Max Gonalons and his teammates gave their all but they couldn't manage to break down a solid Sevilla team. They finished third in Group H and will thus revert to playing in the in the Europa League's round of 32.
. HIGHLIGHTS .
3'. Valbuena hits Rafael's cross with his right foot, Rico parries.
19'. Vitolo breaks down the right, evades Rafael's challenge. His curling shot hits the post.
21'. Valbuena is knocked over in the penalty area by Mariano. No penalty given.
23'. Lopes looks to have tripped Vitolo. Jonas Erikson allows play to continue.
24'. Tolisso heads Rafael's cross onto the crossbar.
37'. Tolisso releases Valbuena whose shot skims the top of the crossbar.
71'. Diakhaby's header goes just wide.
77'. Fekir goes down in the box. No reaction from Jonas Eriksson.
89'. Clément Grenier heads wide.
92'. Diakhaby almost heads in Rafael's shot.
We knew Lyon's mission was going to be tough. Having to win by two clear goals, Lyon were out to take the ascendancy over their Spanish rivalsas as quickly as possible. So, in a classic 4-3-3 formation fielded by Bruno Genesio, OL were out to wrap the encounter up. By the third minute, Mathieu Valbuena went close to breaking the deadlock with a chance that got Lyon's bid for second place in Group H under way in earnest. The two teams then went blow-for-blow for the first half-hour of play with shots hitting an upright at each end - from Vitolo and Tolisso - and two penalty appeals from Valbuena and Vitolo dismissed. Spurred on by the Parc OL faithful, OL finished the first half more strongly than the Spanish and attacked ever more without success, a scenario summed up by Valbuena's hitting the cross-bar.
By the break, Lyon had expended a lot of energy in the battle and the second half was more sluggish as a result. Sevilla closed ranks and chances became rarer. Twice Diakhaby and then Grenier provoked a thrill in the Parc OL stands, but still without an end product. Sevilla kept the match at 0-0, to qualify along with Juve, who were 2-0 victors over Dinamo Zagreb - and OL bowed out of the Champions League.
. THE TRURNING POINT .
OL missedthe bus in the first half
Without doubt, the Lyon supporters will be dissatisfied, but they helped inspire their team to play an intense first 45 minutes. It was a half that produced some regrets because, yet again in this competition, the ball just refused to go in.
During that first half, OL had 12 shots on goal to only one from Sevilla. And Lyon kept the ball from their opponents to have 64% of possession. But in the end, it wasn't enough. Tolisso's and Valbuena's hitting the crossbar was emblematic of Lyon's being a whisker away from success, of the little bit of luck that could have swung this Group H final their way.
. THE STAT .
. TEAMSHEET .
At the Parc OL in Décines.
Champions League (D6 Gr. H) : OL-FC Sevilla 0-0
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden). Attendance: 52,423.
Yellow cards: Sarabia (32’), Nasri (36’) and Mercardo (73’) for FC Sevilla; Gonalons (38’) and Yanga-Mbiwa (54’) for OL.
OL: Lopes – Rafael, Yanga-Mbiwa, Diakhaby, Morel – Gonalons (cap.), Darder (Cornet, 72’), Tolisso (Grenier, 78’) – Ghezzal (Fekir, 65’), Lacazette, Valbuena. Coach: B. Genesio.FC Sevilla: Rico – Mariano, Rami, Pareja, Mercado, Escudero –N’Zonzi, Iborra, Sarabia (Ben Yedder, 65’) – Vitolo, Nasri (Kranevitter, 87’). Coach: J. Sampaoli.