UEFA Champions League

March 4, 2008


Manchester United

1 - 0


UEFA Champions League

19:45 +00:00, March 4, 2008

Old Trafford, England

2nd Leg: 2 - 1 (Agg)

  • 92'

    United go through 2-1 and are into the quarter-finals. Not a classic match, but a win and progress; that's all that really matters.

  • 92'

    But it goes out for a throw and the whistle goes.

  • 92'

    It's not. There's another attack.

  • 91'

    Lyon have the ball and Benzema, their best player, gets his head down and runs at the United side. He beats a few men before the ball spills away from him, and that should be that.

  • 90'

    United slow the game with a substitue: Ronaldo goes off to a standing ovation (he was only OK tonight) and on comes Hargreaves.

  • 90'

    Two minutes of added time signalled by the fourth offical.

  • 89'

    Not much added time will be added, so this is 'hail mary' time for Lyon.

  • 88'

    In Manchester Ben Arfa loses possession in manner one would sooner associate with Bea Arthur. Not good enough at this stage.

  • 87'

    And in news from Milan, in case you're interested, Fabregas has scored and Arsenal now lead the European Champions 1-0 with less than five mins to go.

  • 87'

    Time running out for Lyon.

  • 86'

    Rooney steers a shot wide. He first tried to clip a backheel to Ronaldo. It didn't work and the rebound was drilled low and wide - next time just shoot!

  • 85'

    Juninho, tonight sporting a horrid beard, hammers the freekick aimlessly wide.

  • 84'

    Dangerous freekick for Lyon 40 yards out, in a central position.

  • 83'

    More calm play from Carrick; rather than lumping a clearance aimlessly forward he dropped the shoulder lost his marker and bought some time. Sadly he then sprayed the ball to a marked man who duly fell over and lost possession. Shame.

  • 82'

    Offside given against an on-side Ronaldo following a neat ball from Tevez. More face pulling from the Portuguese.

  • 81'

    Freekick given against Rooney for a seemingly fair challenge on Clerc. Odd decision.

  • 81'

    Offside given against Fred.

  • 80'

    Lyon have rolled the dice with 10 minutes to go; they have a four-man front line with Fred, Benzema, Ben Arfa and Keita all playing a high line.

  • 79'

    Immediate action for Fred who gets a ball inside the left channel and feeds it to Ben Arfa.

  • 79'

    Another change for Lyon. Kallstrom leaves the fray as Fred takes to the pitch.

  • 78'

    Keita's pass for Grosso is too deep and Lyon's attack is over. Ben Arfa should have played him in sooner.

  • 77'

    Juninho tries to dance through the centre of the park, but Carrick robs him of the ball with a good old fashioned shove.

  • 76'

    Nani takes and fails to beat the first man. Completely pathetic.

  • 75'

    Momentary relief for United as they win a corner.

  • 74'

    Ronaldo pulls that face off his, like someone has just taken all his toys away and told him to eat all his greens or he won't be allowed out. In truth a pass didn't quite reach him. Grow up.

  • 73'

    Keita hits the post! Danger!!! United need to wake up. Lyon are fighting for their lives here and United are just too slack. Keita crept up after a neat one-two with Benzema.

  • 73'

    Yellow card for Fletcher after a late tackle.

  • 72'

    Finally Rooney gets involved in the game this half, thanks in no small part to Tevez introduction. The two combine well, but Lyon's goal is unthreatned. United need to get on the ball and string some passes together.

  • 71'

    Keita cuts inside from the right wing to link up with Benzema.

  • 70'

    Brown cuts out a pass and concedes a corner - good recovery from the defender to spoil Grosso's attack

  • 69'

    A change for United. Goodnight Anderson, good evening Tevez. Let's hope he can make a difference, get his foot on the ball and create some trouble for Lyon who are on top as they chase this game.

  • 68'

    Great ball in from Grosso. It bounces around, with Juninho and Ben Arfa both failing to connect with their efforts.

  • 67'

    Next sub will surely come from United. Maybe Scholes will come on for Anderson, or Tevez for Rooney. United need to get something going or Lyon will dominate the last quarter of the game.

  • 66'

    Govou is being taken off. Not his most productive night. On comes Keita, we might see some of his electirc pace in the last 25 minutes.

  • 65'

    Benzema shows his strength and pace to bomb passed Evra and slip a pass to Clerc who wastes the ball by neither shooting or crossing. The ball rolls across the goal and United escape.

  • 65'

    Brown is skinned by Ben Arfa, but Fletcher covers to cut off the supply.

  • 64'

    United are on the verge a little peice of history: If they win tonight it will be their 10th straight European win, equalling the record set by Juventus 11 years ago. A little stat for you all.

  • 63'

    Old Trafford sing a slightly cheeky song, gloating at the visitors expense. Hopefully for them it won't come back to haunt them!

