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Olympique Lyonnaise v Spurs, 21.02.13

EUROPA LEAGUE
ROUND OF 32 (Second leg)
THURSDAY 21st FEBRUARY, 2013
(7pm C.E.T.)
OLYMPIQUE LYONNAISE 1 (1) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (0)
(Aggregate score:- Lyon 2 Spurs 3)

Lyon scorer:-
Gonalons, 17

Spurs scorer:-
Dembele, 90

Attendance:- 38,761

Referee:- Wolfgang Stark
Assistants:- Jan-Hendrik Salver & Mike Pikel
Additional assistants:- Felix Zwayer & Tobias Welz
Fourth official:- Christoph Bornhost (All officials from Germany)

Teams:-
Lyon (4-2-3-1):- Vercoutre; Reveillere, Bisevac, Lovren, Umtiti; Gonalons (Capt.), Fofana; Lacazette (sub Malbranque, 65), Grenier, Lisandro (sub, Ghezzal, 73);Gomis (sub Briand, 81)

Subs not used:- Lopes; Kone, Ferri, Dabo

Booked:- Umtiti, Gonalons

Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Friedel; Walker, Gallas (Capt.), Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Parker (sub Livermore, 84), Dembele; Lennon (sub Dempsey, 65), Holtby (sub Sigurdsson, 73), Bale; Adebayor

Subs not used:- Lloris; Naughton, Dawson, Caulker

Booked:- Walker, Gallas

Dembele's moment of magic

Just as the Lyon fans were winding up their celebrations as they led 1-0 and on away goals with minutes remaining, Mousa Dembele delivered one of those sublime moments that makes "going to the game" such a joy.

Spurs had battled hard throughout the second half and had a number of good chances, but in the last minute Dembele picked up the ball, carried it and moved to his left, then fired an absolutely cracking 25 yard left foot shot that beat goalkeeper Vercoutre, hitting the net in front of the mass of Spurs fans who celebrated madly. Those home fans crept away as the final whistle approached in the face of Spurs' great joy at securing the tie, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

The overall win made the usual delay in getting out of the ground, and even the prolonged delay of getting away from the vicinity all the more bearable.

Both teams made just one change to their starting line-up, with Lewis Holtby replacing Clint Dempsey, and Grenier starting for Lyon in favour of Malbranque.

Lyon started brightly, keeping Spurs on the back foot. In particular, Bafetimbi Gomis was again very effective in winning, holding and distributing the ball. If Spurs did show an interest in this man, they would do well to pursue it in my view.

Kyle Walker was being fully occupied by Lisandro, and conceded an early free kick, from which Gomis won a corner, which was actually cleared by Adebayor.

In the end, I felt that Adebayor had his best game of the season, and he played a big part in Spurs' impactive second half performance.

Spurs got their foot on the ball after a while, and managed to keep some possession. Walker was fouled going forward, but Adebayor headed over. Walker defended well against Lisandro, when the wide player chased a good ball over the top.

Gomis headed down a cross from the left, but the effort was no problem for Friedel. Friedel got booed by the home crowd every time he touched the ball. I don't think they were booing him because Lloris was not playing, but because they just boo opposing keepers!

I think it was Scott Parker who played a nice ball down the left channel for Aaron Lennon, but the Lyon defence managed to shepherd Lennon away from danger towards the left, before the danger was cleared.

After a free kick conceded by Walker, Grenier crossed and the Lyon Captain rose to head goalward. I thought that the ball had actually been chested in by Gareth Bale and that it was an own goal, but the goal was awarded to Gonalons.

Kyle Walker got booked soon after that for another foul, and had to be careful thereafter. The referee seemed to be favouring the home side at this stage, but in the end probably found a decent balance.

Lisandro had a good chance, which he spurned, after a cross from the right. Again, Spurs found some time on the ball, but nearly suffered after they could only work the ball backwards, and Friedel's clearance was not good enough.

Parker nearly put Bale clear on the right of goal, but Gareth just failed to control the ball. Holtby showed fine skill in the middle, before sending a great curved ball down the left flank for Adebayor, but he too could not keep control.

Bale made a fine solo run, with good determination down on the right bye-line, before Lyon conceded a corner. Friedel was down well to a shot at the other end, before Holtby actually hit the keeper's left post with a well-placed rather than powerful shot just before the break.

Spurs started the second half with a great tempo. Benoit Assou-Ekotto was working like a Trojan, up and down the line, and getting to the Lyon bye-line to good effect.

Parker fed the ball to Adebayor, who did well to get the ball to Bale, who fired well wide across goal. Spurs had two corners in quick succession, the second of which was cleared off Adebayor's head by Vercoutre.

Lyon were defending in strength and numbers and at times resembled an All-Blacks rugby defence, strewn across the width of the pitch.

There was a moment of panic when Friedel was left open at the back, and struggled to clear. Lyon wanted a penally when their man fell under a Spurs challenge, but the referee waved away the appeal forcefully.

Finally, Gareth Bale got to try his free kick technique after 63 minutes, but the goalkeeper managed to double punch this one clear in front of his right post.

An Adebayor overhead kick from a sharp angle inside the box actually rebounded off the top of the bar. Spurs kept coming now, and I felt confident that the precious match equaliser and tie-winner would come.

Vercoutre parried another Bale effort, this time a shot, but again in his right corner.

AVB started to use his substitutions, one of which was Dempsey, who son headed a Bale corner over the target. Adebayor battled hard to work his way into the left side of the box, feeding the ball to Dempsey, who fired wide. Bale had another run, but his shot was too wide, before we finally witnessed that glorious goal by Dembele to send us through to the Round of 16,and another meeting with Inter Milan. I can't wait for that one!

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