22:00: Round Up: Well, that was quite harsh on Lyon in my opinion. They started well, and went toe to toe with Juventus for the opening hour, but then the Serie A champions just went into that upper gear and took control of the game. You have to say the goal was probably coming, but the fact that it came so late will disappoint the Lyon faithful. Unfortunately, it will take one hell of a performance in Turin to turn this one around, but Les Gones must believe they can do it. After a nail biting, but ultimately disappointing, night for Lyon in the Europa League, it is time for me to say goodbye. Until next time, Au Revoir!
21:55: FULL TIME: Lyon 0-1 Juventus.
21:53: Juventus are now just happy to sit back and see these last few minutes out. Maybe Lyon will have one final chance to score… they have a corner, but Pirlo tidies up and clears the danger. Into added time now…
21:51: The atmosphere is understandably flat now in Lyon. A 1-0 loss at home in the first leg is a really difficult result to build on in the second leg, and at the moment Juventus are still looking the more likely team to score. Realistically, Lyon need a goal here…
21:49: GOAL: Lyon 0-1 Juventus (Bonucci). Heartbreak for Lyon as Juventus grab an away goal! After a series of Lyon errors, in which they fail to clear a bouncing ball around the box, the ball drops to Bonucci, who makes no mistake with a clinical finish. That is a real low blow for Lyon.
21:47: Close: Wow! What a miss this is! Giovinco crosses into Vucinic, who has a chance to shoot from 4 yards, but he blazes it over the bar!
21:44: Momentary break in play as an intruder charges onto the pitch! The security guards are on hand though to tackle him and take him away immediately.
21:42: Lyon looks happy enough with the score as it is. They are not really looking to go forwards at all, and they will feel confident going to Turin, especially is they can get an away goal…
21:40: Penalty Appeal: Giovinco goes down in the penalty box claiming a penalty, but the referee is unmoved. Replays show it was the correct decision – Kone got a lot more of the ball than he did the man.
21:38: Substitution: As predicted, Garde brings on Gomis for some of that physical presence up front. Lacazette, who has been understandably quiet today, is the man to give way.
21:37: Close: Mvuemba shanks a shot from distance, but it falls right into the path of Briand, who is through on goal. He is, however, given offside by the linesman. The replays show that he was in fact onside when Mvuemba took the shot. Tough luck there for Lyon.
21:35: Juventus are really beginning to pile on the pressure, and Lyon just cannot keep the ball. In Remi Garde’s place, I would throw on Gomis to have someone on the field who could hold the ball up. At the moment, it just isn’t sticking for Lyon.
21:32: Disallowed goal: Giovinco backs into Lopes as he claims a high ball, and the Frenchman proceeds to drop the ball, allowing Giovinco to finish into an empty net, but the goal is disallowed for the foul on Lopes.
21:31: Close: And again! Isla is in behind the defence, but his first touch is too strong and Lopes is able to come out and smother the ball before Isla can get a shot away.
21:29: Close: Juve are really knocking on the door! Giovinco beats Malbranque on the wing, and his cross drops to Asamoah, whose deflected shot flies narrowly wide of the post with the wrong footed Lopes beaten.
21:26: Substitution: Danny Osvaldo is now coming off to be replaced by Giovinco. Conte goes back to the whole ‘big man – little man’ approach with his front two.
21:24: Close: And again Juventus come close! Pirlo plays the ball into Osvaldo, who takes it well on his chest, but his shot is blocked by a diving Umtiti! Brilliant defending there from the Lyon centre back.
21:22: Close: Juventus now have a free kick in a good position as Tulisso concedes a foul… and Juventus almost score! The ball comes off I think Briand from Pirlo’s delivery, but Lopes is on hand to tip the ball away as the ball is heading into the corner. Good save there from ALopes.
21:19: Lyon pressing again as Pogba loses it and Mvuemba runs at the defence, but Pirlo is eventually able to tidy up by winning the ball in front of his own area, and Juventus have the ball back.
21:17: Substitution: Tevez is off injured after he pulled up while taking a shot. Vucinic is on hand to replace him.
21:15: Now Pirlo has a kick at Briand in frustration, and Lyon have a free kick in a brilliant position… Oohhh that’s close! Umtiti has a strike from the free kick, but Buffon is on hand to make a diving save and turn it round the post. Lyon have made a blistering start to this second period.
21:13: Lyon starting to exert some pressure now, as they win three consecutive corners, but Juventus are holding strong in defence and are clearing the ball whenever it is delivered into the area. Lyon need a better delivery from those set pieces.
