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Mourinho aims to unite Madrid and rule Lyon

Published: Monday 17 October 2011, 19.29CET
José Mourinho said "it's possible I will play both" when asked if the returning Karim Benzema or in-form Gonzalo Higuaín would lead the Real Madrid CF line against Olympique Lyonnais.
Mourinho aims to unite Madrid and rule Lyon
José Mourinho speaks ahead of the match ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

Real MadridLyon

Goals scored35
 
10
Attempts on target99
 
47
Attempts off target82
 
64
Corners63
 
47
Offsides50
 
29
Fouls committed138
 
125
Yellow cards24
 
15
Red cards1
 
0
 
Published: Monday 17 October 2011, 19.29CET

Mourinho aims to unite Madrid and rule Lyon

José Mourinho said "it's possible I will play both" when asked if the returning Karim Benzema or in-form Gonzalo Higuaín would lead the Real Madrid CF line against Olympique Lyonnais.

José Mourinho would not be drawn on whether he would start with the returning Karim Benzema or in the in-form Gonzalo Higuaín when Real Madrid CF host Olympique Lyonnais boasting a 100% record in UEFA Champions League Group D. Benzema has not played since he tore a groin on matchday two, while Higuaín has incredibly scored three hat-tricks in his last four appearances for club and country.

My objective is to unite, not to divide. In the press it is different because there is a debate as to who is better. I think differently; we win and lose as a team.
José Mourinho, Madrid coach
Our goal is to get points from this match but we know it will be difficult. We have come here expecting to get something good and we're ready to give it our best.
Rémi Garde, Lyon coach

Real Madrid
Coach José Mourinho
We want to qualify as soon as possible but we are facing a Lyon side [as strong as ever]. They can change coaches and players but the team make-up is always the same: serious, rigorous, tactically strong, tough at the back, fantastic from dead-ball situations and good on the counterattack.

Real Madrid have always been an attacking team and I expect us to be balanced and try to win games whether they are at home or away. We want to be stronger than we were last season but this won't be easy. It's normal for teams to improve the more they work on things. The important thing for us on Tuesday is to win, although it is not easy to do so in the Champions League. Last year we managed ten points from our first four games, which meant we qualified; at the moment we have a cushion of six points.

It's possible that I will play with both [Higuaín and Benzema] or just one of them. They are both in good condition and competition [for places] improves the collective play of the team. My objective is to unite, not to divide. In the press it is different because there is a debate as to who is better. I think differently; we win and lose as a team.

Weekend result
Saturday:
Real Madrid CF 4-1 Real Betis Balompié (Higuaín 46 70 73, Kaká 59; Molina 69)
Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Diarra, Alonso; Özil (Coentrão 74), Kaká (Di María 60), Ronaldo (Altıntop 78); Higuaín

• Gonzalo Higuaín registered his second successive Liga hat-trick and third in four matches this month following three-goal hauls in Madrid's 4-0 victory at RCD Espanyol on 2 October and for Argentina in their 4-1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying win against Chile five days later. Cristiano Ronaldo made his 100th Madrid appearance.

Team news
Raúl Albiol was out on Saturday with a fractured cheekbone but Pepe and Fábio Coentrão returned from injury. Ricardo Carvalho has a back problem, Lassana Diarra a hamstring injury and Nuri Şahin knee ligament damage. José Mourinho is back on the sidelines and Marcelo also returns from suspension.

Lyon
Coach Rémi Garde

Bafétimbi Gomis arrived in Lyon after scoring a lot of goals with his former team. He wants to be better, listens a lot and could improve a great deal. He needs to be more confident and then he will score many goals.

Our goal is to get points from this match but we know it will be difficult. We have come here expecting to get something good and we're ready to give it our best. I am impressed with the mix of individual and collective quality of Madrid. [Yoann] Gourcuff has only played 50 minutes in the last five months. He could play tomorrow but still needs a more global view of the team and harder training sessions.

Madrid have shown why they are one of the best teams in Europe. We want to play well and prove that Olympique are a solid squad. I admire Mourinho because he gets respect from his players and he respects them. There will be many keys [to winning] the match but one of them will be our defending across the pitch.

Weekend result
Saturday:
Olympique Lyonnais 3-1 AS Nancy-Lorraine (Bastos 25 31pen, Gomis 28; Jung 88)
Vercoutre; Réveillère, Cris, B Koné, Cissokho; Grenier (Gourcuff 43), Fofana, Gonalons, Bastos (Lacazette 81); Gomis, Briand(Ederson 69)

• Lyon are now unbeaten in 23 games at home.

Team news
Clément Grenier, Cris, Ederson and Yoann Gourcuff all made injury comebacks against Nancy though Grenier, who tore a hamstring last month, did not complete the first half after straining a thigh. Jérémy Pied has an ankle injury while Anthony Lopes has undergone surgery on a broken right fibula and ankle ligament tear. Lisandro (ankle) and Yannis Tafer (broken foot) are long-term absentees.

Match fact
This tie pits Benzema against his old club for the third time since his switch to Madrid in 2009. Lyon had the upper hand in the 2009/10 round of 16 but fortunes were reversed at the same stage last season.

Last updated: 18/10/11 17.06CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000263/match=2007607/prematch/preview/index.html#mourinhos+striking+decision

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