Did Mourinho aim for the draw or was he playing to win? That question remained unanswered as Real Madrid managed to score against Lyon in France for the first time in four matches as hometown hero Karim Benzema continued his Super Sub antics, scoring the opener for Real Madrid a minute after coming in for Adebayor, with a little bit of luck. Lyon’s substitutions, adding more pressure through the wings on the Spanish club got the desired goal at the end through Bafetimbi Gomis’ goal at the 83rd minute and the match ended with a 1-1 draw.
Real looked very slow and stagnant through the first half, as Cristiano Ronaldo, triple teamed constantly when with the ball, seemed to be all alone in an attempt to break the Lyon curse. Not that the French side were brilliant, but they seemed like the more dangerous side, using the affect Stade de Gerland has on the Blancos.
The second half was a different story, with Madrid looking much more in the midst of things. Ronaldo sent a free kick to the post, Sergio Ramos’ header rattled the crossbar, but eventually it was Karim Benzema, welcomed with a standing ovation from the home fans, who scored the opening goal, adding a speed dimension that was missing while Adebayor led the strike force.
Gomis had a terrible match in my opinion, but strikers are measured by the amount of goals they score, and Gomis did the job on this particular night, giving Lyon a chance for the second leg at the Bernabeu. Last word to Puel – No reason to start with Delgado and Kallstrom. Pjanic has already proven himself against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu once, and is a much more suitable player for this kind of match (and generally better I believe). For Lyon’s sake, I hope he gets the start against Real.
Bottom line – Mourinho got a good result for a two leg clash. Real didn’t show a lot of style and as usual, were over reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo, a game plan which a good defensive team can easily disrupt. Still, this was the first time they came away with an advantage from Lyon, and that’s called ‘Mission accomplished’ in my books. Style? A champions league trophy at the end of the year will quiet talks about style.