  • 62'

    Someone just ran the length of the corridor to trip the sensor and put the lights back on. Let there be light. I thought you'd like to know.

  • 61'

    Corner to Lyon. Grosso with a dummy run creates space for Ben Arfa - nice move. Uncomfortable moments for United.

  • 60'

    You've got to love it when the lihts go out in the office when you're doing something like this. I clearly don't eat enough carrots. I suppose we're saving the planet by having the lights on a timer.

  • 59'

    Now Ronaldo has a face like thunder after someone had the temerity tot tackle him! It's an outrage.

  • 58'

    Evra throws a mini-tantrum after winning the ball cleanly from Clerc, but having a foul given against him.

  • 57'

    Benzema drops deep to beat Carrick to the ball; Lyon full of fight.

  • 56'

    Ben Arfa tries his luck with shot, which he only half connects with.

  • 55'

    Juninho wins a corner after trying to score from a freekick which was at least 45 yards out.

  • 54'

    Toulalan gets a yellow card for slighly touching Nani's foot. Nani, in an early claim for next year's Oscars, falls to the floor clutching his leg. Utter, and I mean complete and utter, nonsense from Nani. You should be ashamed.

  • 53'

    Evra bundles over Clerc, who looks rather upset to be lying face down on the grass with no foul signalled.

  • 51'

    Sloppy defending from Carrick after a risky pass by Ronaldo lets Bea Arthur (sorry, still can't resist using Ben Arfa's alias)in for a shot; luckily he shanked it wide.

  • 50'

    Finally I register the home fans chanting. Not sure if that's because they've been quiet or I was just concentrating on the game. Prawn sandwich, anyone?

  • 49'

    Juninho tries a speculative shot from range.

  • 48'

    Ronaldo looks to be suffering, limping. Seems to be a foot injury of some sort.

  • 47'

    Lyon are looking bright. They know what they need to do - Benzema looks particularly dangerous.

  • 46'

    Rio Ferdinand blocks a shot to spoil a promising, if not scary move from Lyon.

  • 45'

    One goal for Lyon will force extra-time. Can they? Well, that's another matter. They'll need to attack which will leave them exposed at the back. It's not do or die yet, but it's not far off.

  • 45'

    Underway in the second half.

  • 45'

    Good half. United will be happy with the lead, obviously. They had more ball, played the better football and are deserving of the lead. Lyon look dangerous on the break, but they need two goals and so far do not look like getting them. Quarter-finals beckoning for the Red Devils?

  • 45'

    And that's halftime.

  • 44'

    Gross tackles Ronaldo to deny the winger.

  • 43'

    Lyon need a minor miracle now. United 2-1 up on aggregate including that away goal.

  • 42'

    Juninho delivers a dangerous freekick which Van der Sar punches clear.

  • 42'

    Nani looks rather wounded to have been dealt a yellow card. He took the ball, but went through the back of Govou to do so.

  • 41'

    Ronaldo hits his 30th goal in 30 games. Nani and Brown worked the ball down the right before Anderson's side footed shot bobbled through to Ronaldo who dug it out from his feet, beat Clerc and finished from a wide angle passed Coupet.

  • 40'

    GOAL!! United 1-0 up.

  • 39'

    Van der Sar gathers a fairly un-subtle ball hoisted in from the left flank. No danger.

  • 38'

    Grosso kindly picks up the ref's notebook after he had dropped it. I couldn't see any cash change hands, you'll be pleased to know.

  • 37'

    Another United corner comes to nothing. They really ought to think about trying something a little inventive then simply bring the big defenders up and lumping the ball into the box? I mean, come on.

  • 36'

    Ferguson is on his feet and shaking his head. Not quite sure what about, but he's looked happier.

  • 35'

    Fletcher gets a talking to from the ref after clashing with Coupet for a 50-50 ball crossed in from Evra. The United man had every right to jump for the ball, Coupet saved well but the two clashed in the air and the keeper fell in a heap allowing the visiting defenders to over-react to the incident. Nonsense.

  • 34'

    Rio and Vidic shut the door to deny Lyon after a sweet through-ball from Juninho.

  • 33'

    Lyon not afraid to play the physical game, plenty of contact in the middle of the pitch as the players seek to calm 50-50 and secondary ball.

  • 32'

    Ronaldo drills it into the wall, which looked a little close.

  • 31'

    Handball against Gross. A cheap freekick. Dangerous area on the pitch 35 yards, right of centre.

  • 30'

    Respite for United as Van der Sar claims a ball into the box. Lyon not afraid to play a little, it seems.

  • 29'

    Vidic shows his class with a well-timed tackle on Benzema.

  • 28'

    Lyon's holy trinity of Bea Arthur, Benzema and Juninho combine in a quick break to threaten United's goal; the final shot was driven in by Kallstrom. Lyon looking dangerous.

  • 27'

    Clerc and Benzema link up on the right wing before the former whips in a ball which Van der Sar claims.

