It will be a hard and restless night for all the people in Lyon. What happened to them, can only be described as shock. They had a penalty, one player more, chances, everything was there for them to win. Except one. Gianluigi Buffon. Juventus has Gianluigi Buffon and that is the fact, that puts them in advantage over any team in the world. One of the best goalkeepers in history, at the age of 38, was having a perfect performance. He looked like he is at least ten years younger.
The match started as expected, both teams were cautious, most of the action was happening in the midfield. Slow tempo game. Until 24th minute, when Gonzalo Higuain got the ball into the empty space on the left side of the box, he made a shot from the side, but Lopes was concentrated and saved. That was all that we have seen along with a couple of corner kicks, until the 34th minute.
Then, after a corner kick, Leonardo Bonucci held Mouctar Diakhaby and brought him to the ground, referee Szymon Marciniak immediately shows to the spot. Bonucci is given a yellow card, and Lyon a penalty.
Alexandre Lacazette takes the ball, and shots to the left side of Buffon goal, but Italian captain reacted well and deflected the ball away, leaving Lyon without lead.
The second half started with a strong pressure of Lyon. And after one mistake of Juventus defenders, Lacazette passed the ball to Fekir, who shots from the middle of the edge of the box, aiming high middle of the goal, but Buffon manages to reach the ball with his hand and diverts it out of play. This was a fabulous move by the experienced goalkeeper.
That was the 50th minute. Five minutes later, clumsy challenge for Lemina who receives second yellow card and is off !! Poor move for Juventus midfielder.
And again Lyon has a chance to win.
They had that chance, in the 70th minute. The ball was centered into goalkeeper area from some 40 meters to the right, Tolliso makes the header from some two meters, down to the right bottom corner of the goal, but yet again Buffon reacts unbelievable and saves something that needed to be a goal. Everyone wondered how he did that. Even his teammates.
When you don’t score from many goal chances, there always comes a punishment. For Lyon, it was in form of Juan Cuadrado. He came in for injured Dybala, only five minutes earlier, received the ball right outside the box, came in, managed to pass one player, went toward goal kick line, and then made a fierce shot, putting the ball beside Lopez who didn’t expect something like this, So powerful and precise.
That goal crushed all of the Lyon fans dreams about winning this one. They even have to chase point now.
After this Juventus slowed the game in their own manner and tried to steal as much time as needed them. Lyon tried to create some chance, but they haven’t succeeded. Everything that they did was Ghezzal shot from the edge of the box in the third minute of injury time when he could have scored, but his shot went near left post of Buffon’s goal. Home manager Genesio, could not believe what is happening.
Many of the fans couldn’t believe too. But Gianluigi Buffon is unbelievable, and after this game, we are pretty sure Lyon fans will remember that.
Juventus and Sevilla are on top two places, Lyon is third, they need to beat Sevilla if they want to keep the chance to pass then on the table and qualify for the next round. They have home ground advantage for that game, and with a little luck, it could be possible.
Juve is in a comfortable position, and what encourages them is the fact that they are in good form. Dominant displays in Seria A, along with unbeaten streak in Champions League makes them confident.
This game will be remembered for outstanding performance of Buffon, and also as a missed chance for Lyon to beat a great rival. We can’t say that they have played bad, just the opposite, they were good, but luck was on Juventus side. Thrilling scenario. Chances, red card, penalty missed, then again goal scoring opportunities, and in the end spark of one man creativity solved the match, between these two clubs. I would not be unfair if Lyon had won the match because they were, to be honest, better team today. But that is sport, many of Champions League matches ended in this way, it is not always the quality, sometimes you just need a little luck. That is why we love this competition.