21:11: Pogba makes a decent burst down the right hand side, but his cross is not met by anybody as his team mates were too far back to capitalise. Lyon have a free kick now, Mvuemba behind it… but Juve are able to clear as it hits the wall.
21:09: Bedimo has an early shot from about 40 yards out in this second half. He strikes the ball well enough, but it is always going wide. Besides, it would take the goal of the season to beat Gianluigi Buffon from there.
21:07: KICK OFF: We are back underway in Lyon!
20:57: Round-Up: Well, that was a rather subdued opening 45 minutes on all accounts, and credit must go to Lyon for how they have implemented Remi Garde’s tactics. Les Gones have kept Juve quiet by putting shackles on playmaker Pirlo, and they had the games best chance so far when Briand shot over from just a few yards out after a corner. Lyon will think they can knick this one in the second period, so let’s see what the second 45 has in store for us…
20:52: HALF TIME: Lyon 0-0 Juventus.
20:48: Yellow Card: We have our first booking of the day as Tulisso is given a yellow card by the referee for a cynical, late challenge. The free kick is well dealt with though by the Lyon defence, who have rarely been troubled so far.
20:46: Bedimo has looked to be one of Lyon’s more energetic players, and he bombs down the left wing again just now, but Isla is on hand to cut out his cross. Lyon have coped very well with Juve so far, and I would even say they are the better team so far.
20:43: I must say, the Lyon fans have been nothing short of brilliant so far today. They are right behind their team, giving them the energy to press their Italian opponents. The ‘Bad Gones’ section are vociferous as ever.
20:40: Ouch!: Asamoah is down in pain after he is clattered by Tolisso. It initially looks like it could be serious, but he gets some ‘magic spray’ treatment and is once again good to go. The pace of the game has slowed a little since that flurry of chances.
20:36: Close: This game is really opening up now! Pirlo is unmarked for the first time tonight, and he plays a brilliant ball into Tevez, who is in behind the Lyon defence, but Lopes is quick off his line and smothers the shot very well. Good save from the Frenchman.
20:34: Close: Double chance for Lyon! First, Malbranque’s near post shot is turned around the post by a diving Buffon. Then, from the resulting corner, the ball drops to Briand just a few yards out, but he stabs the ball over the bar with Buffon onrushing! Big, big chance for Lyon to take the lead.
20:32: Tevez has looked like Juventus’ most dangerous player so far. This time, he drives right at the heart of Lyon’s defence, but eventually he is crowded out by no less than 4 Lyon players. Brilliant defending there.
20:30: Juve’s defence is looking a little uncomfortable at the moment. Caceres has been diving in rather rashly on multiple occasions, while Bonucci consistently is giving the ball away. Very few chances so far in this match.
20:27: Caceres hauls down Lacazette for the second time in this match, and in my opinion he is extremely lucky to avoid a yellow card. Anyway, it is a corner for Lyon… but the delivery is poor and Juventus are able to clear. Lyon will be very happy with how this game is going at the moment.
20:25: Lovely bit of play here from Juve. Tevez picks up the ball and runs at the Lyon midfield, then plays it into Pogba, who sends a back heel into his path, but luckily for the home side Umtiti is there to clear up and tackle Tevez, otherwise the Argentine was through on goal.
20:23: Lyon’s game plan is working a treat so far. They are allowing Bonucci to have the ball in the centre of defence, but he cannot pick out any of the midfield trio as they are all marked by Lyon player. When he is forced to hit a long ball, Lyon can win the ball back, and try to hit Juve on the break. Interesting game so far, but Tevez has had the best chance.
20:20: A minute or so later, Lyon have their first chance to trouble the Juventus defence as they win a set piece, but Kone is adjudged to be offside and Juve can relax and begin another spell of possession. Much better from Les Gones though.
20:18: Lyon have improved as this game has gone on, and they have had their first decent spell of possession. However, Juventus are rock solid defensively, and eventually Bedimo is dispossessed by Paul Pogba out on the left hand side.
20:15: As expected prior to kick off, Lyon are sitting back and allowing Juventus’ defenders to have the ball. As soon as the ball moves into midfield though, the press begins, led by the aforementioned Malbranque, who is definitely man-marking Pirlo.
20:12: Pirlo has a brilliant chance to force Lopes into a save as he stands over a free kick just outside the area, but his shot is poor and hits Gonalons in the middle of the wall. Seconds later, Tevez has a header from just 5 yards out, but he is under a bit of pressure and can only direct his effort a few inches wide! Double escape there for Lyon.
