The best team won, admits Lyon boss Garde

Lyon boss Remi Garde claims his side can have no complaints about their UEFA Europa League exit at the hands of Juventus on Thursday night.

Despite a spirited performance, Garde's men were beaten 2-1 at Juventus Stadium, handing the Italian champions a 3-1 aggregate win.

Lyon were given hope when Jimmy Briand responded to Andrea Pirlo's early free-kick by levelling the tie, but Claudio Marchisio's 68th-minute effort took a decisive deflection off Samuel Umtiti to send Juventus through with a degree of comfort. 

Garde took a number of positives from his side's display, yet conceded Juve deserved to progress.

He told reporters: "I have no regrets for this game, though maybe for the first leg.

"The three goals (across both legs) were a little unusual. Andrea Pirlo's free-kick was marvellous, but we conceded in the first leg at the 85th minute and today Claudio Marchisio scored with a deflection.

"I would've preferred Juve to show their superiority with better goals, but we cannot have regrets really. The best team won.

"At half-time we thought that we were getting close to a huge achievement, because we only needed to score one more goal and knew we'd have chances after the break.

"There are always regrets when you go out of a competition, but we have to recognise Juve's superiority, even if over the two legs we didn't see that much difference between the teams. I must say I'm proud of my players."

A decent performance came despite Lyon coming into the game without a host of first-team players, leaving Garde to ponder what might have been had he had a full-strength side at his disposal.

"What were we missing? Maybe half of our team, even if I can't complain about those who played tonight," he added.

"We would've had other solutions in recent games and perhaps reached this tie with fresher legs."