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Olympique Lyon score big win
February 24, 2005 03:50 IST
Last Updated: February 24, 2005 09:36 IST
Champions League first knockout round, first leg:
Olympique Lyon moved to the brink of the Champions League quarter-finals in Bremen on Wednesday with a ruthless 3-0 victory over a Werder Bremen side that paid a high price for their dismal finishing.
The contrast between the two sides in front of goal could not have been more clear, as Lyon took three of only five clear chances they created while Bremen blew their European hopes with a series of misses.
Sylvain Wiltord finished off a swift break in the ninth minute to put Lyon ahead and, after relentless pressure from the home side, they sealed a great win with two fine goals in four second-half minutes.
Mahamadou Diarra lashed in from outside the box in the 77th minute for the second and a stunning free-kick from dead-ball specialist Juninho Pernambucano rounded off the scoring.
Lyon, quarter-finalists last season, now look near certainties to make it at least that far again with the second leg to come in France on March 8.
Lyon's plan was clear from the start -- sit deep and look to hurt the Germans with long balls down the flanks.
The tactic paid off early, as Florent Malouda's lightning burst down the right caught the home defence by surprise.
Diarra's cross was artfully touched on by Pierre-Alain Frau to Sidney Govou. He was unable to make good contact but the ball squirted out to the unmarked Wiltord, who tapped in.
Werder themselves had enjoyed a couple of promising moments on the wings, with right-back Paul Stalteri and left-sided midfielder Tim Borowski worrying the Lyon backline.
Borowski flashed a near-post header just wide from Stalteri's cross in the 18th minute and it was Stalteri again who supplied the cross for Klose to force a good save from Gregory Coupet.
Lyon maintained their patience and resolve in the face of the onslaught and they almost caught Werder out again five minutes before the break.
This time it was Lamine Diatta who raced into space on the right and Andreas Reinke made a badly timed run out of his area in an attempt to clear.
Fortunately for the Werder keeper, Diatta's hooked shot ran harmlessly across goal.
An off-balance Coupet managed to recover to keep out a Klose shot that was poorly hit from inside the area in the 65th minute as the home side kept up their furious rate of attacks.
The worst miss of the night came from Nelson Valdez, who was put clean through on goal with 20 minutes to go only to squirm a shot wide.
Govou had struck a post a couple of minutes earlier as the Germans became ever more reckless and, with 13 minutes to go, the visitors hit the target again.
Within a minute of coming on as a substitute for Wiltord, Jeremy Clement teed up Diarra to crack in from 20 metres.
Juninho then supplied an equally sweet strike from even further out to compound the misery for Bremen, who continued piling balls forward to the end with no reward.