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25.02.2009 12:51

The Kaiser conquers Lyon

Jordi Clos

Rafa Márquez had an outstanding game against Olympique Lyonnais with 16 crucial tackles made and coach Pep Guardiola emphasised the Mexican's contribution after the encounter.

Living up to his nickname of the Kaiser of Michoacán the Barça defender excelled alongside Gerard Piqué in the centre of the team's defence, particularly in the second half. He was the player that intercepted the most balls with 16, ahead of Toulalan's 13 and Carles Puyol's 12. Márquez also cleared 18 balls out of the visitors' area.

Decisive in attack

WEB_11.jpgThe contribution of Márquez was not limited to the defence as he produced 47 successful passes from an attempted 52 and was involved in the goal as he flicked Xavi's corner to the far post where Thierry Henry dived to head home.

Guardiola impressed

In the press conference after the encounter in Stade Gerland, Guardiola praised Márquez: "I was very pleased with the way that he played," the coach said. "It was difficult because Benzema dropped out wide quite often and in one-against-one situations, with his speed and talent, it was not easy. Rafa is an extraordinary player who we have to take care of because in matches like this he naturally raises his game."
The Kaiser conquers Lyon
Close to suspension
Rafa Márquez has been shown two yellow cards in the Champions League and is close to a suspension along with Sergio Busquets.

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