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Chamakh lifts Bordeaux spirits

Marouane Chamakh told FC Girondins de Bordeaux to put weekend disappointment behind them as they prepared for the first all-French UEFA Champions League tie.

Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh is in positive mood
Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh is in positive mood ©Getty Images

A defeat in the League Cup final was not the ideal preparation for FC Girondins de Bordeaux going into the UEFA Champions League's first all-French tie but Marouane Chamakh says they are ready to put one over Olympique Lyonnais on Tuesday.

Bordeaux have the advantage of playing the second leg at home but, having relinquished their hold on the League Cup with a 3-1 final defeat against Olympique de Marseille on Saturday evening, Chamakh is hoping heads will be high again for the quarter-final first-leg trip to the Stade de Gerland. "We're all upset to have lost the League Cup final, but we did our mourning that evening," he said. "The game against Lyon has been our most important match for several seasons now. We're really motivated and that's going to compensate for a little of the mental tiredness that we've been feeling."

While meetings between clubs from the same country have become more common in recent years, this will be only the fifth all-French tie in UEFA competition and Chamakh – who scored the only goal when Bordeaux won in Lyon in Ligue 1 last December – is confident the visitors will not lack for motivation. "Playing another Ligue 1 team reduces the magic of the Champions League a little, but we're really more concerned with what's at stake," he said. "Everyone's aware that there's a great semi-final against either Bayern München or Manchester United ahead."

That late winner at the Gerland three months ago was one of nine Ligue 1 strikes Chamakh has managed this season, although the Moroccan striker acknowledges adding to his UEFA Champions League tally of three will be tough against a particularly durable marker. "I'm looking forward to a good battle with Cris, who's a pretty tough defender," he said. "I'm going to try to annoy him throughout the match. I think he'll be aiming to do the same and give me a hard evening."

Bordeaux are in the last eight of the European Champion Clubs' Cup for the first time since 1988 while Lyon have never been further than the quarter-finals yet Chamakh believes Laurent Blanc's charges can turn the tables against opponents who are in the knockout stages for the seventh straight season. "Lyon have a lot more experience than us in terms of the Champions League," he admitted. "Just getting this far is an achievement for us and we're still learning." Having quickly absorbed the lessons of the competition this season, Bordeaux will hope to further their education over the next week.