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3 times Olympique Lyonnais have proved their worth in the Champions League

Harsh Jain
21 Feb 2019, 17:45 IST

Olympique Lyonnais, the great underdogs of modern football
Olympique Lyonnais, the great underdogs of modern football.

Olympique Lyonnais, commonly referred to as simply Lyon or OL, is a French football club based in Lyon, and currently playing in France's highest football division, Ligue 1. The club isn't known for its great history or winning major trophies. In fact, they have never won theUEFA Champions League. Lyon has participated in the tournament 12 times, and during the 2009–10 season, reached the semi-finals of the competition for the first time after three previous quarter-final appearances.

But even though they have not managed to win the trophy, they always win hearts by their performances. They are not a weak side and are always ready to beat the giants like Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester City.

Lyon is currently unbeaten this season even though they faced the Spanish Champions Barcelona and the English Champions Manchester City. They will surely look to defeat Barcelona at the Camp Nou and show their quality to the world.

Today we will analyze their performances against these top sides that prove their worth in the competition.

#3 The draw against Barcelona

Lyon 0 - 0 Barcelona, 19/09/2019

Barcelona failed to score in the Champions League round of 16 first leg despite managing 25 shots in their goalless stalemate, leaving the tie finely balanced. Lyon's defense was extraordinary as they stopped one of the best attacking sides in the worldfrom scoring a goal.

Only five of the visitors’ attempts were on target but neither Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembélé nor the disappointing Luis Suárez was able to beat the Lyon goalkeeper, Anthony Lopes, at the Groupama Stadium.

Lyon could even have taken the lead were it not for a splendid Marc-André ter Stegen save in the first half when the German tipped a ferocious Martin Terrier shot on to his crossbar.

Lyon hopes their captain's return, Nabil Fekir, who was suspended Tuesday, will help get them an away goal.


Olympique Lyonnais Captain Nabil Fekir
Olympique Lyonnais Captain Nabil Fekir

#2 Defeating City at the Etihad

Lyon 2 - 2 Manchester City, 28/11/18

Manchester City 1 - 2 Lyon, 20/09/18

French Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon stunned English champions Manchester City 2-1 in their UEFA Champions League group F match at the Etihad stadium in Manchester.

France’s World Cup winner Nabil Fekir scored from a brilliant long-distance strike just before half-time to double Lyon’s lead after Maxwel Cornet had opened the scoring for them.

“The key was our togetherness, we were together as a group, and worked hard for one another, and we managed to control the intensity”, Lyon captain Nabil Fekir told

Defeating City is not an easy task, and at their own ground is almost impossible. Not many teams have done it in the past but Lyon did and proved why they are in the Champions League.

Olympique Lyonnais v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League Group F
Olympique Lyonnais v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League Group F

#1 Knocking Real Madrid out of the tournament

Lyon 1 - 0 Real Madrid, 2009-10 season

Real Madrid 1 - 1 Lyon, 2009-10 season

It would be unthinkable to have the most successful club of all-time eliminated at the first knockout stage, wouldn't it? Well, not exactly. Real Madrid have failed to get past the last-16 for the past six years so they would very much be keeping with the form if they were to fail to overturn their one-goal deficit against Lyon.

Madrid had a golden chance to win the trophy as the final was held at the Bernabeu but they missed out as they were thrashed by Lyon in the round of 16. Madrid, even with Cristiano Ronaldo in their side were not able to score against Lyon. This match is surely the best Champions League match in the history of Lyon where they showed the world their capabilities and their worth playing in the competition.

Real Madrid CF v Olympique Lyonnais - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid CF v Olympique Lyonnais - UEFA Champions League

Lyon are not definitely the best team in France but they know how to beat the giants. They will try to do it again at Camp Nou, Barcelona and go to the quarterfinals.

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