Olympique Lyonnais defender Fabio Grosso says his side will not allow a miserable weekend to affect their chances of going through to the UEFA Champions League knockout stages when they take on ACF Fiorentina.
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Olympique Lyonnais defender Fabio Grosso says his side will not allow a miserable weekend to affect their chances of reaching the UEFA Champions League knockout stages when they take on ACF Fiorentina.
The Ligue 1 leaders not only suffered a rare 1-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain FC on Saturday, but also had their Brazilian captain Juninho Pernambucano red-carded and lost defender Anthony Réveillère to a knee injury which will keep him out for the season. It could not have been worse preparation for facing a Fiorentina side who must win for the first time in Group F to stand a chance of qualifying, while the French champions need only a draw to go through. Asked about the mood in the Lyon camp after the setback, Grosso said: "We're calm, we're not worried. We've been working towards some major objectives since the start of the season and you don't change mentality because of just one match.
"We're ready for this game and we'll be going into it with the usual maximum commitment and maximum determination – with the hope of qualifying. We know it'll be difficult but we're ready to do it. We've got the confidence to do it." The 30-year-old made it clear there was no room for nostalgia on his first return to Italy with Lyon since joining from FC Internazionale Milano in 2007. "I've played against Fiorentina at this ground lots of times, so I've a lot of memories, both good and bad. But the present is all about this really important match tomorrow. We want to put on a good show – and qualify."
Thirst for victory
For Fiorentina captain Dario Dainelli there is a real desire to make amends after their 1-1 home draw with FC Bayern München on 5 November, when they looked set for all three points until Tim Borowski poached a late equaliser. It also echoed a 2-2 draw in Lyon on Matchday 1, when Fiorentina squandered a two-goal lead in the closing stages. "We've talked among ourselves a lot since our last Champions League game," the defender said. "We talked about the disappointment and anger of not having got the result we wanted – just like at Lyon and in other games at home."
With his team on three points, five adrift of both Lyon and Bayern but two ahead of FC Steaua Bucureşti, Dainelli says there will be no need for fiery rhetoric before kick-off. "There's such a desire to get the result we're after that we don't really need to say all that much," he said. "We don't need to wind ourselves up for this one. The desire will be there."