BORDEAUX, April 7, 2010 (AFP) - Lyon reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in their history despite losing 1-0 to Bordeaux in a tense quarter-final second leg here on Wednesday.
Trailing 3-1 from the first leg, Bordeaux needed to win by two goals to turn the tie around and Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh sent the Stade Chaban-Delmas into raptures by putting his side ahead shortly before half-time.
Laurent Blanc's reigning French champions raided forward throughout the second half, with Ludovic Sane heading wide from a Yoann Gourcuff corner and Hugo Lloris producing a brilliant save to deny Wendel late on.
|Lyon's players celebrate after winning the Champions League quarter-final football match against Bordeaux on April 7, 2010. AFP photo|
The game's closing stages unfolded amid intense urgency but Lyon held strong to book their place in the semi-finals after quarter-final exits in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and consign Bordeaux to an agonising defeat.
"We were under a fair bit of pressure in the first half but in the second half Bordeaux's rhythm dipped slightly," said Lyon coach Claude Puel, whose side will play Bayern Munich for a place in the final.
"Our keeper kept us in it on a few occasions."
Blanc said his side's defeat owed to the inexperience shown in the first leg.
"We weren't quite up to it in the end and we came up against a great team in Lyon," he said.
"Rather than having regrets, I would say we lacked a bit of experience, which cost us at least two goals in the first leg."
Bordeaux right-back Mathieu Chalme, whose handball provoked the penalty that gave Lyon their third goal in last week's first leg, lost his place in the starting XI to Sane, who moved across from centre-back to accommodate fit-again Marc Planus.
Lyon started with Bafetimbi Gomis up front after two-goal first-leg hero Lisandro Lopez was ruled out by suspension and it was the away side who threatened first when Michel Bastos cracked a 35-yard free-kick narrowly wide.
Blanc had called on Bordeaux to enjoy the occasion and with skipper Alou Diarra back in central midfield there were fewer signs of the defensive brittleness that was their undoing in the first leg.
Gomis headed over from Cesar Delgado's left-wing corner but the first half was largely a story of the hosts growing into the game.
Wendel's set-piece deliveries were a constant source of irritation, with Gourcuff beating Lloris to one inswinging free-kick but heading just over in the 18th minute.
Lyon were gradually forced to retreat and after Jaroslav Plasil fired over from long-range, Diarra drove a rising half-volley against Lloris's crossbar from 30 yards.
The away side were eager for half-time to come but their defence was breached a minute before the break when Chamakh touched the ball home after Benoit Tremoulinas's low cross had been flicked on at the near post by Jussie.
Gomis almost caught Bordeaux cold as the second half got under way, but having rounded Cedric Carrasso his tame attempt was cut out by Planus.
Bordeaux's final ball suffered from their desperation and Puel sought to compound their frustration by sending on Miralem Pjanic in place of Gomis to clog the midfield.
Sane headed wide from a Gourcuff corner with 10 minutes to play and Lloris, a thorn in Bordeaux's side throughout the first leg, then displayed tremendous reactions to palm away Wendel's firm header in the 87th minute.