Mens Team

Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon): Form guide, past meetings and UCL history

Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon): Form guide, past meetings and UCL history
We take a detailed look at our Champions League quarter-final opponents...

Past meetings

Pep Guardiola and his squad need no reminders of how dangerous Lyon can be.

The Ligue 1 side gave City two incredibly tough games in the 2018/19 Champions League campaign, winning one and drawing the other as the teams clashed in the group stage of the competition.

Few teams have taken the game to City at the Etihad the way Lyon did in September 2018, leading 2-0 at the break after goals from Maxwel Cornet and Nabil Fekir.

Bernardo Silva pulled one back after half-time, but the French side headed back across the Channel with a 2-1 victory.

Guardiola watched that loss from the Colin Bell Stand as he served a touchline ban and Mikel Arteta was given a taste of life as a manager as he patrolled the technical area.

The return match in Lyon was equally tough, with Cornet twice putting the hosts ahead and City twice pulling level through Aymeric Laporte and a late Sergio Aguero goal to claim a 2-2 draw.

After the game, Kyle Walker said: "Lyon have good players in good areas and quick players but we got a good draw.

"That shows the character and belief in the dressing room. Important players come good at the right time.”

The point City earned confirmed a place in the Round of 16 with a game to spare and Lyon confirmed their spot a game later, gaining a 1-1 draw away to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Lyon drew all of their home group games by a score of 2-2 and were unbeaten in all six Group F matches, but the draw for the next phase saw them eliminated by Barcelona after a 0-0 draw in France and 5-1 loss at the Nou Camp.

Journey to the UCL last eight

Lyon have now reached the Champions League quarter-finals on five occasions and both City and Lyon have one semi-final appearance to date.

This season, the French side first had to negate a very tight group that included Red Bull Leipzig, Benfica and Zenit St Petersburg, with Lyon having to come from 2-0 down at home to Leipzig in the final group game to draw 2-2 and take the point they needed to qualify – Zenit and Benfica both ended one behind on seven points each.

That set up a tough Round of 16 clash with Juventus, but a 1-0 first leg lead courtesy of a 31st-minute Lucas Tousart goal, gave Lyon a slender advantage to take to Turin.

Crucially, it was Lyon’s first clean sheet of the current Champions League campaign and when Memphis Depay tucked away a 12th-minute penalty in the second leg to give his side an early lead, it meant Juventus needed three goals to progress.


Cristiano Ronaldo bagged two, but Lyon held out to lose 2-1 and progress on away goals.

Buoyed by that result and their performances against City last season, they represent formidable opposition for progression to the semi-finals.


It’s difficult to gauge Lyon’s current form with the Ligue 1 season suspended indefinitely last March and officially ended on 28 April.

Lyon finished the truncated campaign in seventh and have not qualified for European competition next season via their domestic league or cup exploits.

The Juventus tie was only their second competitive fixture since then – friendlies aside – with the other game being the French League Cup final, which they lost 6-5 on penalties to PSG following a 0-0 draw in normal time.

Main man: Memphis Depay

Memphis Depay has undoubtedly found his spiritual home with Lyon.

An unpredictable talent during his time with Manchester United, Depay has matured into Lyon’s talisman and also captains the side.

During the group stages, he scored five goals in five games and it was his crucial spot-kick against Juventus that took Lyon into the quarter-finals, becoming only the second Dutch player to score in six consecutive Champions League fixtures.

A cruciate ligament injury kept him out from December to late July and Lyon won just four of the 11 Ligue 1 matches he was absent for.


For the French side, his return could not have been timed any better

Head Coach: Rudi Garcia

Rudi Garcia is a respected manager in Ligue 1 and in Europe.

He took the helm at Lyon in October 2019, after former City defender Sylvinho was sacked and though he steadied the ship, the suspension and ending of the Ligue 1 campaign mean Lyon have not qualified for Europe through domestic competition.

He has, however, guided his team to a Champions League quarter-final.

The 56 year-old had moderate success in his playing career before moving into management, initially in the regional leagues with Corbeil-Essonnes before landing his first major position with Saint-Etienne in 2001.

He then undertook a five-year stint with Dijon (2002-07) before managing Le Mans for one year and then Lille for five seasons, where he won his first Ligue 1 title as boss.

That earned him a lucrative position as Roma boss between 2013 and 2016.

He returned to France with Marseille in 2016 and remained there for three years until May 2019, returning to management in October that year as boss of Lyon.

He has won one Ligue 1 title, one French Cup and took Marseille to the Europa League final in 2018, losing 3-0 to Atletico Madrid.

Stats and facts

Lyon last reached the Champion League quarter-finals in 2009/10.

Despite defeats to Benfica and Zenit in the group stage, Lyon have lost only five of their last 20 European matches (W7, D8).

When Lyon's Rayan Cherki came on as a sub against Zenit on Matchday 5, he became the second youngest player to appear in the UEFA Champions League at the age of 16 years 102 days.

This is Lyon's 16th UEFA Champions League campaign – four more than any other French club – and fourth in five seasons.

This will be Lyon’s fifth Champions League quarter-final.

Lyon were UEFA Champions League semi-finalists in 2010, losing 4-0 on aggregate to Bayern Munich.

Former Fulham and Celtic striker Moussa Dembélé is Lyon's top scorer this season with 22 goals from 43 games all competitions.

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