MADRID SPAIN - JANUARY 20: Head coach Jose Mourinho of Real Madrid clenches his fist as he celebrates after his side scored the opening goal during the quarter-final Copa del Rey second leg match between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid and at Vicente Calderon Stadium on January 20 2011 in Madrid Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Real Madrid Take Upper Hand, 1-1 Result Out Of Lyon

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Olympique Lyon Vs. Real Madrid: 1-1 Full Time, Karim Benzema Goal Is Huge, But Bafetimbi Gomis Goal Keeps Tie Alive

If you were expecting a boring, defensive, tactical 0-0 draw at the Stade Gerland, you expected wrong. Real Madrid and Olympique Lyon played a great game on Tuesday night in the UEFA Champions League, complete with some great late drama that set up a return leg that could be equally entertaining. Karim Benzema's goal just seconds after he entered the game looked like the winner, but Bafetimbi Gomis answered just five minutes before the end of regular time, making the match a 1-1 draw and setting up an intriguing fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

The first half belonged to Lyon, with their gameplan working to perfection. They had the better of the chances and stifled Madrid's attack, limiting the touches in dangerous areas of Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel Di Maria, Mesut Özil, and Emmanuel Adebayor. Lyon's wide players had a serious impact on the game, while Jeremy Toulalan was probably the best player on the pitch. The first half ended 0-0, but Lyon had all of the momentum.

That momentum did not carry over, though, as Madrid came out guns blazing in the second half. During a period of less than 15 minutes, Madrid hit the woodwork twice and had a legitimate penalty shout denied, just moments before Karim Benzema entered the game. 

Painted by the media as the villain in the pre-match build up, Benzema was actually given a standing ovation by the Lyon fans when he entered the match for Adebayor in the 64th minute. Their love affair would not last, though, as it took mere seconds for Benzema to punish his former club by scoring for Madrid, giving Los Merengues a vital away goal.

Their lead would last longer than the home fans' love affair with their returning star, but only by a few minutes. In the 85th minute, Bafetimbi Gomis found a vital equalizer on a set piece, assisted by a great header from Cris, for which he beat two Madrid defenders. The ball fell right to the feet of Gomis, and despite not appearing to have his shooting boots on throughout the match, he finished when it mattered most.

Lyon were facing certain elimination down 1-0 at home, but Gomis' goal keeps things interesting. Jose Mourinho will now have a tricker return leg at the Bernabeu than he would have liked.


Olympique Lyon Vs. Real Madrid: Bafetimbi Gomis Goal Levels The Tie At 1-1

Olympique Lyon appeared to be dead in the water in their UEFA Champions League tie against Real Madrid, but Cris and Bafetimbi Gomis have brought Lyon back into the tie and leveled the first leg at Stade Gerland at 1-1. Lyon have not been nearly as good in the second half as they were in the first half and their opportunities have been extremely limited, but they made the most of one set piece opportunity that Real Madrid gave to them.

In the 83rd minute, Cris won a battle with two Real Madrid defenders to get his head on a set piece taken from the right side of the pitch by Yoann Gourcuff. His header fell to the feet of Bafetimbi Gomis, who lost his marker when the ball was sent to the opposite side of the box from where he was standing. From 12 yards out, after the ball fell to his feet, Gomis finished well past Iker Casillas at his far post, tying the match.

The crowd and the entire Lyon team has come alive since the goal, and while they spent the majority of the second half defending and looking poor going forward, Lyon are now pushing for a winner.


Olympique Lyonnais Vs. Real Madrid: Karim Benzema Scores Seconds After Entering Game

Mere seconds after entering the game for Emmanuel Adebayor, former Olympique Lyon player Karim Benzema has secured a vital away goal for Real Madrid in their UEFA Champions League tie against Benzema's former club. In case anyone thought that Benzema would play the villain if he entered the match against Lyon, he was instead given a standing ovation at the Stade Gerland.

Cutting in from the left side and exchanging a pass with Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema did well to dribble through the Lyon defense before hitting a low finish between the legs of Hugo Lloris into the back of the net. Cris made an attempt to keep the slow dribbler out of the back of the net, but could only find the inside of the side netting with his attempted clearance.

It's been an extremely eventful few minutes at the Stade Gerland, with Madrid being denied a penalty just a minute before the substitution. Ronaldo took a free kick from the left flank which was blocked by Jeremy Toulalan, but illegally so, with his hands up near his face. The referee didn't spot the infraction, and play went on. Quickly following that was the substitution and goal, which was followed by three more substitutions. Jose Mourinho replaced Sami Khedira with Lassana Diarra, while Claude Puel made a double switch, bringing on Jeremy Pied and Jimmy Briand for Cesar Delgado and Michel Bastos.


