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Lyon 1-0 Juventus: Tousart gives Garcia's men first-leg advantage

By Guy Atkinson

Lyon, February 27: Lucas Tousart scored the only goal as Lyon secured a slender 1-0 win over Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash.

Results | Fixtures

Maurizio Sarri's side were desperately poor in the opening stages and deservedly fell behind in the 31st minute when Tousart found the net for the first time in the Champions League this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo was unsurprisingly Juve's biggest threat throughout, the Portuguese superstar clipping narrowly wide in the opening period, while Paulo Dybala had a goal ruled out for offside three minutes from time.

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Yet under-fire Lyon boss Rudi Garcia will be delighted with how his side protected their lead and knows they will need to put in a similarly robust defensive display in Turin if they are to progress to the quarter-finals.

Lyon carved out the game's first chance in the 21st minute, Karl Toko Ekambi glancing Houssem Aouar's corner onto the crossbar.

There was no such reprieve for Juve 10 minutes later, however, when Aouar beat Danilo down the left and picked out Tousart, who steered his volley into Wojciech Szczesny's top-right corner from six yards out.

The goal woke the visitors from their slumber, with Ronaldo whipping in an attempt that narrowly missed the target.

Toko Ekambi came agonisingly close to doubling the hosts' advantage shortly before the interval, blazing over from close range after Miralem Pjanic had lost possession.

Dybala fizzed wide from a promising position 20 minutes from time as Juve cranked up the pressure in search of an equaliser.

Ronaldo saw appeals for a penalty waved away in the closing stages, while a Dybala strike was correctly chalked off, as Lyon stood firm to deny their opponents a potentially vital away goal.

What does it mean? Garcia has the last laugh

Lyon said this week they would sue fans who have been posting images on social media depicting Garcia as a clown. There was nothing slapstick about the approach of his side against Juve, though, as they put the Serie A leaders to the sword with a display full of verve, vigour and no little skill.

Sarri's men will still fancy their chances of turning things around in the second leg, but they know they will not have it all their own way against a side desperate to make the Champions League last eight for the first time in 10 years.

Tousart tops midfield battle

Loaned back to Lyon after signing for Hertha Berlin in January, Tousart was impressive in midfield. His cool finish has set his team up perfectly for the trip to Italy next month.

Pjanic endures a game to forget

The usually reliable Pjanic looked off the pace and struggled to make any kind of impact in attack. It was little surprise to see him hauled off shortly after the hour, Aaron Ramsey replacing him.

What's next?

Juventus host Serie A title rivals Inter on Sunday (March 1) in a game which could yet be played behind closed doors due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. Lyon, meanwhile, entertain Saint-Etienne on the same day in Ligue 1.

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Story first published: Thursday, February 27, 2020, 3:40 [IST]
Other articles published on Feb 27, 2020
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