Kings of Lyon
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: 08/03/05 8:41pm
Lyon stormed into the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League with a stunning 7-2 demolition of German double-winner Werder Bremen, to go through 10-2 on aggregate.
Sylvain Wiltord bagged a hat-trick in a scintillating display from the French champions, with two goals from Mickael Essien and one each from Florent Malouda and Jeremie Berthod.
Johan Micoud and Valerien Ismael scored consolation goals from Thomas Schaaf's side, but they were thoroughly battered in a dazzling game of attacking football from Lyon.
Paul Le Guen's men remain one of the tournament's dark horses, but their swift, decisive attacking play which has seen them plunder 27 Champions league goals so far would make them a match for anyone on their night.
Lyon did not start like a team happy to sit on their three-goal lead, with the French league leaders piling forward from the first whistle.
Only eight minutes had elapsed before Lyon increased their overall advantage to 4-0, with Wiltord bagging his third of the competition with a cool finish from Malouda's fine through ball.
Good work from Sidney Govou on the right set up Essien for his first of the match, with Malouda's clever step-over creating space for Essien to fire home from the edge of the box.
Ismael hit the bar for Werder in a rare attack before Essien made it 3-0 on the night when he capitalised on a defensive mix-up to pick the ball up 30 yards out before powering into the box and rounding beleaguered Bremen keeper Andreas Reinke.
Three goals inside the first half hour stunned Werder, but they came back admirably to make it 3-1 on the night when Micoud collected Cris' poor clearance to rifle past Gregory Coupet.
Ivan Klasnic had a shot cleared off the line in what was a mini revival from the Germans, but the tie was already dead and Wiltord rammed the point home with his second 10 minutes after half time, for a 7-1 aggregate score, and 4-1 on the night.
Ismael made it 4-2 from the penalty spot after Fabian Ernst's theatrical tumble, but that goal was just a brief respite for the German double winners.
Malouda cut in from the right to cap a great display with a fizzing left-footed drive on 61 minutes, and Wiltord sealed his hat-trick three minutes later when he converted an excellent cross from the equally excellent Govou.
Lyon's attacking play remained breathtaking at times despite their huge advantage and they continued to storm forward at every opportunity.
Substitute Nilmar was felled in the box with ten minutes left, and Berthod stepped up to convert the spot kick and make the score 7-2 in Lyon's favour, with an amazing 10-2 aggregate score.
|Lyon||Team Statistics||Werder Bremen|
|3||1st Half Goals||1|
|9||Shots on Target||5|
|2||Shots off Target||6|
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|3||FC Viktoria Plzen||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H