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AS Roma go into their first knockout round tie with Olympique Lyonnais aiming to go further than ever before in the UEFA Champions League. Since losing the 1984 European Champion Clubs' Cup final to Liverpool FC, Roma's best performances in the revamped competition came when they reached the last 16 in 2001/02 and 2002/03 but standing in their way are a Lyon team with a formidable away record.
• Roma's eight-match unbeaten run at the Stadio Olimpico in European competition is unlikely to daunt opponents who have won eight of their last 13 UEFA Champions League away matches. Moreover, in the previous three seasons the French champions travelled away for the first leg of their last-16 tie - and won - beating Real Sociedad de Fútbol 1-0, Werder Bremen 3-0 and, last term, PSV Eindhoven 1-0.
• Roma reached this stage by finishing second in Group D, Christian Panucci's 13th-minute goal against Valencia CF on 5 December earning the 1-0 victory that took the Giallorossi through. Roma recorded three wins overall – also beating FC Shakhtar Donetsk 4-0 and Olympiacos CFP 1-0 in Greece – as well as a home draw with Olympiacos (1-1) and losses at Valencia (1-2) and Shakhtar (0-1).
• Lyon performed better than anybody in the group stage, collecting an unrivalled 14 points to finish top of Group E. A 2-0 home win over Real Madrid CF was the first of four in a row – 3-0 at both FC Steaua Bucuresti and FC Dynamo Kyiv and 1-0 at home to Dynamo – before they finished off with draws with against Madrid (2-2) and Steaua (1-1). Alou Diarra's equaliser against Steaua on 6 December maintained an unbeaten record matched only by FC Bayern München.
• Roma have registered two wins, two draws and one loss against French teams. They beat FC Girondins de Bordeaux home (5-0) and away (2-0) in the 1990/91 UEFA Cup third round but lost 1-0 on aggregate to AS Monaco FC in the following season's UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals. Last season they were held 1-1 in Rome by RC Strasbourg in the UEFA Cup group stage.
• Lyon have a good record in Italy where they have recorded three victories in five visits. They beat Roma's local rivals S.S. Lazio 2-0 on their one previous trip to the Stadio Olimpico in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup second round, Florian Maurice and Eric Assadourian the scorers.
• Their most recent match on Italian soil brought heartache as late goals from AC Milan's Filippo Inzaghi (88 minutes) and Andriy Shevchenko (90+3) inflicted a 3-1 defeat in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg – spelling their elimination.
• Lyon coach Gérard Houllier has happy memories of the Stadio Olimpico. As Liverpool FC manager, he led his team to a 2-0 victory over Roma in the UEFA Cup fourth round on 15 February 2001 en route to winning the trophy.
• Sidney Govou scored twice in France's 3-1 victory against Italy in Paris in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying last September, slight revenge for the 2006 FIFA World Cup final. Lyon team-mates Grégory Coupet, Eric Abidal, Florent Malouda, and Sylvain Wiltord also featured while Roma's Simone Perrotta and Daniele De Rossi appeared for the Azzurri, who were without Francesco Totti. The return match is on 6 March.
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