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19.12.2008 12:15

Olympique Lyonnais in the Champions League


Barça have been drawn to play Olympique Lyonnais in the first knockout stage of the CL this season. The Blaugrana will take on Abidal’s former club in Lyon on Tuesday, February 24 and then the return leg will be in Camp Nou on Wednesday, March 11.

Pep Guardiola’s team were fifth in the first group to be pulled out at the draw in Switzerland. After seeing Chelsea paired with Juventus, the next possible opponent that Barça could face were Lyon and when they were announced the Catalan club were duly next.

Goals galore

QM3D3732.jpgThe pairing sees two of European football’s most attacking team go head-to-head as FC Barcelona have scored 18 goals this season in the Champions League, while Lyon are second in the charts with 14 goals to their credit. The French team’s star, Karim Benzema, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Friday, is their top scorer with five goals.

Last season the two teams also met in the group stages of the Champions League with Barça winning at home and drawing away.

Better away

Claude Puel’s team did not progress from an easy group this season, but only just missed out on finishing in first place in their last match when they were beaten 2-3 at home by Bayern München. Fiorentina were third and Steaua Bucharest finished fourth.

Lyon’s impressive away form helped them qualify for the next phase of the Champions League as they won two and drew once in their three games while at home they won once, drew once and lost once to garner eleven points in total.

Leaders in France

In Ligue 1, Lyon are in first place with 35 points from their opening 18 matches. Three points behind them are Olympique Marseille, Girondins de Bordeaux and Paris Saint-Germain. In the French league, just like in Europe, Lyon’s great defensive record has helped them as they have lost the least games.

Olympique Lyonnais in the Champions League
The draw
Olympique Lyonnais-Barceona
Sporting Clube-Bayern München
Atlético de Madrid-Porto
Real Madrid-Liverpool
Inter-Manchester United

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