Olympique Lyon Vs. Real Madrid: Los Merengues Wake Up, Hit The Woodwork Twice

The start to the second half has gone much better than the first half for Real Madrid in their UEFA Champions League tie against Olympique Lyon. Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos have been the attacking catalysts, and Los Merengues are extremely unlucky to not have at least one goal.

In less than two minutes, Madrid struck the woodwork twice, both off set piece opportunities. The first one came from Ronaldo in the 49th minute, as he took a free kick 30 yards away from goal, taking the set piece from a very acute angle, wide to the left. Madrid were set up for an in-swinging cross to someone's head, but instead Ronaldo went for goal, striking the far post and missing a chance to score. On the ball's way in towards the post, Ramos attempted to connect with a header and missed by mere millimeters.

Less than two minutes later, Madrid had another fantastic opportunity on a corner kick. Mesut Özil sent in a great delivery which Ramos got his head to this time, but his header bounced off the crossbar.

Real Madrid are looking exceptionally dangerous, but the score still stands at 0-0.

In an additional bit of news, Michel Bastos of Lyon has picked up a yellow card and will now be suspended for the second leg through yellow card accumulation.


Olympique Lyon Vs. Real Madrid: 0-0 Halftime, Les Gones With The Better Of The Play

After a great start, Olympique Lyon remained successful in their endeavor to stifle play and dirty up their UEFA Champions League match against Real Madrid, and they've carried a 0-0 draw into halftime. 45 minutes into their fourth ever match at the Stade Gerland, Los Merengues still have not been able to score in the building. Not only have Lyon shut them down, they've also had the better of the play, creating many more chances. Their passing hasn't been very crisp, but they've looked great in all other aspects of the game.

Real Madrid's Mesut Özil has been their biggest work horse, working hard to try to find the ball in all areas of the pitch. Jeremy Toulalan has made him work hard and forced him outside, keeping Özil from getting on the ball in the dangerous central positions that he likes.

It's been a very disciplined game, with the tactics and formations of the two teams cancelling each other out. If Real Madrid are going to score and take an away goal back home, Ronaldo and Emmanuel Adebayor are going to have to do more to get the ball in dangerous positions. Neither player looks their best, and Ronaldo looks annoyed that he hasn't been able to have a great influence on the game.


Olympique Lyon Vs. Real Madrid: Hosts Executing Their Gameplan Early

Olympique Lyon are off to a good start in their UEFA Champions League match against Real Madrid, executing their gameplan to perfection to start the match. Mesut Özil is struggling to find space, Cristiano Ronaldo has been harassed, Jeremy Toulalan is controlling the midfield, Lyon look dangerous attacking down the wings, and Sergio Ramos has already picked up a yellow card for a nasty tackle on Cesar Delgado.

That last point is important, as Ramos doesn't have the greatest disciplinary record. He's been sent off a total of 22 times in his career, and Delgado appears to be giving him problems out wide. It wouldn't be surprising to see him targeted throughout the match.

On the other side, Michel Bastos looks effective when he can get forward, but he's being pinned back a bit by Ronaldo. It seems like harassing Ronaldo is his primary job tonight, rather than going forward. Most of the attacking is going through Delgado and Bafetimbi Gomis, and though Gomis looks slightly rusty with his technique, he still looks dangerous.


Olympique Lyon Vs. Real Madrid: Lineups

Claude Puel and Jose Mourinho have provided us with no surprises in their lineups for the UEFA Champions League match between Olympique Lyon and Real Madrid, playing their regular formations and the starting XIs that everyone expected to see. The teams should come very close to matching each other in formation, though their styles of play and how the players on the pitch change the formations in practice will likely be a much different story.

Olympique Lyon lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Reveillere, Cris, Lovren, Cissokho; Toulalan, Kallstrom; Delgado, Gourcuff, Bastos; Gomis

Real Madrid lineup (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Ramos, Pepe, Carvalho, Arbeloa; Khedira, Alonso; Ronaldo, Özil, Di Maria; Adebayor

With Gonzalo Higuain injured and out for the rest of the season, Mourinho has decided to go with Emmanuel Adebayor ahead of former Lyon player Karim Benzema, which isn't much of a surprise. Cristiano Ronaldo might have his work cut out for him today as Lyon's left winger, Michel Bastos, is proficient in aiding the defense with their work. Since counter-attacking through the middle is not necessarily the strong suit of Lyon, we could see a fair bit of Sami Khedira making his trademark forward runs from his normal deep central midfield position. All in all, both lineups are loaded with talent and an entertaining tactical battle has the potential to unfold. Kickoff is at 2:45 pm ET and the game can be seen in the United States on local Fox Sports Net affiliates or on Or, just stay with SBNation for live coverage throughout the match.


