Madrid aims to end Lyon's perfect record

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Real Madrid aims to end Lyon's perfect record in the Champions League this season and keep alive its chances of finishing top of Group E.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
  • Total Shares


Real Madrid aims to end Lyon's perfect record in the Champions League this season and keep alive its chances of finishing top of Group E. Only a victory on Tuesday for the nine-time European champion at its Santiago Bernabeu Stadium will be enough. Anything less will leave the French champions as certain group winners and sentence Madrid to a second-place finish - and a match against another group winner in the next round. Both Real and Lyon have already qualified. After four matches, Lyon has 12 points, while Madrid has nine, Steaua Bucharest three and Dynamo Kiev none. Madrid is confident even though it has failed to beat Lyon in three games over the last two seasons - and the French team hasn't conceded a goal so far in this season's competition. "Lyon taught us a lesson there on our last two visits. We had problems there but I think that now we're ready," Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas said. Lyon coach Gerard Houllier said his team won't just play to frustrate coach Fabio Capello's side. "We're not going there for a draw or to defend. We're going there with enthusiasm, self-belief and the will to win," Houllier said. Madrid in revenge mode Lyon midfielder Juninho expects Madrid to be out for revenge. "But we're going there to play our own game. If we get a point out there it will be a good result," the Brazilian said. With Madrid lacking injured Ronaldo, who is out until December with a left knee ligament injury, the team will place its hopes in Ruud van Nistelrooy's prolific form. The Dutch striker has scored 13 goals in 16 appearances for Madrid, including two in the Champions League. David Beckham, who has only started three matches this season, is very doubtful with a left knee injury which forced him to miss Real's 3-1 win over Racing Santander on Saturday. Fabio Cannavaro, expected to be named as European player of the year next week, and Jose Maria "Guti" Gutierrez could also miss the game with muscle injuries. Right back Michel Salgado is still suffering from the left knee injury which sidelined him since September. Cicinho is a long-term casualty. Even though it has a 12-point lead at the top of the French standings, Lyon is struggling for goals. Houllier's team has been hit by the loss of injured forwards Fred, Sidney Govou and Karim Benzema, leaving John Carew as a likely replacement in attack. If Lyon beats Madrid and then overcomes Steaua in its final match, it will be only the fifth team in Champions League history to have won all its group games. (AP)