The French side got off to a perfect start, stifling Manchester City’s attacking play and eventually taking the lead after 24 minutes thanks to Maxwel Cornet’s inventive finishing just outside the box.

In the second half, the English side turned up the heat, and the pressure finally came on, as Kevin de Bruyne calmly headed home to equalize the score before substitute Moussa Dembélé netted two goals to allow Lyon to qualify.

Lyon will face Bayern Munich in the semi-finals on Wednesday, after the German side qualified for the semi-finals on Friday, sending Barcelona 8-2.
For the first times since 1990/91, and for the first time in the Champions League era, the semi-final will see no team from England, Spain or Italy. For the first time in Champions League history, it will feature two teams representing France.

Belgian midfielder de Bruyne said after another heartbreaking exit from the competition it was “not good enough”.

“It’s definitely the same. I think the first half wasn’t good enough,” he told BT Sport after the game. “I think we know that.

“We started slow, we didn’t have a lot of options. I think the second half we played very well. We came back 1-1, had a few chances, then obviously the 2-1, then the 3-1 ends the game. It’s a shame for us to go in this direction.

“The game was open but they didn’t really create except the two goalscoring chances. Yeah, we have to learn. It’s not good enough.”

READ: ‘The club needs changes’ Changes on the horizon for Barcelona after Champions League humiliation

Absorb the pressure

With their star players and a renowned manager, Manchester City were heavily favored to beat Lyon.

But the French side had shown their resilience in their second leg against Juventus in the previous round, managing to edge out Cristiano Ronaldo and company despite almost five months without football.

And its sturdiness was put to the test from the kick-off. Manchester City dominated possession from the first whistle but failed to create golden chances.

And finally, Lyon’s ability to counterattack produced the game’s first goal. A ball played behind the City defense for Karl Toko Ekambi to keep running to eventually fall on Maxwel Cornet and, with City keeper Ederson out of his goal, Cornet netted a wonderful curling shot into the near post at about 20 meters.

The rest of the first half went as Lyon and coach Rudi Garcia had planned. Manchester City dominated possession without creating too many clean chances while Pep Guardiola’s side looked sensitive on the break.

After half-time the game opened up and following an attacking substitution from Guardiola, City began to create chances at will.

And eventually the pressure came on, as fine footwork from England international Raheem Sterling freed him to rest for de Bruyne to finish.

It looked like there would only be one winner. However, Lyon super-sub Dembélé thought differently, latching onto a deep ball near the halfway mark and finishing under Ederson. A nervous video assistant referee check followed but after a few minutes of waiting the goal was given.

Striker Maxwel Cornet celebrates Lyon's first goal against Manchester City on Saturday August 15.

Although City were late, they created the best chances and the best went to Sterling. Some clever dribbling and a cross from Gabriel Jesus left Sterling with an open goal just five yards out, but he sent the ball skyward and over the goal.

And the miss turned out to be costly. Just 59 seconds later, Lyon had scored again, Dembélé leaping from a poor save from Ederson to send the French club into the last four for the first time in nearly 10 years.

The result means that during Guardiola’s time at the club, Manchester City failed to progress past the Champions League quarter-finals.

Although he believes his team played well for most of the game, Guardiola lamented Manchester City’s inability to play error-free in the Champions League.

“One day we will close that quarter-final gap,” he told BT Sport after the game. “Except for the first 25 minutes when we struggled to find spaces to attack them more fluidly, the players, they play freely.”

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“And the last 15 minutes of the first half were good. The second half was OK, we were there. I felt we were better, but you have to be perfect in this competition in one game and we we weren’t.”

The semi-finals of the Champions League 2019-2020 will see two French teams and two German teams compete for a place in the final; the first time since 2012-13 that there are only two different nations represented at this stage.



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