Lack of ambition is blamed for Lyons' bore draw

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The Independent Football

The almost certain failure of Lyons to advance to the knockout stage of the Champions League is a result of lack of ambition, the French side's goalkeeper Hugo Lloris said yesterday.

The France international was speaking a day after Lyons were held to a goalless stalemate by Ajax that leaves the Dutch side needing just a draw from their final Group D match to reach the last 16 along with runaway leaders Real Madrid.

Lyons are three points behind second-placed Ajax, with whom they have drawn 0-0 home and away, and have a vastly inferior goal difference, so even a big win at bottom club Dinamo Zagreb in the final round of matches may not be sufficient enough to claim second place in the group. "We have one foot in the Europa League," France keeper Lloris said.

Lyons dominated in the closing stages against Ajax and came close to breaking the deadlock through Michel Bastos and Yoann Gourcuff, but they now face the prospect of not making it to the last 16 for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

"It's a disappointment. When you have ambition, you have to do better than that," said Lloris, who also pulled off a couple of superb saves. "We should have played with more ambition and be a little bit meaner to go and get a good result."

Lyons had the talismanic Lisandro Lopez starting for the first time in 12 weeks after an injury lay-off, but the Argentine striker lacked sharpness and created only once chance early on before being replaced midway through the second half. Although only a minor miracle would enable Lyons to advance, Lloris said the Dinamo Zagreb game would still be important. "We have to win this game for our public image," he said. "Miracles are possible but it will be difficult."

Meanwhile, forward Milos Krasic has said he is not unhappy at Juventus despite his agent being quoted as saying he needed to find a new club because the Serbia international was surplus to requirements in Turin, the Serie A joint leaders said yesterday. "We've spoken with Milos and there has never been any hint of him being unsettled, so I deny that there's an issue," sporting director Giuseppe Marotta said. "At the moment he's not finding a place in the team but only because there are team-mates who are in better form. There are no problems with him.

"When the transfer window opens, we're willing to listen to any cases of unrest, but as it stands no one's come forward and asked to leave."