Semi-finalists in 2010, Olympique Lyonnais booked a place in Friday's UEFA Champions League play-off draw after a patient performance earned them a second 1-0 win in a week against Grasshopper Club.
Well acquainted with the competition despite a season's absence, Rémi Garde's Ligue 1 side displayed all their experience to withstand periods of pressure from the Swiss Super League runners-up in Zurich. They then ensured a repeat of the first-leg scoreline as Clément Grenier's well-taken finish eight minutes from time at Stadion Letzigrund sealed a 2-0 aggregate victory.
Michael Skibbe's hosts had opened up proceedings with purpose as they sought to overturn their third qualifying round deficit, yet the first half yielded few opportunities for them to test Anthony Lopes. The goalkeeper was equal to the task when Michael Lang was presented with a chance courtesy of a clever pass from Izet Hajrovic – saving first with his feet before clutching at the second attempt – and he then palmed away Nzuzi Toko's drive after further involvement from full-back Lang.
As Grasshoppers pressed, so Lyon were patient. Grenier conjured the most skilful moment for the visitors before half-time, but when his deft pass fell to the wrong foot of Miguel Lopes the opportunity went begging. Perseverance would become more of a Lyon hallmark as the match progressed. It enabled Alexandre Lacazette to steal possession in the final third, though he could only drill his shot straight at Roman Bürki.
From the home perspective, footballing chess had to make way for increased urgency and they found space on the left. Daniel Pavlović bounded down the touch line and cut the ball back for substitute Johan Vonlanthen to fire a side-footed volley wide from ten metres and, in so doing, spurn Grasshoppers' best chance of the night.
His club were soon given a sample of the harsh realities of the UEFA Champions League when Lyon responded by ending the tie on the counterattack. Lisandro made an intelligent run from the halfway line and fed Grénier to slide home the only goal, his finish aptly summing up the French team's efficiency.
©UEFA.com 1998-2015. All rights reserved.