Football: A Champions League quarter-finals without Ronaldo 0

Lyon qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Friday despite losing 2-1 in Turin.

A goal up after winning February’s first leg, French side Lyon will face Manchester City at the final tournament in Lisbon after drawing 2-2 on aggregate and going through on away goals.

Lyon squeezed past the Italian champions thanks to Memphis Depay’s 12th-minute penalty which put Rudi Garcia’s side two goals ahead in the tie and left Juve with a mountain to climb.

Needing to score three unanswered goals in order to go through, Cristiano Ronaldo tried his best to drag the Italian champions over the line.

He levelled the scores on the night with a penalty of his own with two minutes left in the opening period before crashing a second home on the hour mark.

However Juve performed poorly and Lyon managed to hold on to set up a clash with Pep Guardiola’s City, who put out 13-time winners Real Madrid, on August 15.

Despite their nine consecutive Italian league titles in a row, Juventus could not get past a French side that finished seventh in Ligue 1 this season.

Ronaldo leads attack

Ronaldo spearheaded the Juventus attack as the five-time Champions League winner pushed for the last eight spot in his native Portugal.

Lyon’s early breakthrough came after Rodrigo Bentancur was judged to have fouled Houssem Aouar, and Depay calmly slotted past Wojciech Szczesny from the spot.

Juventus had dominated play early with Federico Bernardeschi dribbling through the Lyon defense after 19 minutes before Marcelo deflected the shot clear of goal.

Ronaldo sent a header wide after 21 minutes with Lopes denying a curling Ronaldo free kick, but he drew Juve level from the spot just before the break when Depay handballed a Miralem Pjanic free-kick.

The Portuguese then scored a second long range effort, with Leonardo Bonucci missing a chance minutes later.

Paulo Dybala came on with 20 minutes to go but failed to lift the Italians, with the Argentine who had been carrying a thigh injury, limping off quarter of an hour later.

Ronaldo missed to win the tie when he sent a header wide, ending Juventus’ hopes of a first Champions League title since 1996.

Juve, who had won only two of their last eight league games, end the season in the worst possible way, exhausted by the accumulation of matches at the end of a season interrupted for three months because of coronavirus.

The Ligue 1 season did not finish with Lyon’s only hope of qualifying for next year’s Champions League now resting on winning the 2020 edition.

Source: AFP