Lyon knew that they would have to survive instead of thrive if they were to make their way through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League last night. While they did get off to a good start thanks to Memphis Depay, it was a tough night in Turin for them as they had to hold off the Champions of Italy.
Still, even though Juventus have some pretty ferocious firepower, they weren’t quite able to get the job done as they only won 2-1 on the night – losing on away goals. Today, we’re going to take a look at five things we’ve come to learn since the full-time whistle was blown.
Respect Ligue 1
While winning the Champions League isn’t exactly a popular pastime for French clubs, you really do have to praise them for what they’ve been able to accomplish as a league this season. The quarter-finals will feature two clubs from Ligue 1 with Lyon qualifying alongside Paris Saint-Germain, and that hasn’t happened purely through luck. They need to be respected for their achievement because if they can get at least one side in the semis, it could be huge for their reputation.
Away goals query
Some fans and pundits have always questioned the logic behind the away goals rule, and that’s especially true in the modern era. While Lyon did manage to score one away goal compared to Juve scoring none, Lyon didn’t have to play in front of any fans in Italy. There’s an argument to be made that the away goals rule should have been eradicated for this tie, especially with the Old Lady not scoring in the first leg.
Manchester City awaits
Manchester City’s win over Real Madrid last night confirmed that they will serve as Lyon’s opponents in the last eight. Right now, 888sport has Lyon down as huge 8/1 underdogs to win the game and make their way into the final four. It’s obviously going to be a very tough encounter, but we don’t really think they have anything to be afraid of. They’re good enough to beat City, and now, it’s just a case of proving that.
CR7 deserves better
Cristiano Ronaldo may be entering the last few years of his professional career, but in the second leg, he proved that he still has what it takes to compete at this level. He scored both of Juve’s goals with the second being particularly special, but he couldn’t quite do enough to get them over the finish line. There have been some whispers about a new strike partner being brought in to try and give him the support he needs, and if it’s someone like Raul Jimenez, then fans have a reason to get excited.
Sarri is gone
It has been confirmed that manager Maurizio Sarri has been sacked as Juventus manager after the club were knocked out of the Champions League last night. The pursuit of a new manager is likely to begin almost immediately, with many tipping Mauricio Pochettino to be the man to take over. It would undoubtedly be a big and impressive appointment, but the size of this task isn’t as small as some may choose to believe. Sure, they’re the kings of Italy, but they were fortunate not to lose their crown this season – and supporters are desperate to climb back to the top of the European mountain.
Juventus: Szczesny (6.5), Sandro (7.5), Bonucci (7), de Ligt (6.5), Cuadrado (6.5), Rabiot (6.5), Pjanic (6.5), Bentancur (6.5), Bernardeschi (6.5), Ronaldo (8), Higuain (6.5), Olivieri (6), Ramsey (6), Danilo (6), Dybala (6.5)
Lyon: Lopes (6.5), Denayer (6.5), Marcelo (7), Marcal (6), Dubois (6), Caqueret (7), Guimaraes (6), Aouar (7.5), Cornet (6.5), Ekambi (6), Depay (6.5), Tete (6), Dembele (6.5), Reine-Adelaide (6), Andersen (6.5), Mendes (6)
Referee: Felix Zwayer
Goals: Ronaldo x2 :: Depay
Yellow Cards: Cuadrado, Bentancur, Marcal, Dubois, Caqueret, Aouar, Cornet, Depay
Red Cards: N/A