In the end, the Ukrainian miracle never eventuated... Anatoli Demiananko’s players were outclassed by a very professional display from Olympique Lyonnais...
We need to score early, Eric Abidal had predicted. After just five minutes of Dynamo pressure, Lyon, led by a Kim Källström clearly unbothered by the 0°c, took control of proceedings. In the starting line-up at the expense of Tiago, the Swede fired his first effort on goal after a great individual run (4’) – justifying the Gérard Houllier’s confidence. His cut-back then picked out François Clerc, but the neo-France international’s shot was blocked by the defence (8’). Another player rarely in the starting line-up, Alou Diarra also tried to make his mark early on with a long-range effort that Lutsenko held (22’).
After two consecutive defeats, the Ukrainians were obliged to go after a win to keep their competition hopes alive. Sergei Rebrov almost gave the hosts the lead when he beat Rémy Vercoutre, only to see his goal ruled out for off side (15’). The Lyon ‘keeper then made another stop to deny a Artem Milevski header (21’). Quick, alert and up to the occasion, Grégory Coupet’s understudy then came out and saved brilliantly at the feet of the Brazilian Rincon (28’) to keep his side in the match.
As is so often the case with this Lyon side, it was during this difficult few minutes that they were able to finally take the lead. From a free-kick, 20m out after a foul from Correa on Florent Malouda, Juninho curled the ball into Lutsenko’s top corner for his 12th Champions League goal and his first of the current campaign (30’).
Olympique Lyonnais’ powers of acceleration then tore their opponents apart. Merciless, the French champions took the match by the scruff of the neck. Back into his attacking stride from the start of the match, Kim Källström showed off his power and technique by controlling Clerc’s longball and then rifling the ball passed the hapless Kiev ‘keeper (38’). It was a first goal in Lyon colours for the Swede, who has until now, contented himself with setting up numerous goals for his teammates.
The second half began in similar fashion. From a corner, Juninho picked out the head of Malouda at the front post to head home his fourth goal of the season (50’). Overwhelmed, the Ukrainians were on the verge of imploding, but El Boukkari managed to deny Malouda with a goal line clearance (52’).
Perfectly in control, Les Lyonnais handled the final 30 minutes with aplomb, with Cris running through his defensive manual in a commanding display of aerial challenges and defensive anticipation. In stoppage time, Fred even managed to brush the outside of the Dynamo woodwork in search of a fourth (90’).
Lyon registered their third consecutive win and took another great step towards qualification. With nine points, eight goals scored and none conceded, the Gones are sweeping each an every challenge aside.