first team / Real - OL D -1

And why not?

Published on the 15 March 2011 à 19:42 by R.B

Even if Real are favourites and in a better position than last season, OL can still believe in their chances at a ground where they have never lost...A qualification would, however, be synonymous with an exploit even greater than last season's...


OL return to the road to Madrid with a head full of memories. 3 draws, high quality games punctuated notably by a qualification for the quarter-finals in March 2010. Unforgettable. 12 months have passed. The sorcerer Mourinho has taken control of Real. Özil, Adebayor, Khedira, Carvalho have all arrived. Ronaldo still scores as many goals. Karim Benzema, has taken on another dimension. He has, for example, just managed to put away 3 two goal hauls in a row in the league.

This Real who win all of their matches at the Bernabeu, 21 in a row since the arrival of the Portuguese coach on the bench, still has ambitions to match their prestige. And inevitably, it is not illogical to think that Real 2010-2011 is stronger than last season, even if the match at Gerland left a more than lukewarm impression. A premature exit, the 7th in a row at this stage of the competition, would obviously leave a black mark on the business card of the "Special One", who already sees FC Barcelona 5 points ahead in the Liga. Mourinho will be counting on the talent of the incomparable Ronaldo back after a short stay in the infirmary. One can easily imagine that he will find the words to exacerbate this feeling of revenge after the famous three previous failures at home. But how will this devil of Mourinho want to achieve this qualification? Play for a 0-0 ... ignite the encounter from the start... put on a show ... or just the strict minimum...


OL therefore return to this "successful" road, knowing that they will once again have to pull off an exploit. An exploit of another dimension, since at kickoff, they are eliminated after the 1-1 draw in the first leg. Something that Claude Puel refutes. "Absolutely not. It's another game to play...." Yes, but how to play it? This is almost certainly the question that runs through everybody’s heads. Should they wait and if possible make the 0-0 last? Remember the return leg at Manchester after the 1-1 draw at the Stade Gerland in 2008! "We will have to start the game better than last year when we came close to a disaster...." Jérémy Toulalan has not forgotten Real’s missed opportunities after the opener from Ronaldo...

How to play? With the tandem Lisandro-Gomis in a 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 formation? Difficult to predict the choices of the Olympian coach who was pleased to see that everything worked well in recent weeks by changing the men and the animation. Lisandro is 100% ready to start; Gomis, despite his excellent performances of the moment, could start on the bench. Other questions: Will Cris, Gourcuff and Cissokho line up at kickoff? It seems unlikely that the captain and the playmaker be left on the bench. As for Cissokho, if he has recovered, he will start on the left flank of the Olympian defence.


This new episode between Lyon and Madrid raises expectations, excitement, fear, questions and hope ... Cris and his partners have the opportunity to write a page of history while confirming their superb form of the moment. And why not? A few hours before kickoff, this possibility of an eventual qualification for Lyon does seem more improbable.

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