Giant-Killer Lyon Dump Manchester City Out Of Champions League

Lyon seem to have taken a liking to push out of the Champions League those clubs for whom winning the top European trophy has become an obsession. First, Juventus, and now, Manchester City.

Rudi Garcia’s side outclassed the Citizens 3-1 at the Joao Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon in the last Quarter-Final bout of this unprecedented summer edition, winning themselves a spot among the Top Four of Europe for the second time in their history. They will face Bayern Munich on Wednesday for a dream Semi-Final.

Lyon’s exploit also means that, for the first time, two clubs from France – the other being, of course, Paris Saint-Germain – will be battling in the Champions League Semi-Finals, with the possibility of an all-French Final.

As for Manchester City, the Champions continues to be an unreachable chimera. The Citizens crashed out of the tournament before the Semi-Finals for the fourth season in a row. It might be time to take some painful decisions at the Etihad Stadium, with even coach Josep Guardiola being potentially affected.

Pep was indeed hired with the specific objective of bringing the trophy to the sky blue side of Manchester – but, for some reason, his side continues to fall short of expectations in Europe and mostly against clubs who are weaker than his squad on paper.

Moussa Dembélé scored two despite starting from the bench. Coach Rudi Garcia had the right intuition to send him in and the 24-year-old Frenchman didn’t disappoint

Still, Cty seemed to be off to a good start tonight as they got the first chance just two minutes into the game with Joao Cancelo finding Raheem Sterling in the box. The Englishman’s pass attempt, however, was providentially cleared by Fernando Marcal.

After 24 more minutes of nothing, Lyon took the lead as Karl Toko Ekambi received a long-range pass from behind the midfield line and dashed towards the area. Eric Garcìa somehow managed to stop him but Maxwel Cornet recovered the ball and, since goalkeeper Ederson’s positioning was as bad as his neck tattoo, could surprise him on the near post with a fine curl shot.

Lyon’s keeper Anthony Lopes did better than his counterpart around the half-hour mark with a double save to deny both Joao Cancelo and Ilkay Gundogan. Manchester became dangerous again in the 41st minute with Sterling working pretty hard to service Gabriel Jesus in the middle of the box, but the Brazilian’s shot was blocked by Lopes.

Just before the break, a life-saving slide by goal-scorer Cornet stopped another Raheem Sterling chance. At half time, the French were still in the driving seat despite being pressured in the last minutes.

Lyon’s “gardien de but” Anthony Lopes produced himself in some fine goalkeeping to help his side cruising past Manchester City and into the Champions League Semi-Finals

Nothing more happened until the one-hour mark, when Anthony Lopes had to push away a tricky Kevin De Bruyne free-kick. The Belgian, however, finally found the back of the net in the 68th minute to draw level for City. Sterling progressed once again on the left flank – which Lyon had been struggling to cover for the whole game – and sent the ball in for De Bruyne’s conversion.

The equalizer seemed to galvanize Josep Guardiola’s side and Lopes had to work again in the 72nd minute to defuse a Gabriel Jesus dangerous shot.

Despite Manchester’s increasing pressure, however, Lyon took the lead again in the 78th minute with a controversial Moussa Dembélé finish. From Houssem Aouar’s cross, Toko Ekambi was offside but somehow managed to let the ball slide past him. Dembélé could thus grab it and run all alone towards the English goal to beat Ederson. Dembélé had just substituted captain Memphis Depay so props to coach Rudi Garcia for coming up with the right change.

Manchester had a quick chance to level again, but Sterling missed an incredible conversion, firing the ball above the crossbar from point-blank range from a fine Gabriel Jesus pass. Too bad for the English international, who had been the best for his side so far.

Raheem Sterling couldn’t even believe himself what he had just missed!

What’s even worse, Manchester were promptly punished for the mistake just one minute later as Dembélé bagged his brace, tapping the ball in from Ederson’s poor deflection on a Houssem Aouar shot to set the score at 3-1.

City still had the willpower to try to score one more for the honor, but Anthony Lopes proved unbeatable and preserved his side’s two-goal lead to propel Lyon into a well-deserved Champions League Semi-Final.



August 15, 2020 – Champions League 2019-20 Quarter-Finals

SCORERS: 24′ Cornet (L), 68′ De Bruyne (M), 79′ Dembélé (L), 87′ Dembélé (L)

MANCHESTER CITY (3-1-4-2): Ederson; Fernandinho (55′ Mahrez), Garcìa, Laporte; Rodri (84′ Silva); Walker, Cancelo, De Bruyne, Gundogan; Gabriel Jesus, Sterling (Bravo, Stones, Zinchenko, Bernardo Silva, Mendy, Otamendi, Foden, Doyle, Palmer, Bernabé) Coach: Guardiola
LYON (3-5-2): Lopes; Denayer, Marcelo, Marcal; Dubois (73′ Tete), Caqueret, Guimaraes (70′ Mendes), Aouar, Cornet; Depay (73′ Dembélé), Toko Ekambi (87′ Reine-Adelaide) (Tatarusanu, Diomande, Andersen, Traoré, Jean Lucas, Bard, Cherki) Coach: Garcia

REFEREE: Makkelie (Netherlands)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Fernandinho, Rodri (M), Dubois, Marcelo (L); Extra Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 5′