Manchester City face Lyon in the Champions League quarter-finals at the Jose Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon on Saturday.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the French side.
Reaching the last eight
Lyon stunned perennial Serie A winners Juventus to reach the last eight for the first time in a decade. Les Gones beat the Italians 1-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie in February and then went through on away goals after a 2-1 defeat in Turin in the long-delayed second leg last week. They needed to survive a nail-biting finale as, after taking an early lead with a Memphis Depay penalty at the Allianz Stadium, Juve powered back with a Cristiano Ronaldo double. “We came up against an opponent who has an extraterrestrial in its squad,” said relieved Lyon boss Rudi Garcia after his side held on.
The glory of Lyon’s progress to the reformatted last-eight tournament in Portugal masks the fact their recent form is poor. When Ligue 1 was abandoned in March due to Covid-19, Lyon were seventh in the table and reeling from a 5-1 defeat by Paris St Germain in the French Cup semi-finals and another loss to Lille. When the season was concluded with the French League Cup final in July, Lyon were beaten by PSG again, this time on penalties. Their last competitive victory came on March 1.
Under Garcia, who took charge in October, Lyon have been well organised, good at soaking up pressure and strong on the counter. The 56-year-old former Lille, Roma and Marseille coach succeeded Sylvinho, who lasted just five months in the post, although his appointment was not warmly welcomed by fans who had expected ex-PSG and France boss Laurent Blanc to get the job. Their main dangermen include former Celtic forward Moussa Dembele, who has scored 24 goals this season, and one-time Manchester United player Depay, fit again after a cruciate ligament injury.
City met Lyon in the group stages last season and failed to get the better of them. Lyon, then coached by Bruno Genesio, claimed a surprise 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium in the opening game and City needed to come from behind twice to draw 2-2 at the Groupama Stadium. Star players such as Tanguy Ndombele, Ferland Mendy and Nabil Fekir have since left the club but Ivory Coast international Maxwell Cornet, who scored three of Lyon’s four goals against City last term, is still part of the side. Centre-back Jason Denayer was on City’s books from 2013-18 but never made a first-team appearance.
Champions League history
Lyon have plenty of Champions League pedigree with the current campaign being their 16th in the competition – four more than any other French club – and fourth in five seasons. It is the fourth time they have reached the last eight but only once have they gone on to reach the semi-finals, in 2010.
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