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Weary Lyon down but not out

If an 860km bus trip and a lack of defensive options took their toll on Olympique Lyonnais at FC Bayern München, the French side say they will be a different proposition next week.

Hugo Lloris dives at the feet of Bayern forward Thomas Müller
Hugo Lloris dives at the feet of Bayern forward Thomas Müller ©Getty Images

Anthony Réveillère was looking forward to some well-earned rest after Olympique Lyonnais's reward for an 860km bus trip to southern Bavaria was a 1-0 defeat by FC Bayern München. But he insists all is far from lost for the French side's UEFA Champions League aspirations.

"We weren't in peak condition," the right-back conceded, a lament of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption which grounded Lyon's flight. "We held Bayern in the first half but we just didn't have the legs in the second. I think our journey took its toll, but that's no excuse and it could have been worse considering the chances they created. Overall, 1-0 is neither good nor bad."

If Réveillère and Lyon did "run out of juice" in Germany then they will have plenty of opportunity to recharge their batteries ahead of Tuesday's second leg at the Stade de Gerland as they have no domestic fixture this weekend.

"I think we can come back from this result – I'm confident we'll go through," added midfielder Ederson, who pointed to Jérémy Toulalan's dismissal shortly after the restart, evening up the numbers, as a pivotal moment. "It was a shame because he's a very important player for us defensively."

Indeed, Toulalan was filling a troublesome centre-back spot, with options limited by injury – his suspension for the conclusion of this semi-final tie leaves Claude Puel with a significant headache. And, according to Miralem Pjanić, there are a few other things to consider too. "We showed very little," said the Bosnia-Herzegovina midfielder. "I still think we can qualify, but there are certainly a number of things we need to work on."

Chief among them will be attack, rather than defence. Lyon will certainly need to improve on Kim Källström's solitary shot on target at the Fußball Arena München if they are to continue their best ever run in European football's élite club competition. "It's not over yet," said Pjanić. "We'll deliver a better performance in front of our home fans and we'll be more at liberty to attack."