first team / Champions League

AS Roma drawn against OL

Published on the 15 December 2006 à 12:18 by R.B/B.V

Les Lyonnais take on the Italians of Roma – a first for the five times French champions…

The were just six options for Grégory Coupet nd Co. But fate decided it was to be the Romans. Like les Lyonnais, the Italian side has never won the Champions League or the former European Cup. Mexes and his teammates finished second in Group D behind Valencia with 10 points, with wins against Shakhtar Donestk 4-0, Olympiakos 1 -0 and Valence 1-0; a draw against Olympiakos 1-1 and losses to Valencia 2-1 and Shakhtar 1-0. Totti scored 3 of the ten goals for the romanista.

AS Roma has won three Italian Scudetti (1942, 1983 and 2001); 7 Coppe d’Italia (1964, 1969, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1986, 1991). Totti and Co are currently second in Serie A, 7 points behind the leaders Inter. They play their home matches at the Stadio Olimpico (cap: 81,190). Luciano Spalletti took over as coach in July 2005 after stints with Empoli, Venice and Udinese. The main players? Panucci, Mexés, Montella, Totti, Chivu, De Rossi, Perrotta, Mancini...

Roma won the Cup Winners Cup in 1961 against Birmimgham (2-2, 2-0). They were also losing finalists of the European Cup in 1984 against Liverpool and in the 1991 UEFA Cup final against Inter Milan.

Roma will be Lyon’s 25th different opponent in the Champions League; Les Lyonnais have already played at the Stasio Olimpico against Lazio on October 31, 1995. John Carew will return to one of his former clubs.

The full draw:

Arsenal - PSV
Manchester - Lille
Liverpool - Barcelona
Chelsea - Porto
AC Milan - Celtic
Bayern - Real
Valencia - Inter

Bernard Lacombe speaking to Eurosport

What do you make of the draw?
"It’s good to go to Rome. Firstly, because it’s a great city and secondly, because we’re playing a new team. They have some really talented players. They are perhaps a little inconsistent in their domestic league, but it’s obviously a good thing to be playing the return leg at home."

Have OL improved in recent seasons?
"OL has made this stage for the last four seasons. We’ve been playing well since August and now we just have to keep it up until February, March… right until the end. Above all, we need to have out full squad available."

And the club’s reaction?
"The coach knows this Roma team because he played against them at Liverpool. But I repeat, this team is unpredictable. Everyone at the club is happy to go to Rome to see the city. And besides, everyone knows we’ve got good memories of the last time we went there and played Lazio. Finally, I honestly think we’ll score at the Stadio Olimpico.