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Lyon vs. Real Madrid UEFA Champions League preview

by Jean Paul Thiery on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

An emphatic home win against Olympique Lyonnais on matchday three has left Real Madrid well clear at the top of Group D and the Spanish side are seeking to continue their domination of the section at Stade de Gerland.

Madrid made it three wins out of three with a 4-0 success at the Santiago Bernabéu, former Lyon striker Karim Benzema opening the scoring to set his former side on the way to their heaviest UEFA Champions League defeat as Madrid opened up a five-point lead at the top of the table.

These teams are meeting for the third successive season and have been paired together in four of the past six campaigns. In 2010/11 Madrid beat Lyon 4-1 on aggregate in the round of 16, drawing 1-1 away, but the previous year it was the French side who had the upper hand.

When the clubs played earlier this year in France, Benzema gave Madrid the lead 60 seconds after coming on as a substitute, Bafétimbi Gomis levelling seven minutes from time. In the Madrid return, goals from Marcelo, Benzema and Ángel Di María gave the hosts an emphatic 3-0 victory.

The lineups at Stade de Gerland on 22 February 2011 were:
Lyon: Lloris, Cris, Lovren, Källström (Pjanić 77), Bastos (Briand 69), Réveillère, Gomis, Delgado (Pied 69), Cissokho, Toulalan, Gourcuff.
Madrid: Casillas, Carvalho, Pepe, Ramos, Ronaldo, Alonso, Arbeloa, Di María, Özil (Marcelo 75), Khedira (L. Diarra 68), Adebayor (Benzema 64).

When the teams met at the same stage 12 months previously, Lyon’s Jean Makoun scored the only goal of the first leg. A 1-1 draw in Madrid took Lyon through, Miralem Pjanić cancelling out Cristiano Ronaldo’s early opener.

The sides also played in the group stage in 2005/06 and 2006/07, Lyon winning both home games without conceding a goal and drawing twice in Spain.

Lyon have made it through to the knockout phase in the past eight campaigns while Madrid ended a run of six successive last-16 eliminations when they reached last season’s semi-finals.

Lyon have twice lost to FC Bayern München in their last 20 home fixtures in the competition, including the play-off round, but are otherwise unbeaten, winning 11 and drawing seven of the other 18 games.

In Madrid’s 15 participations to date they have never once failed to make it through to the knockout rounds and in three of the last four seasons they have emerged as group winners. Away from home in the group stage they are on an eight-match unbeaten run of which six have been won, scoring 18 goals and conceding six.

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