Thursday, 22 March 2012

PSG 1-3 Olympique Lyonnais - Magical Lloris thwarts Parisiens

Via this week’s Football Ramble, I’ve discovered that Wayne Rooney wants to become a stand-up comedian.

Initially I thought this might in itself be an April Fool’s joke being played a week early, a little bit of googling reveals the full story.

“Wayne's a regular at comedy nights in Liverpool and Manchester,” a source told the, ahem, Daily Star.

“He's always been a funny guy and has said before he'd love to be a comedian. We've all been going on at him so he's vowed to us and the rest of his friends that he will get up on stage next time he's out.”

The mind boggles as to what sort of routine Rooney would put together, though given the sophisticated nature of footballer humour it would probably involve throwing a bucket of water over the head of unsuspecting audience members, or letting the tyres down on people's cars while they’re in the auditorium. Keep an eye out for him popping up on the bill at Jongleurs.

I’m not sure whether Hugo Lloris has ever considered a career as a comic, but he could certainly did a good impression of a magician last night as he inspired his Lyon team to a Coupe de France victory over Paris St Germain.

At times in the second half it seemed as though Lloris was battling PSG single-handedly, as he made a string of saves to deny Christophe Jallet, Javier Pastore and Jeremy Menez, and in the end his side held on and wrapped up the victory in stoppage time thanks to Bafe Gomis’s penalty.

Earlier PSG had gone in front thanks to a very generous penalty award. Samuel Umtiti appeared to be trying to get out of the way of a shot on goal, but the ball hit him on the arm and the referee pointed to the spot. Nene did what he does best, and dinked the ball past Lloris, who dived the wrong way.

Unfortunately Lyon were on level terms almost immediately thanks to a set-piece of their own, Kim Kallstrom delivering a delicious free-kick which curled into the top corner beyond the reach of Nicolas Douchez.

After that little flurry of activity, PSG went to carve out several good chances in the first half. Unfortunately they all fell to Kevin Gameiro, who appeared to have left his shooting boots at home, directing a couple of efforts at Lloris and skying another over the cross-bar.

And just before half-time we were made to pay when Kallstrom flighted in a cross and, as Jallet and Alex dallied, Lisandro Lopez dashed in to score from a narrow angle. Poor defending, but a good finish from the striker, who wasn’t so composed in the second half when he missed an open goal after good work from Gomis.

It mattered not though as the late penalty sealed Lyon’s progress, and condemned Carlo Ancelotti to a first defeat as Les Rouge-et-Bleu boss. It was a disappointing result, especially given the teams that remain in the competition, but a decent performance nevertheless. The challenge now is to get back on the Ligue 1 horse when Bordeaux come to town on Sunday night.

Man of the Match: Jeremy Menez - at his bright and inventive best.


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