Real in position to shake off Lyon curse

by admin

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Chelsea may have breezed past FC Copenhagen at the Parken Stadium last night, but some football aficionados will be keeping a watchful eye over how Real Madrid’s last 16 tie against Lyon unfolds.

The Spanish giants will have been pleased with their night’s work at the Stade de Gerland, as they scored a vital away goal that puts them in pole position for when the two sides reconvene at the Bernabeu in three weeks’ time.

Jose Mourinho may have bemoaned the official’s decisions which he felt arguably denied his side a valuable win, but if he is to retain his ‘Special One’ status, Real will have to exorcise their demons.

I say demons, in fact it is more of a curse, as Real have often suffered at the hands of their French counterparts.

Last season, Lyon knocked them out at the same stage, and in previous seasons, they have lost against the French side away. However one positive omen, is that Real have never been defeated by Lyon at home.

If we overlook the fact that Lyon have acted as a barrier to Real lifting the coveted Champions League in recent years, Madrid have had a damning record in the competition, as they have failed to advance past the last 16 round for five consecutive years.

This is even more surprising considering Real have conquered Europe nine times, more than any other club and lay claim to having some of the greatest players that have displayed their skills on the European stage in the 20th Century.

And it looks like Lyon will have an uphill challenge on their hands, as Mourinho’s functional if somewhat unspectacular brand of football has ensured that Madrid’s rearguard has been breached only six goals at home in the La Liga this season.

Real have a wealth of talent in their side- Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain, Karim Benzema and Mesut Ozil, who have the ability to brush aside any team, and they will need to ensure they are on top of their games if they are going to reach the quarter finals.

A lot has been mentioned about the strength of the Premier League, as encompassed by the number of English clubs still in competition, but the Spaniards are well represented too.

Mourinho has the know-how of cracking Europe, after experiencing success with Porto (2004) and Inter Milan (2010). Real may be another project for the former Chelsea manager, but the Champions League is their bread and butter, and with the pressures from the board, in particular the President, Florentino Perez. Mourinho has to prove himself once again, especially as it seems league pace-setters Barcelona will capture another title.

Real will complete the job against Lyon, and if so, they will put their ghosts to rest.

Follow me on Twitter @charlesperrin7

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  • Stan

    no one will want Real in the next round, that’s for sure. Jose knows how to bore teams to death, including Barca.

  • Charles Perrin

    Real are a threat no doubt about it, and I can see where you are coming from in terms of Jose’s team being functional, but effective. If we are to dream about the purist’s final, Real vs Barca would fit the bill. Having said, who would put it Barca to wallop their adversaries again?

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