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February 2, 2023

Makoun rocket gives Lyon the edge

Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 Real Madrid CF.

A superb long-range shot from Jean II Makoun gave Olympique Lyonnais a third victory in five years against Real Madrid CF and a slender advantage in their UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie.

Lyon created most of the game`s chances, Cesar Delgado rattling the woodwork in the first half, and after Makoun`s 47th-minute strike both Aly Cissokho and Lisandro went close to adding a second. Madrid will be confident of turning the tie around at the Santiago Bernabeu on 10 March, though the nine-time European champions must do so without Marcelo and Xabi Alonso, who are both suspended after picking up bookings, uefa.com comments.

Les Gones had defeated Madrid in each of their two previous visits, and Sidney Govou – a survivor of those triumphs – was quick to remind the visitors of his talent, volleying Delgado`s sweeping pass narrowly wide in the tenth minute. Manuel Pellegrini`s charges then began to control the midfield but rarely looked like breaking through a back line well marshalled by Jean-Alain Boumsong and Cris.

Boumsong was particularly alert in taking the ball off Gonzalo Higuaín`s toes after the forward had raced on to Cristiano Ronaldo`s delightful flick, later clearing Marcelo`s cross-shot from under the crossbar. Yet for all Madrid`s possession it was OL who looked more dangerous. Miralem Pjani?`s corner was nodded over by Boumsong and Anthony Reveillère, Delgado and Lisandro were all off target when presented with inviting opportunities to shoot from distance. The home team should have been ahead at half-time but were denied by wayward finishing and bad luck, Delgado particularly unfortunate four minutes before the interval when he latched on to a half-cleared corner and thundered a volley against Iker Casillas`s upright from 20 metres.

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