Mourinho, Puel see things differently

The views of Lyon coach Claude Puel and Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho differed greatly after their teams played out a 1-1 draw on Tuesday.

French hosts Lyon battled hard to deny Real space in the first half of the Champions League knock-out clash at the Stade de Gerland.

Former Lyon man Karim Benzema eventually opened the scoring for La Liga giants Real, before Bafetimbi Gomis equalised with seven minutes remaining.

The sides will meet again at the Santiago Bernabeu on March 16 in the second leg of their round-of-16 tie, but few observers – apart from Puel – would be likely to describe the initial encounter as a classic.

“We produced a great game, a real spectacle,” Puel said.

“We dropped off the pace in the second half, when they played longer balls and put us under more pressure. They made the most of Karim coming on to score. After that we started to play our own game again and we finished very strongly to get the equaliser.”

“It’s a pity we missed opportunities, especially in the first half. Our final pass wasn’t clinical enough. We deserved more because we gave our all. The scoreline is not satisfying but the performance was good.”

“It’s not over yet. We know we will have opportunities in the second leg – we’ll have to convert them.”

After being on the wrong end of Lyon’s disruptive pressing game, Real boss Jose Mourinho had a very different view of first-half proceedings.

“We’re happy with the result but it could have been a lot better,” he said.

“The first half was an extremely ugly affair – as sometimes happens in these games – but the second belonged to us. I knew it was going to be a tough, tight game with lots of pressing.”

“When things began to open up a bit I threw on Karim. I’m happy he managed to score here on his return home; it’s really fantastic for him personally and it was great for us as a team.”

“A draw is a fair result tonight. In the first half Lyon left us little space and put us under a lot of pressure and we didn’t play well. In the second, Madrid were the better team.”

“When we broke the deadlock, I thought we could get a second which would have all but taken us through – but at 1-1 the contest remains open. We have a slight advantage but Lyon are quality rivals.”

 


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