Real face serious questions after Lyon humiliation

The defeat at Stade Gerland came three days after Real lost 3-2 at home to newly promoted Celta Vigo in La Liga.

"Despite such a heavy defeat, we need to keep calm because the competition is starting and we can't let ourselves become demoralised," Luxemburgo said after Tuesday's defeat.

John Carew, Juninho Pernambucano and Sylvain Wiltord all scored for Lyon in an 11-minute spell during the first half. It would have been worse had Juninho not missed a penalty in the 41st minute as the England captain, David Beckham, experienced his third defeat in less than a week, starting with last Wednesday's 1-0 reverse to Northern Ireland.

"They were lucky because they scored with their first free-kick and that decides lots of things," Luxemburgo said.

"In the second half we had opportunities and possession but the goal we deserved wouldn't come. The statistics show that we had a lot of opportunities but we didn't take them."

Madrid spent about £60m on five new players in the summer in an attempt to end a two-year trophy drought. Four played against Lyon - the Brazil forwards Robinho and Julio Baptista, defender Sergio Ramos and the Uruguayan midfielder Pablo Garcia. Only another Uruguayan, Carlos Diogo, did not feature.

Luxemburgo said his team suffered from the absence of Zinedine Zidane and the suspended Ronaldo. "They are two players who make the difference in a match," he said. "When Ronaldo isn't on the field, the opposing defenders are calmer. It's the same with Zidane, but they weren't there and we had to replace them," the Brazilian added.

Luxemburgo, who was appointed last December as Real's fourth coach in 18 months, must hope for an improvement when they visit Espanyol on Sunday.

In the corresponding game exactly a year ago, a 1-0 defeat provoked the resignation of one of his predecessors, Jose Antonio Camacho. Coincidentally, a few days earlier, Madrid had also lost 3-0 in the Champions' League - that time against Bayer Leverkusen.

Raul, the Real captain, said his side have to learn from their mistakes."We knew that Lyon were a good side," he admitted, "the difference was they took their chances. Now we have a few days to study the areas we need to work on."

As in Saturday's defeat to Celta Vigo at the Bernabeu, it was set-pieces that were Real's undoing. Carew flicked on a Juninho free-kick for the opening goal after 21 minutes and the Brazilian doubled the advantage with another free-kick from 35 yards, soon after.

"In football set-pieces are very important and, as against Celta, we conceded goals from them. We need to work on putting this aspect of our game right," Raul added. "There is still a long way to go and we hope this suffering will be a positive for us later on."

Iker Casillas, who saved Juninho's penalty, also recognised the need to work on their defence but did not believe the result was a fair reflection of the game. "Anyone who didn't see the game would think it was a mad result," said Casillas. "But no one needs to say anything to us because we are also very upset about it. Our luck will change though, we just had a tremendous amount of bad luck."

Gérard Houllier, the Lyon coach and former manager of Liverpool, was full of praise for his players. "We played a really good match against a very good Real team, no matter what the Spanish media say," he said.

While establishing themselves as the team to beat in France, Lyon have never quite made it in Europe, going out at the quarter-final stage of the Champions' League in the last two seasons.

"We can go a long way," said their captain, the Brazilian defender Claudio Cacapa. "This is good for our confidence but we must not get carried away," he added. "We have played just one match."

Some of the Lyon fans feared that their team's chances this season might have been hampered by the sale of Michael Essien to Chelsea. Yet the French champions also spent £28m on players in the summer and look at least as strong as last year.

Carew, Brazilian striker Fred and former Chelsea midfielder Tiago have fitted in quickly and are blending well with the likes of the playmaker Juninho, who was superb against Real.

Lyon are likely to get through a group also featuring Olympiakos and Rosenborg but are looking further ahead. "We want to do better than last season," said Jean-Michel Aulas, the Lyon president. "The fact that this year's final will be played at the Stade de France may be a sign."

Beckham's week to forget

WEDNESDAY

N Ireland 1 England 0
A Beckham-led England suffer the embarrassment of World Cup defeat in Belfast against the team ranked equal 116th.

SATURDAY

Real Madrid 2 Celta Vigo 3
Beckham is powerless to stop newly promoted Celta Vigo beating Real in La Liga. Fabian Canobbio's 77th-minute winner shocking 80,000 Bernabeu fans.

TUESDAY

Lyon 3 Real Madrid 0
Real's galacticos are humbled yet again - this time at the hands of Gérard Houllier's Lyon in the Champions' League.

Sport
Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
football
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home