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Lyon knock out Juventus as Ronaldo’s double not enough

Juventus 2-1 Lyon: Memphis Depay’s Lyon knock out Juventus to reach Champions League quarter-finals as Cristiano Ronaldo’s double not enough.

Lyon knock out Juventus as Ronaldo's double not enough www.africanstand.com
Lyon knocks Juventus out of Champions League despite two Cristiano Ronaldo goals.

(African Stand) — An emphatic Cristiano Ronaldo double wasn’t enough for Juventus as Lyon booked their place in the Champions League quarter-finals with the away-goals rule to thank.

Coming over five months after the French side claimed a 1-0 home victory in the first leg, a first-half Memphis Depay Panenka was enough to secure the tie for Lyon, despite losing 2-1 on the night.

In victory, Lyon will now face Manchester City next week in a one-off quarter-final as they battle for a place in the final four.

An under-pressure Maurizio Sarri made six changes from the side that lost to Roma in the final game of their domestic season, with a rested Ronaldo coming back into the side, while Paulo Dybala was only fit enough for the bench. Depay was the notable inclusion for Lyon having missed much of the season with a cruciate injury.

It was Juventus – fresh off their Serie A title win – who entered as favourites, but the away side struck first, former Manchester United man Depay dispatching the coolest of Panenka penalties to hand Lyon the lead and the home side a mountain to climb.

After what was a highly dubious penalty, Lyon was then handed a controversial penalty of their own, as Depay was adjudged to have handled a Miralem Pjanic free-kick despite the fact his arms were positioned firmly by his side.

Ronaldo was always going to make a contribution tonight, and that he did. He sent Anthony Lopes the wrong way from the spot, calmly slotting into the bottom right corner to level the score.

The 35-year-old wasn’t done there, however. Following the half-time break, the veteran gave Juventus a 2-1 lead on the night with an absolute thunderbolt of a strike with his left foot. He cut in on his supposedly weaker foot, before unleashing a rocket for his 130th Champions League goal.

With Lyon still going through the courtesy of the away goals rule, Juventus continued to push for a third. And it seemed destined Ronaldo was to contribute yet another sensational Champions League hat-trick, but he uncharacteristically headed over following a free header from a corner. He had to score.

In failing to reach the Champions League last eight, the pressure continues to mount on the former Chelsea boss after an entirely sub-par season for the Italian giants comes to an end.

For Lyon, however, a fairytale European run continues. After finishing seventh in a curtailed Ligue 1 season, alongside defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de la Ligue final in July, they still gave glory to play for yet.

Ericson Mangoli

Written by Ericson Mangoli

Ericson Mangoli is the founder of African Stand, based in Nairobi Kenya, Ericson leads a splendid group of correspondents, independent writers, investigators, analysts, and supporters from around the globe to run African Stand as a supervisor and the chief editor.

Ericson Mangoli's editorial experience ranges more than 5 years and covers all the sports news, and at times including business and venture, data innovation, legislative issues, strategy, basic freedoms, science detailing, and significantly more.

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