Last 16 1st Leg
Lyon 1-0 Juventus
Lucas Tousart’s first-half goal saw a superb Lyon stun Juventus 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
Tousart turned in Houssem Aouar’s cross 14 minutes before the break with Juve momentarily reduced to 10 men while Matthijs De Ligt was treated for a head injury, but the victory was no less than Rudi Garcia’s side deserved.
Their first win over Juventus in their history was underpinned by a textbook defensive performance, which denied the Serie A club a single shot on target across 90 minutes.
It was the hosts who enjoyed the better of the chances for most of the game, with Karl Toko-Ekambi rattling the bar from a corner before Tousart’s opener. Juventus substitute Gonzalo Higuain shot wide from close-range with time running out to ensure Lyon travel to Turin on March 13 enjoying a valuable first-leg lead.
Starting on the front foot, Cristiano Ronaldo almost found Juan Cuadrado at the far post inside four minutes, but that hardly provided an insight into how the half would pan out.
Just as they had at this stage 12 months ago against Barcelona, Lyon looked to be compact without the ball and spring on the break. When one such attack led to their first corner of the game, Toko-Ekambi left the crossbar shaking after meeting Aouar’s excellent corner at the near post.
Ten minutes later, with De Ligt forced off by a cut to the head, an improvised backline was breached when Aouar beat Cuadrado down the left before crossing. With the visitors unsure who was marking who, Tousart ghosted in. His top-corner effort was untidy but it beat Wojciech Szczesny.
Back to their full line-up, Juventus nearly crumbled before the break. A lazy pass back to Leonardo Bonucci was picked off by Toko-Ekambi, who went for power from a tight angle and fired over the crossbar, while the same man was again off target from 25 yards minutes later.
There was always an expectation Juventus would improve – especially with Ronaldo entering the game on the back of scoring in 11 Serie A games in succession – but little changed after half-time, in a second period which lacked goalmouth action but was a display of raw determination from Garcia’s superbly organised hosts.
It took until the 68th minute for a chance of note to drop either way, and it was one Juventus badly needed to take. Paulo Dybala arrived late to sweep Rodrigo Betancur’s cross goalwards, but missed the near post by a matter of inches.
With eight to go, it was a similar story for substitute Higuain. Receiving a perfect pass inside from Dybala, he struggled to get the ball out of his feet and clumsily fired wide from eight yards.
In added time, the visitors had a shout for a penalty when Dybala went to ground with Bruno Guimaraes grabbing a handful of his shirt, but referee Jesus Manzano waved away his protests – and with it, Juventus’ hopes of a first-leg comeback.