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A superb long-range shot from Jean II Makoun gave Olympique Lyonnais a third victory in five years against Real Madrid CF and a slender advantage in their UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie.
Lyon created most of the game's chances, César Delgado rattling the woodwork in the first half, and after Makoun's 47th-minute strike both Aly Cissokho and Lisandro went close to adding a second. Madrid will be confident of turning the tie around at the Santiago Bernabéu on 10 March, though the nine-time European champions must do so without Marcelo and Xabi Alonso, who are both suspended after picking up bookings.
Les Gones had defeated Madrid in each of their two previous visits, and Sidney Govou – a survivor of those triumphs – was quick to remind the visitors of his talent, volleying Delgado's sweeping pass narrowly wide in the tenth minute. Manuel Pellegrini's charges then began to control the midfield but rarely looked like breaking through a back line well marshalled by Jean-Alain Boumsong and Cris.
Boumsong was particularly alert in taking the ball off Gonzalo Higuaín's toes after the forward had raced on to Cristiano Ronaldo's delightful flick, later clearing Marcelo's cross-shot from under the crossbar. Yet for all Madrid's possession it was OL who looked more dangerous. Miralem Pjanić's corner was nodded over by Boumsong and Anthony Réveillère, Delgado and Lisandro were all off target when presented with inviting opportunities to shoot from distance.
The home team should have been ahead at half-time but were denied by wayward finishing and bad luck, Delgado particularly unfortunate four minutes before the interval when he latched on to a half-cleared corner and thundered a volley against Iker Casillas's upright from 20 metres.
The Gerland faithful may have feared the best chance had gone yet they were celebrating barely 90 seconds after the restart. Boumsong won possession on halfway, giving Makoun the chance to surge forward unopposed and hit a brilliant swerving shot over Casillas and into the top corner. The game subsequently opened up, Kaká forcing Hugo Lloris to make his first save with a low header before Lisandro nodded Pjanić's free-kick over then directed a shot just wide of the far post.
With both sides knowing the next goal would change the balance of the tie, the contest became frantic. Ronaldo's long-range strike was brilliantly tipped wide by Lloris, before Casillas produced an even better save, racing off his line to block Cissokho's low drive. Seconds later, with the left-back still upfield, Higuaín burst into the Lyon penalty area only to see his flicked attempt parried by Lloris's outstretched right hand.
That was Higuaín's final contribution as he was replaced by Karim Benzema, whose entrance was greeted by rapturous applause, but not even the former OL favourite could find a way through. Benzema's curling shot was easy saved by Lloris before Sergio Ramos headed over from a corner as Lyon resisted a late surge. It leaves Madrid with plenty of work to do if they are to avoid a sixth successive last-16 elimination.
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