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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Champions League, Lyon 0-2 Roma

Lyon 0-2 Roma, French champions Stunned!

Francesco Totti and Alessandro Mancini scored first-half goals as Roma advanced into the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time thanks to a smash-and-grab second-leg win over Lyon at the Stade Gerland.

Roma had been furious in the sixth minute when Italian international Daniele De Rossi's header was ruled out somewhat contentiously by the referee Manuel Gonzalez for a foul by Totti for allegedly pushing Eric Abidal. However they got their reward when Totti headed home in the 22nd minute as unmarked - Cris having criminally lost sight of him - he got on the end of a superb cross by Max Tonetto and gave Gregory Coupet no chance at saving.

Lyon managed to regroup, only to see the game effectively killed in the 43rd minute thanks to a piece of individual brilliance by Mancini. Mancini received a David Pizarro crossfield pass 30 yards out on the left.He befuddled Anthony Reveillere with numerous stepovers before finally rounding the right-back and thrashing a left-foot shot high to Gregory Coupet's right into the roof of the net.

GĂ©rard Houllier, Lyon coach
Roma were the better side tonight. We made two defensive errors in the first half and they took their chances. I think the second goal was the end for us - it would have been difficult at 1-0 but at 2-0 it was nearly impossible. We were not good enough offensively or collectively and at this level you must take the game to your opponents and attack until you score. The problem was that Roma were not only good defensively but also attacked quickly. But I'm a sportsman and they were better than us tonight. They are a brilliant team and I can't have any regrets.

Luciano Spalletti, Roma coach
We showed a great maturity - the players were perfect, in winning possession, going forward and being creative offensively. It was not only the defence that were good, against a team like Lyon the whole team must be on top of their game. Not only has my own work over the last two years been shown tonight, but it's also shown the work of the whole team over this time. We didn't pay attention to their aggressive tactics, we stayed calm and organised.

Lyon: Coupet, Reveillere (Benzema 69), Squillaci, Cris, Abidal, Tiago, Diarra (Kallstrom 45), Juninho, Govou (Wiltord 45), Fred, Malouda.
Subs Not Used: Vercoutre, Clerc, Muller, Baros.

Booked: Tiago, Cris, Kallstrom, Fred.

Roma: Doni, Cassetti, Mexes, Chivu, Tonetto, Taddei, De Rossi, Pizarro, Mancini, Perrotta, Totti.
Subs Not Used: Curci, Wilhelmsson, Defendi, Ferrari, Vucinic, Rosi.

Booked: Perrotta, Pizarro.

Goals: Totti 22, Mancini 43.

Champions League, Lyon 0-2 Roma Goals video: