Real Madrid came away with a 1-1 draw against Olympique Lyon at Stade Gerland in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16. The Whites played a fantastic second half that included two shots off the post and a penalty that went unseen by the referee. Benzema scored to give the Real the lead and Gomis knocked in the equalizer, but all will be decided in the second leg on 16 March in the Bernabeu Stadium.
Early pressure by Lyon put the Madridistas in a bind. Nine players would retreat when they lost the ball, they prevented Madrid from circulating and they provoked one turnover after the next. Even then, Casillas’ only notable intervention came on 33’, when he got an elbow to a Gomis strike. Real Madrid created few opportunities before a Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick that Lloris punched clear will little signs of trouble. The first half came to a close with a Lyon charge led by Bastos and Gomis, but Carvalho and Pepe managed to bring it to a quick halt.
An energized Madrid took the pitch for the restart and in no time wreaked havoc on the Lyon defense. Cristiano Ronaldo hit the left post with a free-kick on 48’ and one minute later Ramos’ header following a corner kick taken by Ozil struck the top of the crossbar. On 63’, the referee failed to call a penalty after a free-kick struck off the elbow of Delgado inside the Lyon box. Mourinho subsequently replaced Adebayor with Benzema and the move immediately paid off. The Frenchman stole the ball on the left flank and passed to Ozil, who then found Cristiano. The Portuguese international dumped the ball to Benzema, who withstood pressure from Reveillere and before going to the ground shoved the ball through the keeper’s legs and into the back of the net.
Both teams made changes following the goal. Lass replaced Khedira and Marcelo stepped in for Ozil, while Pjanic came on for Lyon and soon thereafter initiated the play that resulted in the equalizer. The Bosnian curled in a free-kick, the ball struck off Cris’ head and Gomis fired the deflection into the net. Lyon continued to pressure during the late stages of the match, but Madrid were organized and steadfast and managed to hold on to the draw with the second leg scheduled for 16 March at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Goals: 0-1, min. 65: Benzema; 1-1, min. 84: Gomis