"It wasn't our best game of the season but we managed to pull through," said Olympique Lyonnais' Bafétimbi Gomis, reflecting on a 1-0 second-leg win over FC Chornomorets Odesa.
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The body language of the Olympique Lyonnais players after they had secured, by the slenderest of margins, their place in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 suggested they knew they had been in a contest against FC Chornomorets Odesa.
Despite it being "not our best game of the season", according to Bafétimbi Gomis, Remi Garde's side scored the only goal of the last-32 tie with ten minutes remaining at Stade de Gerland through Alexandre Lacazette, setting up a pair of encounters with FC Viktoria Plzeň. The visitors, who had Evgeniy Zubeiko sent off, were left to rue the moment at 0-0 when Markus Berger's glancing header struck the woodwork. As frustrating as that was, Chornomorets' Franck Dja Djedje says the Ukrainian team can extract a lot of positives from their elimination.
Bafétimbi Gomis, Lyon forward
We achieved our objective tonight by qualifying for the next round. It wasn't our best game of the season, but we were able to pull through. We felt that our players were in top form. Until we scored, nothing was confirmed because they were so well-organised and quite strong on the counterattack. We were able to score at the right time.
Samuel Umtiti, Lyon defender
We expected a tough game because we had studied our opponents on video. We knew that this team not only battled well but could also put us in trouble with the long ball. We were better in the second half. It was not the Lyon we have seen in recent weeks, but the main thing was to qualify. This run is going on, slowly but surely, and the objective is to get as far as possible.
Franck Dja Djedje, Chornomorets forward
This is obviously a big disappointment because we really felt we could do something tonight. We were in good shape, but Lyon had individual quality. Lacazette has done well in the game at the right time. The red card made us change our defensive system. We were a tough proposition and we just missed a chance to progress with the header from Berger, who hit the post. But tonight we go out and we will take the positives for a fresh start in the league and try to qualify for the Europa League next season.