MANCHESTER CITY AND OLYMPIQUE LYON BATTLING FOR SEMI FINALS OF THE 2020 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
After three quarter final decided, all eyes would yet again be on Lisbon’s Estadio Jose Alvalade in Portugal tonight where Manchester City and Olympique Lyon will battle for the remaining semi-final ticket of the 2020 UEFA Champions League.
Though, the match will be played behind closed doors due to guidelines regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic, it promises to be interesting after Manchester City and Lyon respectively ousted UCL heavyweights Real Madrid and Juventus in the previous round.
Pep Guardiola’s side booked their spot in the quarter-finals courtesy of a 4-2 aggregate success over the Spanish giants while Lyon surprisingly overcame the Old Lady on the away goals to advance to the final eight.
The road to this stage has been fascinating for both sides as Man City comfortably qualified as unbeaten winners of Group C which was followed by that eye-catching 4-2 aggregate defeat of Real Madrid in the Round of 16. Lyon on the other hand, were grateful to an unbeaten home record as they edged the runners-up spot in Group G with just eight points.
Nevertheless, Guardiola was quick to underline his respect for a Lyon side who took four points off City in last season’s group stage and who get the ball forward as quickly as any team in the competition.
“If we are going to win the Champions League? All teams think the same way. Why would we be different from others to make sure we win?
“Lyon is there too. Last season, we lost and then drew. We couldn’t beat them that’s the reality.
“Rudi Garcia knows his team very well. I know the qualities of this coach, who has coached in several countries,” noted Guardiola.
Notwithstanding that note of caution, Guardiola’s Man City is known for its aggressiveness with or without the ball and we saw much of that in the manner they defeated Real with their usual high-tempo, high-pressing template style laced with some terrific individual displays.
The Ligue 1 side gave Man City two incredibly tough games in the 2018/19 Champions League campaign, winning one and drawing the other as the teams clashed in the group stage of the competition.
Though Lyon did not do well on the in the French Ligue 1 this season and actually finished outside the top four. However, their fortunes in the Champions League have been quite the opposite.
In a very tight group that included Red Bull Leipzig, Benfica and Zenit St Petersburg, Lyon had to come back from 2-0 down at home to Leipzig in the final group game to draw 2-2 and take the point they needed to qualify.