Lyon coach Claude Puel was pleased with the effort shown by his players after they came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw against Real Madrid in their Champions League last 16, first leg encounter.
Bafétimbi Gomis’ 83rd-minute strike earned the French side a draw after Madrid had taken a second half lead when substitute Karim Benzema scored against his former club.
“We produced a great game, a real spectacle,” said Puel. “We dropped off the pace in the second half, when they played longer balls and put us under more pressure. They made the most of Karim coming on to score. After that we started to play our own game again and we finished very strongly to get the equaliser.
“It’s a pity we missed opportunities, especially in the first half. Our final pass wasn’t clinical enough. We deserved more because we gave our all. The scoreline is not satisfying but the performance was good.
“In the second half we saw a different Madrid, but in the first we created many chances by remaining compact and keeping our shape. Both defensively and offensively we are challenged by this team but we now have a chance to advance. It’s not over yet. We know we will have opportunities in the second leg – we’ll have to convert them.”
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho was satisfied that his team avoided defeat at Lyon for the first time in their fourth visit – yet he admitted that there was still plenty of work to be done.
“We’re happy with the result but it could have been a lot better,” he said. “The first half was an extremely ugly affair – as sometimes happens in these games – but the second belonged to us.
“We scored here for the first time and we also got our first draw. I knew it was going to be a tough, tight game with lots of pressing. When things began to open up a bit I threw on Karim. I’m happy he managed to score here on his return home; it’s really fantastic for him personally and it was great for us as a team.
“A draw is a fair result tonight. In the first half Lyon left us little space and put us under a lot of pressure and we didn’t play well. In the second, Madrid were the better team.
“We got much more space to play from deep, so we started creating chances. When we broke the deadlock, I thought we could get a second which would have all but taken us through – but at 1-1 the contest remains open. We have a slight advantage but Lyon are quality rivals.
“We will now be looking to the return at our stadium and we want it to produce the same effect that Lyon’s home gives them. We are hoping for a memorable night at the Santiago Bernabéu to see us through to the next round.”