Champions League: Lyon 1 Real Madrid 1

A late strike from Bafetimbi Gomis helped Lyon draw 1-1 at home to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Real went in front through a goal from former Lyon man Karim Benzema in the 65th minute at the Stade de Gerland and appeared set to take a valuable lead into the second leg of the round of 16 tie.

But fellow France international Gomis equalised with seven minutes remaining to level the scores at 1-1 ahead of the return fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu on March 16.

The rematch of last season’s round of 16 tie – which Lyon won 2-1 on aggregate – proved to be a scrappy affair, with neither side able to build a rhythm or trouble their opponent consistently throughout the opening 45 minutes.

Brazilian full-back Michel Bastos enjoyed an early chance for the hosts but blasted well over from inside the area, before his countryman and teammate Cris sent an overhead kick wide of the post.

Real were largely reduced to long-range efforts, with a Cristiano Ronaldo free kick from more than 30 yards failing to trouble Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Gomis missed a simple chance from close range on 35 minutes and although the French side enjoyed the better of the first half, they went in level at the break.

Real made a significantly improved start to the second half, with a Ronaldo free-kick hitting the post on 49 minutes and defender Sergio Ramos hitting the bar with a header two minutes leader.

Substitute Karim Benzema, who replaced Emmanuel Adebayor in the 64th minute, was on the pitch for just seconds before he broke the deadlock against his former team.

Benzema benefited from some good work by German midfielder Mesut Oezil to beat a defender and prod home the ball from inside the box.

The goalscorer nearly turned provider on 75 minutes, but Ronaldo failed to seize on a good pass into the area.

Miralem Pjanic replaced Kim Kallstrom for the hosts and troubled Real immediately with a shot from distance.

Time was running out for Lyon when centre-back Cris rose to knock down a free-kick and Gomis – played onside by Ramos – struck the ball beyond Iker Casillas and into the far corner of the net to level.

Real went one better than last year – when they lost the first leg 1-0 in France – but still have work to do if they are to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2004.

 


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