juninho leads lyon revival published: wednesday 28 november 2007, 0.25cet
olympique lyonnais 2-2 fc barcelona
two goals from juninho pernambucano ensured lyon hit back to take a crucial point off the spanish team.
by matthew spiro from stade de gerland
juninho pernambucano scored with a free-kick and a penalty as olympique lyonnais twice came from behind to seal a potentially crucial 2-2 draw with fc barcelona, who have now qualified for the last 16 of the uefa champions league.
long-range effort lyon's captain cancelled out andrés iniesta's early strike with a long-range set piece, before replying to lionel messi's spot kick with a penalty of his own ten minutes from time. the hard-fought point ensures lyon will travel to glasgow on matchday 6 knowing that an away win would take them ahead of rangers fc into second place in group e.
bojan role despite the dual absence of thierry henry and samuel eto'o, ronaldinho was confined to the barcelona bench, as coach frank rijkaard offered a first start in the competition to bojan krkić in attack, flanked by messi and iniesta. the move appeared inspired when, with just three minutes played, the 17-year-old spaniard created the opening goal, racing onto messi's pass and delivering a perfectly weighted, low cross that was stroked home by iniesta.
juninho leveller lining up without top-scorer karim benzema, who failed a late fitness test, the french title holders struggled to get a touch early on as the visitors imposed their passing game, yet just as it looked like becoming a long evening for the home fans, juninho struck. the brazilian's free-kick was intended as a cross, but after fred had failed to make contact, the ball crept inside the far post with victor valdés rooted to the spot.
valdés vigilant the hosts subsequently settled to their task and created another fine opportunity on 14 minutes after some tenacious closing down by fábio santos had forced a mistake in the barcelona rearguard. the brazilian midfielder, preferred to kim källström, latched onto fred's lay-off, only to direct his powerful drive straight at a vigilant valdés.
abidal intervention yaya touré drew a fine fingertip save from rémy vercoutre moments later, though it was lyon who looked more dangerous and threatened to take the lead on 28 minutes. fred slipped sidney govou through and when he was denied by the onrushing valdés, juninho's follow-up was cleared off the line by eric abidal on his return to stade de gerland.
juninho inspiration juninho was again providing the inspiration, firing another dipping free-kick narrowly over the crossbar as alain perrin's men continued to press. rijkaard was ordered to the stands before half-time as his frustration boiled over but his players quickly regained their composure after the break. without the cutting thrust of benzema, lyon were struggling to make inroads, while barcelona appeared increasingly dangerous on the counterattack and deservedly retook the lead on 58 minutes.
gudjohnsen chances messi was felled by sébastien squillaci in the penalty area and the irrepressible argentina striker picked himself up to score from the spot. kader keita was immediately sent on in place of fred in attack, but the more lyon pressed the more exposed they became, and eidur gudjohnsen missed two fine chances to the double barcelona's lead, firing his first effort over and seeing the second saved by vercoutre. that saved proved vital when, with time running out, abidal tripped keita, allowing juninho to send valdés the wrong way from the spot.