some great work by the Bavarians in their attacking third, as the German club looked to double their advantage. The midfielder failed to finish off Ribery’s delicate cut back into the area however, as his unbalanced effort narrowly sailed over the bar.

The intensity dropped a little over the next ten minutes, as the visitors began to take control of proceedings. Despite this however, Claude Puel’s men continued to do all they could to get forward in numbers, as their highlight in this period came on 23 minutes, when a poor challenge from Borowski on Ederson gave them a free kick in an extremely dangerous shooting position. Karim Benzema took the resulting kick, but his effort failed to beat the wall, and the score remained 1-0.

On 34 minutes, Ribery made it 2-0 with a clinical strike that gave Hugo Lloris no chance in goals. Luca Toni’s wonderful turn and through ball was met by Ribery, who easily made his way past Lamine Gassama, and then coolly finished from inside the area. 2-0 to Bayern at this stage, and the Stade de Gerland was stunned.

As was the case after the first goal, the home side almost immediately responded with a goal of their own, and it was through Ederson again who saw his powerful drive from 25 yards rebound off the post, and unfortunately for their sake, lady lucked seemed not to be on their side tonight.

Astonishingly, just three minutes later, the Bavarians made it 3-0, as Klose grabbed his second off the match. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ribery, once again, combined brilliantly on the left, after some impressive passing that came to an end when Ribery spotted an unmarked Klose at the back post. With the goal at his mercy, the German international made no mistake, as his miss-hit shot into the ground, was too good for Lloris in goal. 3-0 at this stage, and Bayern had all but wrapped up top spot in Group F.

Benzema tried to restore some pride for the French club, as they looked to end the half on a high; however his powerful effort just prior to the interval, was off target again, and that’s how it ended, with Lyon trailing by three goals to nil at the break.

Second Half

Surprisingly there were no changes made by either coach at the break, as the visitors got the play underway in the second half. It didn’t take long for them to pick up from where they left off however, as they managed to win two corners within the first two minutes of play.

On 50 minutes Ribery should have made it four, following some great work by Schweinsteiger in the area, however it was Lyon who struck first in the second half, as Sidney Govou managed to get one back for the home side. Ederson’s right-footed drive from just inside the area was well dealt with by Rensing; however the stand-in captain was there to coolly tap the keeper’s save back past him and into the back of the net.

The French side certainly lifted in confidence following their goal, as they continuously moved forward with real purpose over the course of the next ten minutes. Their best opportunity came from an Ederson corner, just prior to the hour mark, when Govou’s header came back off the post, only for the defender Mensah to fail to score from all of two yards out, thanks to a courageous effort by Rensing in goal.

Claude Puel made a double switch on 63 minutes, with Kim Källström coming on for Gassama, and Fred coming on for Mounier, as the coach looked to change the structure of his line-up, with the Brazilian striker partnering Benzema up front. The change almost had an immediate impact too, as both players were involved in a fantastic team play by Lyon, as they continued to press for their second goal.

On 68 minutes, Lyon’s star man Benzema incredibly made it 3-2 as he managed to get on the end of a deflected pass forward. With Rensing and the goals ahead, Benzema strolled around the visiting keeper, and made no mistake by smashing it into an unguarded net. It was the 20-year-old’s 12th goal in 17 Champions League appearances, and incredibly the home side trailed by just one goal with over 20 minutes remaining.

Immediately after the goal, Bayern made a substitution, as Andreas Ottl came on for Klose, meaning that Luca Toni was to play as the lone striker for the final 20 minutes of the match. Ottl had a wonderful opportunity to grab his side’s fourth just moment after coming on too, as his effort from outside the area narrowly missed the target.

The next ten minutes were a lot quieter, as the five man Bayern midfield began to slow down Lyon’s run of play. Over this period, Govou went extremely close to scoring an own goal as his attempted clearance struck Boumsong; however Lloris was able to clear the ball, despite some heavy pressure from Van Buyten. And on 80 minutes, Lloris’ counterpart Rensing was forced into making a world-class save, to deny a Fred header that could have so easily leveled the score line.

Lyon gave everything in the closing stages, but the Bavarians held firm, and were determined not to concede yet another. It was extremely tough for both sides to find a way through in the last ten minutes, however when the three minutes of stoppage time was indicated by the fourth official, the home side lifted, and almost scored through Benzema and Fred. Rensing did really well to deny Benzema, whilst Fred’s header was denied by a tremendous interception by Demichelis.

Full time was blown by the referee, and this thrilling contest ended 3-2 to Bayern Munich, meaning that they will qualify as winners of Group F, with Lyon finishing in second. It was the French side’s first defeat of the campaign; however it means little, as both side’s move on to the next phase of the competition.


Lyon (4-5-1): Lloris; Gassama, Mensah, Boumsong, Grosso; Makoun, Toulalan, Govou, Mounier, Ederson; Benzema

Bayern Munich (4-4-2): Rensing; Oddo, Demichelis, Van Buyten, Lahm; Schweinsteiger, Van Bommel, Borowski, Ribéry; Klose, Toni


11’ Klose (Bayern Munich)

34’ Ribery (Bayern Munich)

37’ Klose (Bayern Munich)

53’ Govou (Lyon)

68’ Benzema (Lyon)

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