Kim Källström believes Olympique Lyonnais have put themselves in a "strong position to go through" to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals after their slender home win against APOEL FC. Alexandre Lacazette's 58th-minute goal was all that Rémi Garde's men had to show for an extremely dominant first-leg display that was reflected in the statistics if not the scoreline.
OL had 15 goal attempts compared with a solitary effort from the visitors, which arrived in the 88th minute, yet Källström was highly satisfied with the home team's round of 16 showing. "We turned in a really good performance," the Swedish international told UEFA.com. "We were balanced overall and dangerous in attack.
The one thing we lacked was a second goal, but we aren't going to complain. We've put ourselves in a strong position to go through."
Having kept one clean sheet in their last 11 matches – and that against amateur opposition in the French Cup – the Ligue 1 side were determined to prevent their Cypriot opponents scoring an away goal. Källström, 29, said: "We had a poor game against Caen at the weekend [a 2-1 home defeat] but apart from that we have been more solid recently. We were really solid tonight. We didn't expose ourselves to counterattacks. They had one shot at the end."
What the former Stade Rennais FC midfielder did not mention was that APOEL's solitary attempt was a stunning strike from substitute Gustavo Manduca that produced a high-class save from Hugo Lloris. The Lyon goalkeeper had been a spectator until then but said he was concerned the visitors might snatch a draw late on.
"For most of the game they couldn't get near our penalty area because we closed them down high up the pitch," the France No1 told UEFA.com. "But it's hard to keep that intensity going for 90 minutes and they did manage to apply pressure at the end.
It felt as though they might nick a result but we stayed strong."
Aiming to book a fifth quarter-final in nine years, the Rhone Valley club travel to Nicosia on 7 March as slight favourites thanks to Lacazette's deflected effort. Lacazette has registered five goals in his last five appearances yet the French Under-21 international forward is not getting carried away, insisting he was fortunate to score.
"I had a good chance in the first half and tried to place my shot," the 20-year-old explained. "The one I scored from was my second or third chance. I opted for power and was lucky the ball took a nice deflection over the goalkeeper."
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.