Houllier lauds Lyon 'victory'

Olympique Lyonnais coach Gérard Houllier described his side's draw at Real Madrid CF as 'like a victory' after first place in Group F was secured.

Olympique Lyonnais coach Gérard Houllier described his side's 1-1 result at Real Madrid CF as 'like a victory'. A crafty back-heel from John Carew proved enough to earn Lyon a point in the Spanish capital and cement the French champions' position as winners of UEFA Champion League Group F. Guti had given the Spanish side the ideal opening to achieving the three-goal win required to overhaul Lyon at the summit when he struck just before the break, but their hopes were extinguished with 18 minutes remaining when the Norwegian forward struck.

Gérard Houllier, Lyon coach
When we started in this competition two months ago we could not have imagined we could have done as well as this. These situations allow the team to grow in experience and every player is helping one another when there is a problem. Real Madrid looked strong at the back and did not play a bad match. I felt my team won the mental and physical battle. We went into the second half knowing we would have to take risks to get a goal and it paid off. The result is like a victory for us but tomorrow will be another day. It is great for the younger players to gain experience of this kind of match.

Vanderlei Luxemburgo, Madrid coach
I feel strong enough to continue as coach. It is not a terrible thing that we have not finished top of the group because the most important aspect is that we have already achieved qualification. I am not concerned about my future with the club, though I am worried about how we as a team can improve. But that is football. We must start to think about winning games again and then perhaps we will think about bringing in new players.