20:10: The early indications here are that Malbranque will man mark Pirlo. In the first five minutes, he has stuck to the Italian without fail. I guess Lyon will think that if you can stop Pirlo, you can stop Juventus.
20:07: Ominous start for Lyon already. Juventus not giving them a sniff of the ball here in the early stages, but it is early days yet. Both sides trying to find their rhythm.
20:05: KICK OFF: We are underway in Lyon! Allez les Gones!
20:03: The teams are out on the pitch, we are hearing anthems and kick off is imminent! Here comes the nerves and the anticipation – this is what football is all about!
19:55: The Bench: If, as we expect it to be, tonight’s game is a tight affair, then both benches could really decide the final outcome of the game. Unfortunately for Les Gones, there is really no comparison between them. Lyon’s bench does have quality players like Bafetimbi Gomis and Gael Danic, but Juventus’ is far superior. They have proven international players like Giovinco, Llorente and Vucinic who can all come on and change the game if they need to. Juventus’ superiority in this aspect of the match could prove crucial.
19:50: Absentees: Both teams have some really key players missing from their squads today. Juventus are without the suspended Vidal, who has been one of their best players all season, but Lyon’s injury problems are far worse than those of ‘The Old Lady.’ They are without more than five key players, including Clement Grenier and Christian Gourcuff, who was injured in Sunday’s Ligue 1 derby with St-Etienne.
19:44: High Hopes?: Realistically, what kind of result are Lyon hoping for today? I reckon if they avoid defeat, they have a very decent chance of progressing to the next round, but even getting a draw at home to the Italian giants is a tall order. As is always the case in European home leg ties, defence is the order of the day. If Lyon can keep a clean sheet, even a 0-0 draw, then a goal in the second leg would cause Juventus real problems. Anthony Lopes and co. really need to be on the ball tonight.
19:38: Analysis – Lyon (2): Lyon’s front two may come as a surprise to a few, as Bafetimbi Gomis is left out having played in the last 16 consecutive Ligue 1 games, but Jimmy Briand is preferred to the big centre forward. The front two of Briand and Lacazette have bags of pace, and it is quite easy to see why they were chosen. Lyon will look to hit Juventus on the break today, even though they are at home, so pace is a huge bonus for their strikers to have. Also, Gomis would likely be far less effective against the strong back 3 of Juventus, who are all powerful central defenders and are strong in the air.
19:33: Analysis – Lyon (1): Lyon’s back four sees just one change from their previous game against St-Etienne on Sunday, as Umtiti has passed a late fitness test and has overcome a hamstring injury that kept him out for two Ligue 1 games. His return will be important for Lyon, especially as that allows captain Gonalons to move back into his preferred defensive midfield position. A. Lopes had a poor game in goal in the derby against St-Etienne, so Lyon will hope his form improves – it will have to if he is to keep out this distinguished Juventus side.
19:28: Analysis – Juventus (2): In many people’s eyes, Juventus’ forward players are far less stellar than those defending their goal. The wide men, Asamoah and Isla, are unlikely to be match winners single handedly, but they have tremendous work rates and will provide cover and width for the back three. Up front are Carlos Tevez and Osvaldo, two players who have both played in England, and who have very contrasting styles. Osvaldo will be the target man, while Tevez will look to run in behind the Lyon back four from either Osvaldo’s flick-ons or his midfielders’ through-balls. Lyon will have to be on the ball to contain them both.
19:22: Analysis – Juventus (1): Serie A leaders Juventus line up as you would expect, using their customary 3-5-2 formation. The trio of Caceres, Bonucci and Chiellini at the back, coupled with Buffon in goal, makes for a formidable defensive line up, and Lyon’s attacking players will have it all to do to score in this match. Looking a little further up, Juventus’ midfield trio is filled with class, containing Pogba, Pirlo and Marchisio. Expect to see these three on the ball an awful lot in the centre of the park – Lyon don’t really have the quality to stop these three from dictating play.
19:18: Juventus team vs Lyon: Buffon – Cáceres, Bonucci, Chiellini – Isla, Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah – Tévez, Osvaldo.
19:15: Lyon team vs Juventus: Lopes – Bedimo, Umtiti, Kone, Tolisso – Gonalons, Ferri, Malbranque, Mvueba – Lacazette, Briand
19:10: Welcome one and all to one of the biggest games in the French football season! Yesterday was Champions League night, and PSG did France proud. Today, it is the Europa League, and it is Lyon vs Juventus. Lyon, 5th in Ligue 1, take on the runway Serie A leaders, in what promises to be an enthralling encounter. Allez Les Gones, make your country proud! Without further ado, let’s get into some team news…