Late goal keeps Lyon hopefull against Real Madrid 1-1
Karim Benzema scored just seconds after coming on as a substitute, but Real Madrid failed to hold the lead as Bafetimbi Gomis scored in the 84th to give Lyon a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 series Tuesday.
Benzema was just inserted into the match when broke into the area and finished to the lower-right corner in the 65th, scoring his fifth goal in the Champions League, but Gomis answered from five yards out in the closing minutes.
Real has lost in the round of 16 the last six years, but can end that poor run on March 16 at the Bernabeu. Chelsea put itself in good position to advance as it defeated FC Copenhagen, 2-0, in Tuesday’s other match.
Although Real enjoyed more possession in the first half, Lyon was livelier and created the only good scoring chance of the opening 45 minutes at the Stade de Gerland.
Gomis started the opportunity by sending Michel Bastos down the left wing, and then hustled down the field to get back into the play. Bastos sent a pass into the area that Real goalie Iker Casillas knocked down into the path of Gomis.
Gomis unleashed a left-footed shot over a fallen Casillas, but the ball grazed the goalie’s arm enough to send it harmlessly over the crossbar in the 34th.
Real was much better in the second half, as Cristiano Ronaldo – who made Hugo Lloris parry away a free kick in the first half – hammered a free kick off the right post and Sergio Ramos headed off the crossbar in a one-minute span.
Madrid got the breakthrough it was looking for in the 65th, just seconds after Benzema replaced Emmanuel Adebayor. Benzema helped Real keep possession of the ball on the left side, then made a run into the area to receive the final pass of a Mesut Ozil and Ronaldo set up.
Benzema then drove across the middle of the area to open space and slipped the ball through Lloris’ legs and across the line just before defender Cris could clear the ball.
Real coach Jose Mourinho, who helped Inter Milan win the Champions League last season, then turned defensive by inserting Lassana Diarra and Marcelo into the lineup, but the changes didn’t have a good result.
Off a free kick, Cris won a header on the left side of the area to direct the ball to Gomis, who hit a first-time volley just inches off the ground to score into the bottom left past a helpless Casillas and send the series to Madrid on level terms.
At Copenhagen, Nicolas Anelka scored on each side of half as Chelsea rolled to the win over FC Copenhagen at Parken Stadium.
A mistake from former Chelsea man Jesper Gronkjaer set up the opening goal, as Anelka won possession on the right and drove just inside the area before a low shot beat Copenhagen goalie Johan Wiland from 16 yards in the 17th.
Anelka added his second goal in the 54th, taking a pass from Frank Lampard and slotting to the left side to increase his scoring total to seven goals in the competition, which is level with Inter’s Samuel Eto’o for the scoring lead.
The second leg is March 16 at Stamford Bridge.