Standing just fourth in a weak French league, Lyons were never supposed to be the team to ruin Real Madrid's assault on a 10th European Cup win and it would be an even bigger surprise if they toppled a Premier League team in the quarter-finals.
Real were delighted when they were paired with Claude Puel's side but a conservative performance in the 1-0 first-leg defeat in France left them chasing the game in the return and seemed to play into Lyons' hands, as did the over-confidence that they would win easily at the Bernabeu. When the final whistle blew on Wednesday night, the visitors had chalked up six efforts on goal to Real's five and they had largely controlled the second half.
Lyons were physically stronger than the current leaders of La Liga, an advantage they might not enjoy so easily against English opponents. "In the first half we ran a lot but in the second half we made them run," said Puel, whose half-time substitutions changed the game.
He brought on Maxime Gonalons and Kim Kallstrom for the injured former Newcastle defender Jean-Alain Boumsong and Jean Makoun. Midfielder Jérémy Toulalan stepped back into defence and the two substitutes came on to run Madrid's midfield into the ground.
The Argentinian pair Cesar Delgado and Lisandro Lopez combined well up front all night and made the vital second-half goal for 19-year-old Bosnian Miralem Pjanic. The duo exposed spaces left open by a tired Real side desperately pressing for the winner.
Despite their famous scalp, Lyons' position in Ligue 1 suggests they will make for more beatable opponents than a full-strength Real – they were missing Xabi Alonso and Marcelo on Wednesday – would have done in the last eight and the likes of Manchester United would not be too concerned at facing them.Reuse content