21 min Moments after Bernadeschi’s solo run, Ronaldo had a go himself, sending his header over the bar after a long ball from deep. They are trying.
19 min Juventus have responded very well here. This time Bernardeschi went very close with some lovely skill, beating about four Lyon men and then sitting Lopes down before sending his finish into the side netting from a tight angle.
16 min Juventus have had a fairly long spell of possession since the goal, with Alex Sandro finding Ronaldo with a lovely lofted through ball from the left. Ronaldo just sent his finish wide of the far post before he was called offside. Still, that was encouraging from the home side.
GOAL! Juventus 0-1 Lyon (agg: 0-2, Depay 13)
Gorgeous. Depay dinks his penalty down the middle and eases Lyon ahead. An enormous goal.
10 min PEN! Lyon have been extremely productive from the left in these early stages, and Aouar this time found himself with the ball in the box. Out of nowhere, Bentancur flew in with a slide tackle. A clear foul.
8 min Chance! an excellent run from Toko-Ekambi, whose cross from the left flank eventually found Houssem Aouar. The midfielder fired a volley first time, which flew left of Szczesny’s post, but not by much.
5 min A sloppy tackle from Caqueret on Alex Sandro yields an early free kick for Juventus. It found Sandro himself, who flicked a header on to De Ligt, whose decent cross was whisked away. The Dutchman is belatedly called for offside. This has been a quiet opening five minutes.
2 min Karl Toko-Ekambi, the surprise starter today over Dembele, picks th eball up on the left flank and wins an early corner from De Ligt. However, it didn’t come to much.
The players have arrived on the pitch. How lovely it is to hear that famous anthem again, even if it is echoing around an empty arena. Kick-off imminent.
What a time for it. Dembélé averaged 1.1 goals per 90 mins in Ligue 1 this season, so he will clearly be a huge threat for Juventus if and when he is called on.
There is one major omission for each team: Paulo Dybala will not start tonight for Juventus after his well established injury issues, while the ever-impressive Moussa Dembele will also begin on the bench.
We have our teams:
Juventus XI: Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Rabiot; Bernardeschi, Higuain, Ronaldo
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Danilo, Chellini, Rugani, Demiral, Ramsey, Matuidi, Muratore, Olivieri, Dybala.
Lyon XI: Lopes; Dubois, Denayer, Marcelo, Marçal, Cornet; Caqueret, Guimarães, Aouar; Depay, Toko-Ekambi
Subs: Tatarusanu, Diomande, Andersen, Rafael, Dembele, Traore, Mendes, Reine-Adelaide, Jean Lucas, Tete, Bard, Cherki.
Predictably, Sarri was asked in his pre-match presser whether a bad result today would have consequences for his future. His response, as reported by BBC Sport:
“I don’t think my future is riding on this game. Thinking this way you make the club directors look like amateurs. I think I’m dealing with high level directors. They will decide whether to continue or to change. But it doesn’t depend on a single game.”
Paulo Dybala has missed the last two Juve games. All eyes on whether he will start tonight.
Hello! Welcome to our coverage of tonight’s Champions League game between Juventus and Lyon as the Old Lady attempt to overcome a one goal deficit in order to keep themselves in the competition for a little while longer.
Just a couple of minor things have happened around the world in the five months since the first leg, so let’s recap again: Back in February, Lucas Tousart scored the only goal at OL Stadium before Lyon held on to secure a first ever win over Juventus. At that time, Lyon took advantage of Juventus temporarily going down to 10 men after a dramatic looking head injury for Matthijs De Ligt, but they sealed an extremely worthy win against a lethargic Juventus that didn’t register a single shot on target.
Afterwards, Sarri was very confused about his team’s laboured build-up play, which only further helped to circulate questions about whether he is the right man to command Juventus to more European success. Although his team sealed the Serie A title after the break, those questions remain after a laboured return. Juventus arrive on Friday with three losses in four games, their weaknesses unchanged: an over-reliance on Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, a problematic midfield and often not enough width, but we go on in search of something different tonight.
While Juventus have played 14 competitive games since their league restarted in June, Lyon have played only one (1!) competitive game since March – their loss on penalties to PSG in the Coupe de la Ligue final. The only thing more bizarre than the fact that we are watching a Champions League game on a Friday is the complete contrast in preparation between some of the Champions League teams after the French leagues were cancelled this season.
There is not much to be said about Lyon’s form. Throughout the past couple of months, most teams predictably took time to reach full intensity after the break so it is incredibly tough task for Lyon to match Juventus’s intensity for 90+ minutes in order to hold on to their slender lead. It is also difficult to imagine that morale has been high since the Ligue 1 season was ended with Lyon sitting in 7th, prompting some understandable outrage from the club. None of this is easy, but Lyon have no choice but to be ready at 8pm tonight.
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