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Juventus had to be patient before securing a 1-0 first-leg victory at Olympique Lyonnais, Leonardo Bonucci ultimately ending the home side's resistance in a tense UEFA Europa League quarter-final joust.
Missing almost half of their regular lineup through injury, Lyon showed plenty of courage and combativeness to match their rivals in a cagey first half – but it was a different story after the break. Juve ratcheted up the pressure and finally found the net on 85 minutes via centre-back Bonucci, leaving them well-placed to reach the last four in Turin next Thursday.
Relishing the return of big European nights to the Stade de Gerland, the hosts set out determined to climb the "mountain" coach Rémi Garde described in yesterday's press conference. The obstacle in their path has now taken on Mont Blanc proportions, and a Bianconeri team dreaming of gracing this year's showpiece in their own stadium could have taken the lead much earlier had Carlos Tévez nodded on target after six minutes.
Lyon grew in confidence after that nervy start and inched ever closer to Gianluigi Buffon's goal. With 26 minutes gone, they displayed an attacking thrust of their own, Steed Malbranque forcing Buffon to save at his near post. From the resulting corner, Jimmy Briand prodded over after Bakary Koné had headed the ball back into the box.
The flurry of openings continued as Tévez raced clear onto a long ball, only for Anthony Lopes to rush off his line and deny the Argentina forward. With Antonio Conte's men lacking their usual poise and precision, that was as good as it got for the Serie A leaders in a tight first period, and Les Gones began the second sensing an opportunity to record a memorable result.
Desire did not translate neatly into chances, however, and after Samuel Umtiti had sent Buffon sprawling left to parry an off-target free-kick, Tévez tested Lopes at the other end. It was the No10's final contribution as he then hobbled off injured, but Lyon's goalkeeper had to be alert to keep out a swirling Andrea Pirlo set piece before Umtiti applied a crucial block as Pablo Osvaldo pulled the trigger.
The tide was turning again, and lively substitute Sebastian Giovinco unleashed havoc with a surge into the area that ended with a Kwadwo Asamoah effort deflecting wide. Shortly afterwards, Giorgio Chiellini poked the ball wide and Lopes did well to thwart Mauricio Isla. Lyon showed glimpses of defiance on the counter, but Bonucci had the final word, lashing a shot high into the net after OL had failed to clear a corner.
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