Remembering Olympique Lyon’s magical night at Santiago Bernabeu

Real Madrid v Lyon - UEFA Champions League
MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 10: The Olympique Lyon team line-up before the start of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 2nd leg match between Real Madrid and Olympique Lyonnais at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 10, 2010 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

It is time to remember the famous Olympique Lyon side that shocked Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 back in 2010.

Lyon travel to Barcelona for the second leg of their Champions League encounter tonight. The first game at the Groupama Stadium finished 0-0 and the French side would need at least a score-draw to secure their place in the quarter-finals.

Les Gones have a tough task ahead of them and they need to relive the spirits of their famous victory against Real Madrid back in 2010 in order to get past the Catalan giants.

It was not that long ago when Olympique Lyon was by far the best team in France. They won the Ligue 1 seven times in a row in the period between 2002 and 2008 and were regular in the Champions League knockout stage.

In 2010 they faced Real Madrid in the round of 16, in a tie that saw former Lyon player Karim Benzema return to the Stade de Gerland after leaving the club before the start of the season.

Los Blancos didn’t reach the Champions League quarter-finals in the past five years at the time, but with the summer additions of Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Ricardo Kaka, and Karim Benzema – Madrid were huge favorites to win the competition.

However, Lyon also had an amazing squad, with the attacking trio of Lisandro Lopes, Bafetimbi Gomis and Michel Bastos up front.

The first game in France finished with a 1-0 victory for the home side thanks to Jean Makoun’s strike only two minutes into the second half.

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Les Gones traveled to Madrid in their attempt to defend the one-goal advantage from the first leg. But it wasn’t the best start for Olympique Lyon, as Cristiano Ronaldo netted to level the tie on aggregate in the sixth minute of the match.

Real Madrid dominated the first half but Gonzalo Higuaín ruined the best opportunity, stepping beyond Lloris only to hit the right post of the open goal in front of him.

Lyon were a different side after the break and had threatened a few times at the start of the second half.

The magical moment came in the 75th minute of the game when the 21-year old Miralem Pjanic struck a half-volley into Madrid’s net to send his team in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

They got past Bordeaux in the next round but were stopped by Bayern Munich in the semi-finals losing the tie 4-0.

Madrid, however, learned their lesson. Both clubs faced each other in the same stage of the competition in the following season, but now Los Blancos were the better side, winning 4-1 on aggregate.

They reached at least the Champions League semi-finals in each of the next eight years, winning the competition four times in the period between 2014 and 2018.

Is the current squad of Olympique Lyon capable of an even more sensational victory against Barcelona tonight?

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