NEWS
Wednesday February 26 2020
CL: Juventus falter in Lyon

Juventus have it all to do in the second leg of this Champions League Round of 16 after a 1-0 defeat to Olympique Lyonnais, failing to get a single shot on target.

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The second leg in this Round of 16 will be in Turin on March 17. Juan Cuadrado was again used in a trident attack with Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, but Douglas Costa, Sami Khedira and Giorgio Chiellini were not read for a spot on the bench, while Adrien Rabiot was preferred to Blaise Matuidi. Former Roma coach Rudi Garcia’s Lyon missed Rafael, Youssouf Kone, Jeff Reine-Adelaide and above all top scorer Memphis Depay, so January buys Bruno Guimaraes and Karl Toko-Ekambi started.

Juve had already played here twice, emerging with 1-0 wins in 2014 and 2016.

After just four minutes, Cristiano Ronaldo’s deflected cross-shot almost found Cuadrado sliding in at the back post.

Lyon caused a huge scare with their first real chance on 21 minutes, as Toko-Ekambi snuck up in front of Rodrigo Bentancur for a glancing header at the near post that smacked against the crossbar.

Ronaldo was playing very wide down the left and another cross caused huge problems for the local defenders, but on one set play Alex Sandro accidentally landed on top of Matthijs de Ligt, leaving the former Ajax man bleeding heavily from a head wound.

It was during De Ligt’s time off the field for treatment that Lyon scored the opening goal. Aouar dribbled to the by-line and was given too much room to pull it back for Lucas Tousart to prod home from six yards, relatively undisturbed at the near post.

Dembele and Ronaldo drilled attempts wide, while penalty appeals were waved away as the ball struck Juan Cuadrado on the thigh and not the hand.

Juve were visibly shaken by conceding that goal and Lyon took control, Toko-Ekambi blasting over from a tight angle after Miralem Pjanic’s misplaced back-pass and Bruno Guimaraes straight at Wojciech Szczesny.

Pjanic was not at 100 per cent after a muscular problem, so made way for Aaron Ramsey on the hour mark. Dybala had a huge chance with a cross from the left, but La Joya shinned it wide of the near post from seven yards.

Gonzalo Higuain replaced Cuadrado for the all-star trident attack in the final 20 minutes, as Juventus needed an away goal to shift the tie in their favour.

However, whenever they did manage to get into promising positions, the final ball or the finishing were invariably awful. Another Dybala half-volley was off target, as was the Higuain header on Danilo’s cross.

Ronaldo had penalty appeals, but Jason Denayer pressured him as he went up to head a cross, without an actual push.

Dybala burst down the right and pulled back for Higuain, whose first touch was poor and he prodded wide of the near post.

At the 87th minute, Dybala did have the ball in the back of the net, but he had wandered inches offside on the Bentancur through ball. That was the first shot Juventus had on target and it didn’t count.

Dybala also had quite a strong penalty shout when Bruno Guimaraes had his arm across the Argentine’s chest and seemed to pull him backwards as he tried to control the ball, but the referee and VAR waved play on. Ronaldo’s towering header in stoppages was off target too.

Lyon 1-0 Juventus

Tousart 31 (L)

Lyon: Lopes; Denayer, Marcelo, Marçal; Dubois (Tete 78), Bruno Guimaraes, Tousart, Aouar, Cornet (Andersen 81); Dembele, Toko-Ekambi (Terrier 66)

Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Bentancur (Bernardeschi 78), Pjanic (Ramsey 61), Rabiot; Cuadrado (Higuain 70), Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo

Ref: Gil Manzano (ESP)

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