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AFP
August 9, 2020

Lyon hold off Juventus, City dump out Real Madrid

Sports

AFP
August 9, 2020

TURIN, Italy: Lyon qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Friday despite losing 2-1 in Turin.

A goal up after winning February’s first leg, French side Lyon will face Manchester City at the final tournament in Lisbon after drawing 2-2 on aggregate and going through on away goals.

Lyon squeezed past the Italian champions thanks to Memphis Depay’s 12th-minute penalty which put Rudi Garcia’s side two goals ahead in the tie and left Juve with a mountain to climb.

Needing to score three unanswered goals in order to go through, Cristiano Ronaldo tried his best to drag the Italian champions over the line.

He levelled the scores on the night with a penalty of his own with two minutes left in the opening period before crashing a second home on the hour mark.

However Juve performed poorly and Lyon managed to hold on to set up a clash with Pep Guardiola’s City, who put out 13-time winners Real Madrid, on August 15.

Despite their nine consecutive Italian league titles in a row, Juventus could not get past a French side that finished seventh in Ligue 1 this season.

Ronaldo spearheaded the Juventus attack as the five-time Champions League winner pushed for the last eight spot in his native Portugal.

Lyon’s early breakthrough came after Rodrigo Bentancur was judged to have fouled Houssem Aouar, and Depay calmly slotted past Wojciech Szczesny from the spot.

Ronaldo scored a second long range effort, with Leonardo Bonucci missing a chance minutes later.

Paulo Dybala came on with 20 minutes to go but failed to lift the Italians, with the Argentine who had been carrying a thigh injury, limping off quarter of an hour later.At Etihad Stadium, Manchester City took advantage of two shocking mistakes by Raphael Varane to beat Real Madrid 2-1 and advance to the quarter-finals as Pep Guardiola came out on top in his duel with Zinedine Zidane.

The Frenchman had never been knocked out of Europe’s elite club competition as Real coach, leading them to three consecutive victories between 2016 and 2018 in his first spell before returning to the job last year.

But Madrid had been left with a mountain to climb in this tie after throwing away the lead to lose 2-1 in the first leg in Spain in February, before the coronavirus forced the competition into hibernation.An identical defeat at an empty Etihad Stadium means it is City who advance 4-2 on aggregate.

Without Sergio Ramos due to suspension, Real were undone by mistakes by their other first-choice centre-back.Varane was dispossessed inside the box in the ninth minute allowing Raheem Sterling to put City ahead, and his poor headed backpass attempt gifted Gabriel Jesus another goal midway through the second half.

Before that second goal the tie had been in the balance with the in-form Karim Benzema having scored for the visitors just before the half-hour mark.

The circumstances may be highly unusual, but this is still City’s finest Champions League result, their most significant victory in a knockout tie.