Lyon Vs. Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League Preview: Will One Year, Mourinho Change Blancos' Fate

As Real Madrid prepares for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie versus Olympique Lyon, they can't help but rewind exactly one year to the same round of the same competition when Lyon bested the Blancos en route to a semifinal appearance. With the painful memory of a promising season gone awry as early as March thanks to Lyon, Madrid will look to change things this season thanks to the biggest acquisition either club has made since last season, the hiring of Jose Mourinho.

In the first leg of the tie last year, Lyon did well to defeat Madrid 1-0, but the Spanish giants were supposed to do away with the pesky French in the second leg. What was supposed to happen was ruined though when Miralem Pjanić scored a 75th minute equalizer at the Bernabeu to dash the dreams of the Spaniards and ignite those of the French, who would also win an all-French quarterfinal against Bordeaux.

Lyon's dispatching of Madrid last season was not a one-off. When the two clubs were put in the same group four years ago, OL topped the group with a familiar formula, winning at home and drawing in Spain. The exact same scenario played out the year before that as well. In their six Champions League match-ups, Lyon has come away 1-0, 2-0 and 3-0 winners at home and grabbed a draw in all three away matches.

What Madrid has now that they didn't in those six prior matches and is something quite special, Jose Mourinho. The Special One isn't just trying to end a stretch of failures against Lyon though, but a six year stretch in which the famed club has not advanced past the round of 16.

"A lot of new players came to Madrid this year and have never played in a game between Lyon and Real. Lyon are a good team, who have experience of this kind of game. But we are Madrid," Mourinho said.

The Madrid manager was quick to acknowledge Lyon and their successes though, making clear that Lyon is not an easy side to beat. If we think that both games will be easy, it's going to be difficult for us. We have to do well in both games. We know our ability and won't underestimate Lyon."

Even with their recent success against Madrid, Lyon enters the match a clear underdog, something only made more pronounced by the absence of Lisandro. The deadly Argentinean striker will miss the first leg of the tie after he picked up an hamstring injury and now the team will have to find attacking prowess elsewhere.

Despite Lisandro's absence putting Lyon even bigger underdogs, the club's manager Claude Paul has no doubt that his club can do away with Madrid.

"Last year, few people believed in us. We managed to raise our game and maybe it surprised Madrid. I think the best of Lyon is still to come."

While Lisandro's absence will definitely be felt, much of the match will be determined by how Lyon copes with the new additions that Mourinho brought in, specifically in the midfield. Sami Khedeira, Angel di Maria and Mesut Ozil, Madrid's triumvirate of young midfielders give the Blancos a boost in skill and pace in the midfield that will make this season's tie very different than last season's.

With Madrid's dynamic youngsters in the fold, whether starting or on bench and pushing forward or sitting deeper in the midfielder, Jeremy Toulalan's importance would be magnified. The French international will be charged not with providing some sort of calm in the field, but also helping the back line deal with Christiano Ronaldo, a task no one would envy.

A popular subplot from last season's tie that is back is the return of Karim Benzema to his youth club where he went on to make his senior club debut as part of a 112 cap stint with Lyon. With Gonzalo Higuain out injured, Benzema has taken on a bigger role with Real Madrid and he's taken advantage of the opportunity with 12 goals this season, four of which have come in the Champions Leaugue.

The talented 23-year-old moved from Lyon to Madrid with great fanfare as the next great French striker, but he's fallen short of expectations. The loss to Lyon last season was said to have stung Benzema more than others because he was unable to make much of an impact in his only appearance in the tie, a 26 minute cameo off the bench in the first leg. With another chance to put Madrid past Lyon and this time with a greater role thanks to Higuain's injury. Benzema will surely be licking his chops at the opportunity in front of him.

Even if Benzema gets his chance this season, the real focus will be on the new members in the club. Along with the young trio of midfielders, Emmanuel Adebayor is with the team, but the real attention will be placed on Mourinho. Thus far in his reign at the Bernabeu, Mourinho hasn't produced the special results that are much different than that of his predecessors and Madrid continues to play second fiddle to Barcelona in La Liga, but he is a manager who has a history of turning around clubs from past Champions League failure.

"It's been six years since Madrid reached the quarter-finals. When I was at Inter, the club hadn't won the Champions League for more than 50 years. Is it possible to do it this year? We have to beat Lyon," Mourinho said ever aware of his own accomplishments.

Step one for Madrid will be avoiding defeat at the Stade de Gerland, something they have been unable to do. Last year's 1-0 defeat in Lyon was the best that Real Madrid have managed at the stadium, but they'll be aiming to better it this time around and steal a page out of the Lyon blueprint. Go on the road and get the draw then take care of business at home to book a place in the quarterfinals of the world's biggest club tournament.

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