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Lyon 1 United 1

United flew out to Lyon on the back of a fantastic FA Cup result against Arsenal, but knew that they would be up against a team a lot more passionate and committed than the league leaders had been a few days before. Lyon have a strong record in Europe, play decent passing football, and few teams go there and get a win. However, United put in a good performance and came away with a score draw, leaving them as favourites to be in the hat for the next round.

We flew out to Lyon very early Wednesday morning and arrived at ridiculous security checks. It took each person at least five minutes to get through immigration where the police were double checking hotel reservations, match tickets and return travel plans. I never knew it was necessary to check match tickets at an airport immigraton desk, and at Stansted on the way back we were never asked to produce Newcastle briefs to get through. We walked past the masses of riot police as we left the airport, a familiar site on Euro aways especially in France, and got a taxi into the centre. The Radisson hotel was full of Reds by 11am as we arrived, and after checking in and dumping our bags we headed out to explore the city. A large group of us had lunch in a big brasserie in the Old town and then walked around for a few hours, in what was a pretty but dull town kept as a UNESCO heritage site.

After meeting up with other Reds we headed off to the grond on the metro and got in past all the security with no problems. But it was clear that when Reds started arriving in numbers there would be trouble as the four sets of ticket barriers and security checks only allowed for one person to enter at a time, which was a potential disaster. Reds coming in later complained of heavy handed policing and crushes outside, so nothing new there then. Inside we were allocated about a third of a stand behind the goal, on both the top and bottom tiers, and we chose to head up the stairs for a better view and away from the riot police and gas cannisters.

The United fans sung throughout, with a new Munich memorial song being adapted and revived from the past, and banners galore covering the United end. The only disappointment was so many United fans finding amusement in and singing the Adebayor song which there is no need for. Firstly, we should have more class than racist songs, secondly we should know better than to rip of Spurs songs, and thirdly why do we care enough about him to sing his name at all? Reds seemed to be in two camps on this one- but anyone with a brain was not especially pleased to hear it become the song of the trip.

On the pitch United had a lot of the ball but created few chances. Rooney should have put one away before the break but then Lyon had their chances too. When Lyon took the lead it was totally out of the blue and United fell apart for a little while after. However, they pulled themselves together, were boosted by the arrival of Tevez and Nani, and found the equaliser five minutes from time. A great result that leaves us in pole position to progress to the next round.

After the game we were held in for about 40 minutes. Lyon let us watch highlights of all the other matches on the screen but decided to switch of highlights of our match just before Tevez’s equaliser! We left the stadium without incident and headed back into the city centre. Overall a good day, a decent result and the Reds go marching on, on, on….!

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1 Comment

  1. joseph igaga :: March 3rd, 2008 6:35 pm

    it is of great happens that we win lyon tomorrow, so as to win the trophy agian for it has take long with out coming to OT.

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