Juventus face uphill battle after Lucas Tousart strikes for underdogs Lyon


Juventus’s hopes of reaching the Champions League last eight suffered a blow when the Italian champions slumped to a 1-0 defeat in their last-16 first leg at Lyon. Midfielder Lucas Tousart scored the only goal on 31 minutes to give Lyon, who are bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010, a deserved win.

It was Lyon’s first victory over Juventus, and Juventus’s first defeat in the competition this season. The Serie A leaders lacked quality, with Cristiano Ronaldo rarely getting into scoring positions, and they will need to improve in the return leg on 17 March if they are to progress.

Around 2,700 Juventus fans travelled from Piedmont, a region neighbouring the coronavirus-hit Lombardy, as the game went ahead as planned despite concern over the virus. On the pitch, Lyon were at their best, with Houssem Aouar and new signing Bruno Guimarães inspiring their team.

“We were not the favourites and rightfully so, but we believed that we could unsettle Juventus,” said the midfielder Aouar. “But let’s not get carried away, there’s one full game left.”

Juventus have only won four of their last eight competitive matches and their captain Leonardo Bonucci said his team had improved. “We messed up our first half, sometimes it happens,” he said. “We gifted one half and they scored at a moment when they were good at hurting us.”

After a cagey start, Lyon made a clear chance when Karl Toko-Ekambi’s header at the near post from Aouar’s corner hit the crossbar. Aouar then burst into the area and delivered a cutback that Tousart placed into the top corner from close range to put the French side ahead.

READ  Esports: F1 hopes to see women and Ferrari in future virtual series

Juventus were at the time down to 10 men as Matthijs de Ligt was getting treatment for blood on his head after being accidentally stamped on by his teammate Alex Sandro. The visitors threatened through Ronaldo but he shot just wide at the end of a counterattack with Juve looking short on confidence.

The Italian side upped the pressure after the interval as Lyon sat back and hoped to hurt Maurizio Sarri’s team on the break. Paulo Dybala went close for Juve with a volley, the substitute Gonzalo Higuaín wasted a couple of chances and Dybala had a goal ruled out for offside as Lyon held firm.



READ SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here