Lopez gives Lyon first-leg advantage

BY foxsports • March 30, 2010

Two goals from Lisandro Lopez, a string of saves by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and some defensive blunders from Bordeaux helped Lyon secure a 3-1 win over its French rival in Tuesday's first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.

Lopez put Lyon ahead in the 10th minute before Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh equalized four minutes later with a header.

Brazilian winger Michel Bastos made it 2-1 from a tight angle in the 32nd and Lopez sealed the victory in the 77th with a penalty, sending goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso the wrong way.

"Bordeaux came to score an away goal," Lyon coach Claude Puel told Canal Plus. "The equalizer affected us a bit. But we remained lucid and focused to keep playing and go forward."

Lloris made an amazing reflex save with the score at 2-1 in the 61st, blocking a volley from five meters (yards) by Chamakh. Seven minutes later, the France goalkeeper stopped Yoann Gourcuff's free kick that was headed toward the top corner.

"We're happy about the result," Lloris said. "It was a bit of a crazy match. It could have gone either way. It tilted in our favor - it was a matter of details - but it's not over yet because Bordeaux is a great team."

The result ended Bordeaux's unbeaten run in the Champions League this season, but Lyon will miss Lopez and France winger Sidney Govou to suspension in the April 7 second leg after both picked up yellow cards.

Bordeaux, the defending French champions, missed the injured Marc Planus and suspended Alou Diarra and will hope to have them back next week.

"We're a bit disappointed," Chamakh said. "With all the chances that we created tonight, I think we should be able to create as many in the second leg. The key will be to be efficient without conceding any goals."

In a lively first half, Lopez diverted in an off-target shot from Mathieu Bodmer to score. The goal came from a missed clearance by Bordeaux defender Michael Ciani, who inadvertently redirected with his back a high ball from Aly Cissokho into Bodmer's path.

Bordeaux leveled after Gourcuff dribbled past Jeremy Toulalan on the flank to cross for Chamakh to head in from close range.

Soon after, Lyon twice came close to scoring. Bastos won the ball in the air and held off a challenge from Ludovic Sane to fire wide in the 19th. Five minutes later, Cesar Delgado collected a long ball to be clean through on goal but shot straight at Carrasso.

Chamakh was again dominant in the air in the 30th, beating Lloris to the ball only to head wide a cross from Benoit Tremoulinas.

Bastos restored Lyon's lead off a high cross from Miralem Pjanic, cutting inside with his first touch before firing into the top corner after having benefited from Tremoulinas' missed attempted header.

Bordeaux pressed forward with Gourcuff playing in Chamakh, but Lloris stopped the Morocco striker's low shot in the 39th.

"We matched them physically and managed to take the initiative, even though Bordeaux dominated possession," Lloris said.

Both teams kept playing at a high tempo in the second half.

Carrasso blocked a close-range strike from Bastos in the 70th and then Lloris had some luck straight after when Gourcuff chested the ball down for Wendel to rattle the bar with a volley.

Lyon added a third goal after Bordeaux fullback Mathieu Chalme used his arm to block a shot from Cissokho.

Bordeaux nearly conceded a fourth in the last minute but Tremoulinas cleared Cameroon midfielder Jean Makoun's header off the line.

"We know there's still a second leg left," Lloris said. "We will have to prepare well for that match and forget about the score of the first leg, because it will be a big match and we expect tremendous pressure from Bordeaux."