A quick look around the papers on Thursday February 22, the day after OL secured a draw in Rome.
[IMG41308#L]LYON AVOIDS THE TRAP. That’s the headline in l’Equipe this morning. Lyon saved itself according the sports daily, even though it adds the damper: “It won’t be that simple.” Sébastien Tarago backs up his idea with these words: “this draw isn’t a bad result for OL, but it is a scoreline that seriously complicates how they manage the return leg. To get through, Lyon will have to be better than it was in Italy. Or plan for a penalty shootout.” To sum up this clash, the editor of l’Equipe praises OL for keeping its head faced with a Rome side more set on stopping OL than playing their own game. “It had everything we hate in terms of provocation, aggression and simulation. Lovers of scoring the Italian way can reduce the match not to the actual result (0-0) but to the tally of yellow cards received: 8-3 in favour of the local team.” Enough said. [IMG41303#L]For Aujourd’hui en France: “Lyon will settle for that,” adding that, without imposing their talent, but with application and discipline, the Lyonnais managed to secure a draw that keeps their chances of qualification for the quarter finals alive. The paper says it is reassured by the performance of an OL it claims is back in top form. Christophe Bérard doesn’t forget to mention the innumerable fouls committed on Juninho: “Juninho was targeted, there was no star treatment for the Brazilian… they did everything to intimidate him.” [IMG41305#L]Le Progrès has threaded its headlines together. Anthology: “In force at Gerland, Lyon is a step ahead, united we stand or Toulalan braver than the Romans.” The Lyonnais, explains the local daily, last night played more in an arena than a stadium and the Romans were more like gladiators than footballers. The report ends with this phrase: “OL is the slight favourite for this tie. But in the return leg, Totti will be more than ever the man to watch closely.” [IMG41356#L]Free paper 20 Minutes focused not so much on the result but the disciplinary stats. “Raining cards for AS Roma-Lyon, a harsh, tense, physical match.”