Ramos backs Real to complete Lyons renaissance at Bernabeu
Thursday 24 February 2011
Real Madrid's 1-1 Champions League draw at Lyons on Tuesday went some way towards ending their jinx against the French club but the players were frustrated at their failure to secure a decisive victory.
Lyons eliminated the Spanish giants at the same stage last season, Real's sixth straight failure to make the quarter-finals, and there will no doubt be a few nervous home fans at the Bernabeu for the second leg on 16 March.
Before Tuesday, Real's record at Lyons' Stade de Gerland was three defeats, no goals scored and six conceded but things seemed to be looking up when former Lyons striker Karim Benzema netted for the Spanish club in the 65th minute. However, an 83rd-minute equaliser from Bafetimbi Gomis rescued a draw for the home side and left the tie nicely balanced for the second leg at the Bernabeu.
"I come away feeling a little sad," said Real's Portuguese defender Pepe. "We deserved to leave here with a win, unfortunately it wasn't to be and we have the match at the Bernabeu to get through," he added.
Real, bidding for a 10th continental title, will be firm favourites to progress given they have won all 19 home games in all competitions since Jose Mourinho took over as coach at the end of last season.
Right back Sergio Ramos, whose header against the bar was one of Real's many chances on Tuesday, said the draw was a positive result.
"You always have to be optimistic and dream about getting through the tie," he said. "The return game is at home and in front of our own fans and we have to progress," the Spain international added.
Ramos acknowledged Lyons had been superior in the early stages of the match. "We know Olympique and they have a great team," he said. "In the first half they were more dangerous. But the [Real] team knew how to react in the second half. We passed the ball around better and created some clear chances, and there were also the doubts over the penalty."
Real's claims for a penalty when the ball appeared to strike Yoann Gourcuff's arm in the area were waved away by the referee. "Unfortunately, they [the match officials] didn't see it," defender Ricardo Carvalho said. "I don't understand it because everyone saw that it hit Gourcuff's elbow."
Pep Guardiola will coach Barcelona until the end of next season after signing a one-year contract extension yesterday. Guardiola has won eight trophies in his time with the Catalan club, who lead Real Madrid by five points in the chase for a third straight Spanish league title. Guardiola has also guided Barcelona to Champions League, Club World Cup, European Supercup, Copa del Rey triumphs and two Spanish Supercups. The financial terms of the deal were not released.
Should Guardiola see out the deal he will join Johan Cruyff, Jack Greenwell and Frank Rijkaard as the only coaches with four consecutive seasons in charge at Barcelona. "It's great news for Pep, for Barça and for us [players]," said midfielder Xavi Hernandez. "It's a very happy moment for Barcelona."
Latest in Sport
Angel Di Maria reveals wish to return to Argentina - but don't worry Manchester United fans...
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Husain Abdullah penalised after celebrating a touchdown with a Muslim prayer - causing mass outrage among fans
Robin van Persie reveals Louis van Gaal wants Manchester United to 'be more Dutch and pull on the same rope'
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
- 5 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month