A 5-0 win for OL Féminin over Avaldsnes on Thursday secured the defending champs’ spot in the Champions League Round of 16. Lyon came into the match with a 2-0 advantage on aggregate after their win in Norway two weeks ago, and recorded goals from each of the front three to avoid any surprise early in the season’s biggest competition.
[We might be paraphrasing a bit, but the sentiment is still valid.]
In the most unsurprising decision ever, UEFA dismissed Lyon’s latest appeal for a reduction in their punishment, which was given for terrible fan behavior during last season’s home match against CSKA Moscow.
Just guess what Lyon’s response was.
That’s right. They’re going to appeal the refusal of their appeal. Is there anything more quintessentially OL than that?
From a purely sporting standpoint, even the most optimistic Lyon fans expect Manchester City to win on Wednesday. In all honesty, this preview should end right here because the game should be a foregone conclusion.
But if there’s one team on this planet that never does what they’re supposed to, it’s Lyon. They lose when they’re supposed to win, they win when they’re supposed to lose. I can’t remember the last time when everything went as planned.
So who knows what Wednesday will bring. After losing to a bunch of relegation-level teams these past two months, Lyon are ready to face one of the best teams in the world.
Wednesday, September 19th, 2018
Etihad Stadium, Manchester
3 PM EST (21:00 CET, 20:00 UST)
If you’re already over the Lyon/UEFA love affair, I don’t blame you. The club has been appealing one thing or another since it came into existence in 1950, so the fact that they’ve been in a constant punishment/appeal cycle for the past two years doesn’t faze me at all.
We reported a month ago that UEFA reduced Lyon’s punishment to one closed match with another on probation. That was after Lyon appealed an even earlier sanction for what was pretty shitty fan behavior.
The closed match is scheduled to be Lyon’s first home match in the Champions League against Shakhtar Donetsk on October 2nd. At this point, most clubs would shrug, accept it, and move on – that’s what Ligue 1 rivals Marseille are doing.
Nothing came easy on Wednesday as Lyon battled their way to a 2-0 win over Avaldsnes in the Champions League’s Round of 32. It wasn’t the lopsided result we might have anticipated, but two second half goals mean les Fenottes have one foot in the next round after a frustrating afternoon.
One year is long – far too long – to be out of the Champions League. Fans have to settle for Thursday night football, players look to move away for more glamorous nights, and most importantly, Olympique Lyonnais’ coffers weep quietly.
It’s fair to say that Lady Luck has smiled upon Lyon in recent Champions League campaigns, though in true Lyonnais fashion, they struggled to capitalize. This time, the draws brought mixed fortunes for Genesio’s side.
UEFA suspensions are gifts that keep on giving.
Yesterday, UEFA finally handed down their sentence for last season’s Europa League match against CSKA Moscow. You know, the racist fan behavior, crowd riots, and illegal fireworks? Fun times.
In their infinite wisdom, UEFA has decided that the punishment will be one home match played behind closed doors, with another on probation – that is, fans better be on their best behavior, or Lyon will have to play a second closed match.