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Lyon looking to shut out Manchester United in Champions League

Lyon looking to shut out Manchester United in Champions League

Lyon is targeting a draw against rampant Manchester United despite having home advantage Wednesday in the second round of the Champions League.
"The most important thing is to not concede any goal," Lyon forward Karim Benzema told the club's Web site ahead of the first leg of the knockout stage. "0-0 would be a very good result because we have the capacity to score goals on the road."
Manchester United thrashed Arsenal 4-0 in the fifth round of the FA Cup last Saturday, while Lyon lost 1-0 at Le Mans but still leads the French league.
United is second in the Premier League and its obvious firepower worries Lyon.
"We are aware of their offensive potential," Lyon coach Alain Perrin told Canal Plus television.
United manager Alex Ferguson has plenty of options with Carlos Tevez, Wayne Rooney and Louis Saha up front, and Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, and Ji-Sung Park can make the difference on the wings.
"If we don't raise our game against that team, we are going to experience a bitter defeat," Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas told Canal Plus.
Lyon has lost only one game at home in the French league this season. Yet its defense is vulnerable. The French club has conceded at least two goals per game at Stade Gerland in the group stage of the Champions League.
"We have allowed too many goals this season," Lyon midfielder Jeremy Toulalan said.
Lyon's defensive fragility stems from long-term injuries to its centerbacks Patrick Muller, Cris, and Cleber Anderson.
Jean-Alain Boumsong has been hired from Juventus to fill the hole. But the France defender has only played three games with Sebastien Squillaci at centerback.
The pair will be seriously tested by Ronaldo _ the Premier League's top scorer with 19 goals _ and Argentina forward Tevez.
Lyon played United in the Champions League group stage in 2004, drawing 2-2 at home before losing 2-1 at Old Trafford.
But United won't underestimate its opponent.
"We won't fall into the trap of saying that we are going to easily beat Lyon. No way," United left back Patrice Evra was quoted as saying by French monthly Lyon Mag. "The fans here don't even think that we could lose, but they have to be careful. French football is not bad at all. Moreover, Lyon is superior to the other French clubs."
"Last year, we faced a French club, Lille, in the last 16 and it was really tough. Since Lyon is stronger than Lille, we know it's going to be complicated."


Updated : 2021-10-19 22:41 GMT+08:00