PARIS - Olympique Lyon's
embarrassing 2-2 home draw with Hapoel Tel Aviv in
their final Champions League group game on Tuesday exposed the
defensive frailties the French side will have to eliminate to
go further in the competition.
Substitute Alexandre Lacazette salvaged a point for Lyon
with a last-gasp goal but the home players were booed off
their Gerland pitch by an angry crowd.
Goalkeeper Lloris was forced to make several spectacular
saves as centre-backs Cris and Pape Diakhate delivered a
Both were caught out in the 63rd minute when Shay
Abutbul's defence-splitting pass found Ben Sahar, who scored a
well-deserved equaliser a minute after Lisandro Lopez opened
the scoring for the home side.
Eran Zahavi put Hapoel ahead with a bicycle kick in the
"We enjoyed possession, we took risks and eventually we
conceded a goal on a counter-attack," said full back Aly
Cissokho. "We lacked coordination."
Lyon, who had already qualified after winning their
opening three Group B games, have conceded nine goals in their
last three outings.
They finished second in Group B on 10 points, three adrift
of Schalke 04, and will take on a team who finished top of
their group in February.
"It is true that we have been having defensive problems
for a while," Cissokho said. "Nine goals in our last three
European matches, it's a lot for a team that has qualified."
Lyon, who reached the semi-finals last season and will be
playing in the knockout phase for the eighth consecutive year,
now have two months to get their act together.
"We still make too many mistakes and we need to correct
this," midfielder Maxime Gonalons added.
Coach Claude Puel, however, refused to panic.
"We lacked aggressiveness but there were no consequences,"
he told French TV Canal Plus. "We worked hard, we have an
ambitious squad. You (the media) can bury us, we will show our
worth in 2011."
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