  • 26'

    Toulalan with a superb tackle to foil Anderson.

  • 25'

    Grosso getting up close and personal with Ronaldo in the penalty area mix-up ahead of the corner. WWE moves obviously the choice of the players tonight.

  • 24'

    With United keeping possession and passing the ball with ease Lyon must be feeling the size of their task. They must score and keep a clean sheet. Not easy.

  • 23'

    Cris again beat Fletcher to a header, this time in the box from a Ronaldo cross.

  • 22'

    Grosso gets a booking after a foul is given against Cris for a foul on Fletcher. 'Keep your mouth shut', is the moral of that particular story. Unless you want a booking, in which case, go for it.

  • 21'

    So far so good for Lyon. No clear chances for them, but their backline has held firm under some close scrutiny from United.

  • 20'

    Ronaldo tries to slot the freekick underneath the jumping wall; the ball ricochets around before someone hoofs it clear.

  • 20'

    Nani buys, sorry, wins a freekick from Clerc who was trying a bit of a WWE move on the winger.

  • 19'

    Benzema tries a shot from range. Lyon have clearly been issued 'shoot on sight' orders.

  • 18'

    A corner for United is wasted and Lyon get a spell on the ball in the United half.

  • 17'

    Carrick getting involved in some nice moves from the home side. Often derided, Carrick. He is class, just not the exciting player that grabs the headlines.

  • 16'

    Nani clips the ball just wide of the post beyond a despairing Coupet, but the flag is up; so the keeper can relax and Nani can pretend he didn't miss an open goal.

  • 15'

    Fletcher unleashes a drive from distance afte being fed by Carrick.

  • 14'

    Carrick gets the ball from Nani who had run into a blind alley. The cultured midfield plays a calm ball across the pitch.

  • 13'

    Bea Arhtur, sorry Ben Arfa, clears after Ronaldo tried to slip a ball through to Anderson

  • 12'

    Bit of an ugly game of pinball as the corner bounces around before Lyon clear and the United centre-halves track back.

  • 12'

    United win a corner; Rio and and Vidic go up.

  • 11'

    All United at the moment. Lyon can't get a foot on the ball or two passes together.

  • 10'

    Rooney tries to beat four men, only manages three before playing it off to Ronaldo in a tricky spot and he soon loses it.

  • 9'

    So far United have perhaps edged it. But Lyon have shown they are not to be taken lightly.

  • 8'

    Ronaldo beats Grosso on the right wing and he shows his speed to leave the Italian in his wake.

  • 7'

    Ben Arfa (not to be confused with the Golden Girls' Bea Arthur) tries a shot from range but it flies high, wide and handsome. Bea would have at least got it on target.

  • 7'

    Fergie has shuffled his pack tonight with both Scholes and Hargreaves missing out after playing so well at the weekend in the win over Fulham. How well the side gel?

  • 6'

    A groan and some applause from the crowd as Ronaldo tries to release Rooney. No joy this time, but the crowd liked the idea.

  • 5'

    Rooney drops deep and United play their way out of defence

  • 4'

    Great ball whipped in from Juninho, but it is headed clear and United escape. But with Evra now on a booking so early in the game he'll have to be careful.

  • 3'

    Lyon enjoying a spell on the ball, until that is Evra takes out Benzema and gets a booking for the foul. Silly boy.

  • 2'

    The freekick is tamely chipped toward the penalty area but United clear and Nani tears after a loose ball.

  • 2'

    Nani with a foul on Govou gives Lyon a freekick just inside United territory.

  • 1'

    United have started very brightly - attacking from the off. Lyon skipper Cris with an early header clear aftera cross from Evra.


    United line up in the increasingly familiar and versatile 4-5-1 formation. A layout that tonight sees Carrick at the base of midfield and Anderson at its tip, Rooney as a loan striker with Nani and Ronaldo switching wings and supporting in front of goal. Watch out too for Fletcher who is in scoring form after those two headers against Arsenal in the FA Cup.


    Italian referee Roberto Rosetti blows his whistle and gets this crucial game underway.


    And for Lyon: Coupet, Clerc, Squillaci, Cris, Grosso, Ben Arfa, Juninho, Toulalan, Kallstrom, Govou, Benzema. Subs: Vercoutre, Bodmer, Fred, Delgado, Keita, Mounier, Boumsong.


    The team news is in. Lining up for Man Utd: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson, Ronaldo, Rooney, Nani. And the subs: Kuszczak, Hargreaves, Saha, Park, Scholes, O'Shea, Tevez.


    The score is 1-1 after the first leg in France so United have the narrow advantage of an away goal. Will it be enough to see Fergie's men through? Join us at 19.45 UK time for all the action.


    Join us for live commentary for this evening as Manchester United play host to Olympique Lyonnais in the second leg of their Champions League knockout tie.