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Ajax v Lyon background

Published: Tuesday 25 April 2017, 8.45CET
Ajax are within sight of the UEFA Europa League final as they welcome Lyon for their semi-final opener, and will hope their excellent home form can help pave the way to Stockholm.
Ajax v Lyon background
Action from Ajax's last meeting with Lyon in Amsterdam ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics


Goals scored24
Possession (%)55
Total attempts242
on target98
off target81
against woodwork4
Yellow cards48
Red Cards4
Fouls committed251
Fouls suffered219

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)



Published: Tuesday 25 April 2017, 8.45CET

Ajax v Lyon background

Ajax are within sight of the UEFA Europa League final as they welcome Lyon for their semi-final opener, and will hope their excellent home form can help pave the way to Stockholm.

The only former winners left in the competition, Ajax will look to maintain a six-game winning streak at home in the UEFA Europa League as they host high-scoring Lyon.

Previous meetings
• The sides have met four times in UEFA competition: two Ajax wins and two goalless draws.

• In their first encounters, Ronald Koeman's Ajax beat Lyon 2-1 at home and 2-0 away (both times with ten men) in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• In 2011/12, they were paired in the UEFA Champions League group stage again, Rémi Garde's Lyon holding Frank de Boer's Ajax to two 0-0 draws. Current Ajax captain Davy Klaassen – then 18 – made his Ajax and UEFA club competition debut in the game in Lyon on 22 November 2011, and Alexandre Lacazette also made a cameo appearance.

• The teams for their last Amsterdam ArenA meeting on 14 September 2011:
Ajax: Vermeer, Van der Wiel, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Sulejmani (Ebecilio 85), Eriksen, Sigthórsson (Bulykin 81), De Jong, Boilesen, Janssen (Anita 70), Boerrigter.
Lyon: Lloris, Koné, Lovren, Källström, Grenier, Bastos, Réveillère, Gomis (Belfodil 85), Briand, Cissokho, Gonalons* (Fofana 90).
*registered to play in this season's competition.

Highlights: See how Ajax dramatically denied Schalke

• Ajax's overall record in 22 matches against French sides is W10 D5 L7 (W6 D3 L2 in Amsterdam – W4 D2 L5 in France).

• Lyon's record in 12 encounters with Dutch clubs is W6 D4 L2 (W3 D2 L1 at home – W3 D2 L1 in the Netherlands). In all of their match-ups with Dutch opponents, the outcomes of the home and away fixtures have been the same: e.g. they beat Heerenveen home and away in 2000/01, drew with PSV home and away in 2004/05.

• Lyon have already played Dutch opposition this season, thrashing AZ Alkmaar 4-1 away and 7-1 at home in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

Form guide
• Ajax are unbeaten in 12 European home games (W7 D5) including winning all six in this season's UEFA Europa League. They conceded in only one of those six straight successes – a 3-2 victory over fellow semi-finalists Celta in this term's group stage.

• Lyon's record in six European away fixtures this season is W2 D1 L3. They have scored at least one away goal in five of those six matches.

• Ajax have appeared in all eight UEFA Europa League campaigns – the sole club to do so – but this is the first time they have reached the semi-finals. They are the only former UEFA Cup winners left in the competition, having taken the crown in 1992.

• Ajax last got to a semi-final in the 1996/97 UEFA Champions League, succumbing to Juventus.

Highlights: Watch Beşiktaş-Lyon penalty drama

• Lyon's last semi-final was in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League, where they were eliminated by Bayern München. No French team has won the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Lyon to Amsterdam is around 750km.

• Lyon are the only side left from the eight that parachuted down into the UEFA Europa League round of 32 after a third-placed finish in their UEFA Champions League group.

• Ajax winger Justin Kluivert's father may be able to offer him a few tips on French football; Patrick Kluivert is currently director of football with Lyon's domestic rivals Paris Saint-Germain.

• Ajax forward Bertrand Traoré was a trainee in France with Auxerre from 2009–10 before switching to Chelsea's youth set-up.

• Lyon's Mathieu Valbuena was a member of the Marseille team that eliminated Ajax from the 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 16.

• Ajax come into the semi-finals having had the most attempts on goal (187) and shots on target (76) of any team in this season's competition.

• Ajax's Joël Veltman and Nick Viergever are suspended for this first leg of the Lyon tie.

The coaches
• A Dutch title winner as a midfielder with Feyenoord, Peter Bosz returned from Israel to take charge of Ajax in May 2016. He has managed Heracles and Vitesse in the Netherlands, also briefly coaching Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

• Bosz played domestic league football in France with Toulon from 1988–91.

• Bruno Génésio took the Lyon reins in December 2015, but his links to the club go back much further. A local boy, he joined OL as a trainee in 1983 and represented Lyon as a midfielder from 1985–95. He later worked as a scout and was assistant coach from 2011–15.

Last updated: 27/04/17 15.12CET