Olympique Lyonnais forward Sidney Govou is relishing the prospect of a "massive" game against Rangers FC on Matchday 6 after helping the French club continue their revival in UEFA Champions League Group E with a 2-2 draw against FC Barcelona.
Beginning the evening a point behind second-placed Rangers, the French champions knew they would be eliminated if they lost and their Scottish rivals triumphed against VfB Stuttgart. Such a scenario seemed plausible at one stage, as the Catalan giants twice went in front at the Stade de Gerland, but two Juninho Pernambucano equalisers – including an 80th-minute penalty – earned the hosts a share of the spoils while Rangers were beaten 3-2 in Germany.
'A big favour'
Alain Perrin's men are now level with the Glasgow outfit on seven points and can qualify for the last 16 by winning at Ibrox on 12 December. "It's fantastic to still have a chance given the awful start we had to the campaign," Govou told uefa.com. "We knew a lot would depend on the Stuttgart result, and luckily they've done us a big favour. Now we've got a massive game to play in Glasgow. There will be a crazy atmosphere and I can't wait to get over there and take part in what will hopefully be a night to remember."
Lyon have gained all of their points in the last three matches, having lost 3-0 in each of their opening two fixtures, and the French international believes the Ligue 1 leaders are on an upward curve. "We needed to improve a lot from the first game against Barcelona, and we did," Govou said. "We weren't so shy and didn't wait for them to come at us this time. It wasn't easy for me and the other attackers, though, because we didn't get the ball in good situations, but we all worked hard. For once I was more efficient in defence than in attack."
Home goalkeeper Rémy Vercoutre was also delighted with the result and, like Govou, is already looking ahead to the Ibrox showdown. "At one point we sensed we were in danger of being eliminated but we found the mental strength to come back," he told uefa.com. "Tonight was like a semi-final and we've succeeded in getting through to the final in Glasgow. It's going to be very difficult against a strong Rangers side, and the atmosphere will be red hot, but we're determined to do something special in this competition."
Meanwhile, Tuesday's results ensured Barcelona have qualified as section winners, and the scorer of their opening goal, Andrés Iniesta, expressed his satisfaction, saying: "The team showed a good attitude and we got the point we needed to achieve our goal. It was a shame to concede the penalty near the end as we'd done enough to win, but Lyon never gave up. It was a typical Champions League encounter between two strong, committed teams."
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