Sunday 17 December 2017

Lloris keeps Bordeaux at bay as Lyon march on

Lyon can thank goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for a dramatic late save as they reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in their history with victory over Ligue 1 rivals Bordeaux.

With Lyon losing 1-0 on the night and clinging to an aggregate lead three minutes from time, the outstanding Lloris leaped across goal to punch clear Wendell's goalbound header.

Marouane Chamakh's first-half goal ultimately counted for nothing as Lyon's first-leg advantage held up through a tense second half.

Lyon were in pole position after their 3-1 victory in last week's first leg, but Chamakh's strike left the tie on a knife edge.

However, the hosts couldn't find that crucial second goal as their domestic rivals booked a last-four encounter with Bayern Munich.

The visitors started well, with Michel Bastos' ambitious 35-yard free-kick whistling just past the post after nine minutes. Bordeaux were desperate for an early goal to breathe life into their hopes in the tie, but they struggled to impose themselves.

Wendel's left-footed cross in the 18th minute cause some panic in the Lyon defence, but Yoann Gourcuff headed over the bar.

That chance seemed to invigorate Bordeaux and just before half-time Alou Diarra almost gave Bordeaux a lifeline as his 25-yard half-volley rattled the crossbar. But the the home side didn't have to wait much longer to break the deadlock. Right on the stroke of half-time Chamakh turned home Tremoulinas' deflected cross from the left to blow the tie wide open.

Bordeaux pushed for that crucial second goal, with Wendel dragging wide from 20 yards after 54 minutes.

With 10 minutes to go Bordeaux wasted a glorious chance. Matthieu Chalme ghosted in at the back post but he skewed his header wide and right at the death Wendel was denied by the impressive Lloris.

Irish Independent

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