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Lyon lapse offers PSV hope

Published: Sunday 5 March 2006, 21.40CET
Olympique Lyonnais go into their return against PSV Eindhoven with a narrow lead but suffered a heavy defeat in their most recent home match. features

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Published: Sunday 5 March 2006, 21.40CET

Lyon lapse offers PSV hope

Olympique Lyonnais go into their return against PSV Eindhoven with a narrow lead but suffered a heavy defeat in their most recent home match.

Olympique Lyonnais go into their return fixture against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday confident that they can hold on to a precarious 1-0 lead. The French side earned a comfortable victory on Saturday, but lost heavily the previous week to afford some hope to their Dutch visitors, who have taken their winning streak to nine games since the first leg at the Philips Stadion on 21 February.

AC Ajaccio 1-3 Olympique Lyonnais
Lyon bounced back from last weekend's shock 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Stade Rennais FC as they overpowered Ajaccio in Ligue 1. A hat-trick from John Utaka dealt the French champions what president Jean-Michel Aulas described as "our worst setback for five years", but a repeat never looked likely at the Stade François-Coty. Juninho Pernambucano broke the deadlock with a stunning 38-metre free-kick just after the hour and Fred doubled the lead with 13 minutes remaining. Yet another Brazilian, Lucas, reduced the deficit before Karim Benzema secured the points late on.

"It was a nice game between two nice teams," said coach Gérard Houllier. "We won our last game before the European tie which makes me feel relieved. Whenever we have won the preparation game we have gone on to win in Europe. Yet again Juninho unlocked the game." Left-back Jérémy Berthod is expected to be out of action for two weeks, however, having been forced off by a hamstring injury against Ajaccio while Mahamadou Diarra is doubtful to face after picking up a back injury in the warm-up before Saturday's match. Both players could join Claudio Caçapa (thigh), Anthony Réveillère (hamstring) and Sylvain Monsoreau (thigh) on the sidelines. Sidney Govou is suspended having been sent off in the first leg but striker John Carew and midfielder Tiago should be fit after being rested at Ajaccio.

PSV Eindhoven 4-1 SC Heerenveen
Guus Hiddink's side continued their march towards retaining their Eredivisie title on Saturday by building on last week's important 2-1 win at AZ Alkmaar with a convincing home victory. Arouna Koné (2), Phillip Cocu and Alex were all on target at the Philips Stadion as the Dutch champions made it nine consecutive league wins, but the points came at a cost as right-back Michael Reiziger (hand) had to be substituted early on and his replacement Michael Lamey was also forced off after the interval by a calf injury. One positive was that Eric Addo returned having recovered from the knee injury that forced his substitution against AZ.

With André Ooijer already out with a broken toe sustained in the first leg against Lyon, the PSV coach now has a serious selection headache for the return in France. He was content to draw on the positives, saying: "We started very strongly and could have been 2-0 up inside 20 minutes. That can make things difficult, but we still went into the break with a good lead and although we conceded a careless goal, Alex's fantastic strike got us back on track."

Last updated: 06/03/06 11.01CET

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