Olympique Lyonnais scuppered Real Madrid CF's dream of reaching the UEFA Champions League final at their Santiago Bernabéu home, Miralem Pjanić's late strike taking the French side into the quarter-finals.
Cristiano Ronaldo had given the home team – who have now fallen at this stage six seasons running – the perfect start as they looked to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit, cancelling that out inside six minutes. However, Lyon emerged for the second half transformed and passed up several presentable openings to level on the night. In the 75th minute Pjanić made no mistake, rounding off an incisive move with a thumping finish and Madrid could find no reply.
Manuel Pellegrini had called on Madrid's fans to produce a similar atmosphere to that which propelled Los Merengues to a comeback victory against Sevilla FC at the weekend and the home support duly obliged in the opening stages. The team themselves responded as Ronaldo raced onto Guti's left-footed pass from deep to outpace Cris and slide a low shot through the legs of Hugo Lloris for his seventh goal in the competition this season.
The nine-time European champions streamed forward in search of more, Kaká seeing his effort from the left saved by Lloris and Ronaldo heading over when well placed. Midway through the half the home side came closer still to doubling their lead. Another pass through the heart of the visiting defence from Esteban Granero set Gonzalo Higuaín bearing down on goal and the Argentinian evaded the on-rushing Lloris only to shoot against the inside of the post with the angle closing. Minutes later, the goalkeeper produced a splendid one-handed stop to deny Higuaín again.
Despite being on the back foot for much of the opening period Lyon – who secured draws on their previous two visits here – did manage to threaten the home goal on occasion. Jérémy Toulalan swerved an effort wide while first-leg scorer Jean II Makoun mis-hit his effort from Sidney Govou's centre. Claude Puel nevertheless looked to stem Madrid's attacking flow by introducing Kim Källström and Maxime Gonalons at the break and the latter almost made an immediate impact when he reached Govou's cross only to head over. Encouraged, Lyon pressed further, Govou lashing high and wide when given time and space.
Les Gones were playing with increasing belief and the chances continued to come, the previously quiet Lisandro stinging the fists of Iker Casillas with a dangerous drive from distance. Madrid countered as the quick-footed Ronaldo provided for Kaká to shoot wide but the momentum had already shifted and the visitors took advantage with 15 minutes left. In a slick move, Källström and César Delgado worked the ball in from the left to the feet of Lisandro and the Argentinian's first-time lay-off found Pjanić to blast in at Casillas's near post.
With the previous vociferous home support stunned into silence, Lisandro could have made the night all the sweeter for Lyon had he not sliced wide. The visiting supporters paid little heed, however, as they cheered their team into the last eight for the first time since 2005/06.
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One on one
Gonzalo Higuaín skipped past Hugo Lloris only to shoot against the post, and the Lyon goalkeeper later produced a superb stop to deny the Argentinian forward.
Urged by Manuel Pellegrini to get behind the team, the Madrid faithful responded – until the final 15 minutes, when it was the visiting fans who were cheering.
What it means
Lyon will have another opportunity to progress beyond the quarter-finals for the first time while Madrid will be spectators for the final at their home ground on 22 May.
Iker Casillas (GK)
Hugo Lloris (GK)
Jean II Makoun
Jerzy Dudek (GK)
Rémy Vercoutre (GK)
Rafael van der Vaart
|Manuel Pellegrini (CHI)||Claude Puel (FRA)|
|Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)|
|Cristiano Copelli (ITA), Luca Maggiani (ITA)|
|Andrea De Marco (ITA)|