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Ajax on brink of last 16 after Lyon draw

Published: Tuesday 22 November 2011, 23.05CET
Olympique Lyonnais 0-0 AFC Ajax
Frank de Boer's side are on the brink of qualification after a goalless draw ensured they remain second, three points clear of the Ligue 1 club.
by Matthew Spiro
from Stade de Gerland

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Match statistics

LyonAjax

Goals scored0
 
0
Attempts on target7
 
3
Attempts off target7
 
8
Corners4
 
5
Offsides4
 
4
Fouls committed13
 
13
Yellow cards2
 
2
Red cards0
 
0
Possession (%)54
 
46

Standings

Last updated: 21/05/2012 17:36 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Tuesday 22 November 2011, 23.05CET

Ajax on brink of last 16 after Lyon draw

Olympique Lyonnais 0-0 AFC Ajax
Frank de Boer's side are on the brink of qualification after a goalless draw ensured they remain second, three points clear of the Ligue 1 club.

AFC Ajax are on the verge of the UEFA Champions League knockout stages after maintaining their three-point cushion over Olympique Lyonnais with a goalless draw in France.

The hosts struggled to find their attacking verve and when they finally got going, goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer was inspired, twice saving from Michel Bastos and denying Alexandre Lacazette with a sensational, fingertip save. The stalemate – a repeat of the scoreline in Amsterdam – leaves the Eredivisie champions second in Group D with a vastly superior goal difference over Lyon, who travel to GNK Dinamo Zagreb on 7 December, when Ajax host section winners Real Madrid CF.

Knowing anything other than a victory would virtually eliminate his team, Lyon coach Rémi Garde opted for an attacking formation with Yoann Gourcuff occupying one of the two central midfield berths alongside Kim Källström. The home side missed the steel of the injured Maxime Gonalons, however, as Frank de Boer's men enjoyed a strong start. Jan Vertonghen nodded Theo Janssen's corner over at the near post inside five minutes, before the Dutch midfielder rifled a low shot just wide.

Les Gones have reached the round of 16 in each of the last eight seasons yet they appeared disjointed: Lisandro's fierce shot, beaten away on seven minutes, was the only occasion in the first half that Vermeer was troubled. That was partly down to Vertonghen's bravery, the captain brilliantly blocking Bafétimbi Gomis' powerful shot before the half-hour, but also Lyon's inaccurate finishing, highlighted by Jimmy Briand's 33rd-minute effort.

For their part, Ajax looked solid and they almost opened the scoring six minutes into the second period, Christian Eriksen leading a rapid counterattack and feeding Miralem Sulejmani, who failed to win his duel with Lloris. The France No1 was called in to action again from the corner that followed, palming out Vertonghen's drive after a weak header out from Aly Cissokho.

Cissokho rode his luck again on the hour, deflecting another Janssen attempt fractionally over the crossbar. Lyon belatedly stirred in the final 20 minutes, Bastos cutting in and forcing Vermeer to make a sharp stop. The goalkeeper sprung to his right to keep out another forceful, curling effort from the Brazilian on 81 minutes, yet saved his best stop for last, pushing Lacazette's rising effort over in the dying seconds to ensure Ajax remain on course to progress for the first time in six years.

Last updated: 22/11/13 9.07CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000263/match=2007640/postmatch/report/index.html#ajax+stride+towards+last

Quotes

  • Rémi Garde

    Read more"I have told the players not to have any regrets. They did their best and some of them gave everything they had"

  • Frank De Boer

    Read more"I am proud of my players. Lyon have qualified for the next stage on a number of occasions so getting a draw was a good achievement"

Lineups

lyon

Lyon

ajax

Ajax

1
LlorisHugo Lloris (GK)
1
VermeerKenneth Vermeer (GK)
3
CrisCris (C)
Yellow Card69
2
Van der WielGregory van der Wiel
Substitution67
5
LovrenDejan Lovren
3
AlderweireldToby Alderweireld
6
KällströmKim Källström
4
VertonghenJan Vertonghen (C)
8
GourcuffYoann Gourcuff
5
AnitaVurnon Anita
9
LisandroLisandro
Substitution73
6
EnohEyong Enoh
Yellow Card32
11
BastosMichel Bastos
7
SulejmaniMiralem Sulejmani
13
RéveillèreAnthony Réveillère
Yellow Card56
8
EriksenChristian Eriksen
18
GomisBafétimbi Gomis
11
EbecilioLorenzo Ebecilio
Substitution85
19
BriandJimmy Briand
Substitution85
16
JanssenTheo Janssen
Yellow Card56
20
CissokhoAly Cissokho
18
LodeiroNicolás Lodeiro
Substitution89

Substitutes

28
ValverdeMatthieu Valverde (GK)
22
CillessenJasper Cillessen (GK)
4
B. KonéBakary Koné
17
BlindDaley Blind
Substitution67
7
GrenierClément Grenier
25
SereroThulani Serero
10
EdersonEderson
Substitution73
37
LukokiJody Lukoki
Substitution89
14
DaboMouhamadou Dabo
39
KlaassenDavy Klaassen
Substitution85
15
FofanaGueïda Fofana
41
De SaLesly de Sa
17
LacazetteAlexandre Lacazette
Substitution85
42
KoppersDico Koppers

Coach

Rémi Garde (FRA) Frank De Boer (NED)

Referee

Jonas Eriksson (SWE)

Assistant referees

Stefan Wittberg (SWE), Mathias Klasenius (SWE)

Fourth official

Martin Strömbergsson (SWE)

Additional assistant referees

Stefan Johannesson (SWE), Tobias Mattsson (SWE)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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