Monday 20 November 2017

Makoun lends bite to roaring Lyon display

Jean Makoun's brilliant second-half strike gave Lyon a deserved lead to take into the Champions League last-16 second leg at the Bernabeu.

Lyon made most of the running in the first half, hitting the woodwork, and they were rewarded for their good play a minute after the break when Makoun struck with a stunning solo effort.

There didn't seem to be much danger when Makoun picked the ball up near the centre-circle, but he was allowed to progress to within 25 yards of goal, where he sliced an unstoppable shot into the top corner. That goal consigned Madrid to their third successive defeat at the Stade Gerland, and the Spanish giants have work to do if they are avoid being dumped out at the last-16 stage for the sixth successive campaign.

An impressive Lyon side enjoyed plenty of possession early on, but Sidney Govou fired into the side-netting and then was too high with two ambitious volleys; Jean Alain Boumsong headed over and Lisandro Lopez pulled another shot wide.

At the other end, a neat flick from Cristiano Ronaldo almost put Gonzalo Higuain through and Boumsong needed to make a vital intervention to prevent Higuain having a tap-in at the far post, but otherwise Madrid produced little.

In the 40th minute, Lyon winger Cesar Delgado hit the woodwork. A corner was deflected to the edge of the area, where Delgado caught the dropping ball on the volley and his well-struck effort rebounded back off the post with Iker Casillas motionless.

After Makoun produced his moment of magic, Real were rocking, and Lyon had a couple of good chances to add a second.

The visitors gradually pulled themselves together, and Sergio Ramos' long ball sent Higuain bearing down on goal.

However, keeper Hugo Lloris did well to foil the Argentinian striker.

Irish Independent

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