first team / OL 0-0 Ajax

Out of OL's hands

Published on the 22 November 2011 à 22:50

Olympique Lyonnais threw everything at Ajax to get the result they needed to keep their qualification hopes alive, but they were unable to breakdown a stubborn Dutch defence. OL now need a near-miracle to nab a berth in the last-16 of the competition...

In hosting Ajax Amsterdam to the Stade Gerland on Match Day 5 of the Champions League, Les Lyonnais knew there only real option was victory. With a victory, OL would have joined level on points with Ajax and also boasted a positive head to head goal difference.

The Dutch side made a very positive start and dominated possession in OL's half of the ield. Vertonghen headed a corner just wide (5'). Lisandro let fly with a powerful effort that was too hot for Vermeer to handle (7'). The intensity of the opening exchanges was incredible. Played into the penalty box, Janssen fired just centimetres wide of Hugo Lloris's left-hand post (18'). For the next half hour, both sides created chances, without finding the back of the opposition net. Jimmy Briand sent a great long-range effort flashing just wide of the post from a good 20 metres out (33'). Despite the best intentions of the two teams and some promising passages of play, the referee's half-time whistle brought the curtain down on a scoreless first half.

Rémi Garde's side stepped on the accelerator in the second half, but it was the Dutch side that carved out a gilt-edged chance on the counterattack with Sulejmani's shot saved by Lloris (50'). The Stade Gerland was given another scare when a deflected shot lobbed Lloris, only to land on the roof of the net (60'). The tension mounted as the minutes ticked by. Unable to open up a disciplined Dutch rearguard, OL's frustration began to show through. Lisandro, doubtful ahead of the match, was replaced by Ederson (73'). Källström and then Ederson tried their luck but Vermeer was equal to the task. Ederson against burst forward and found Bastos whose curling effort again forced the impeccable Vermeer into action (81'). Les Gones tried to force the issue in the final minutes but neither Lacazette or Gourcuff could find a way passed the Dutch custodian. In extra time, Ederson went down in the area, but with the whole stadium baying for a penalty, the referee did not blow. Just as it was at the ArenA, the two side ended the match with a share of the spoils, 0-0. Now only a big OL win away to Dinamo Zagreb coupled with a heavy defeat for Ajax against Real Madrid can see Les Olympiens qualify for the last-16 of the Champions League...

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