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Lacazette hopes to prise APOEL open in return leg

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15 Feb 2012 18:46:58

Lacazette hopes to prise APOEL open in return leg

Alexandre Lacazette hopes his winning goal for Lyon in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie with APOEL will force the Cypriots to come out of their shells in the return fixture.

APOEL adopted the same counter-attacking tactics that had seen them through the group phase in Tuesday's 1-0 defeat at Stade Gerland, stifling Lyon for long periods before Lacazette broke the deadlock in the 58th minute.

Lyon coach Remi Garde admitted to frustration at his side's inability to find a second goal and kill the tie, but Lacazette says APOEL's obligation to attack will open up space in the second leg in Nicosia on March 7.

"We know that qualification isn't in the bag but it's always better to have won before going to Cyprus," said the 20-year-old forward, who has scored five goals in his last five games.

"We knew that APOEL would defend a lot and that they wouldn't go forward much. We were expecting that kind of game.

"Thankfully we won, which will oblige them to play more freely in the return leg. We know that the atmosphere will be testing but we don't pay much attention to the crowd.

"We'll have to pay special attention to our play. This slight advantage gives us a bit of confidence but we can't be over-confident either."

Lacazette apart, Lyon's attackers endured a frustrating evening against APOEL, with Lisandro Lopez producing a particularly subdued performance at the tip of the hosts' attack.

Despite his five goals in the competition to date, Bafetimbi Gomis was left on the substitutes bench, but right-back Anthony Reveillere believes his colleagues in attack will have more chances to shine in Nicosia.

"We've done the minimum but we'll go to Cyprus with lots of ambition," he told reporters after Tuesday's game.

"APOEL are a team that defend well and have technical qualities. In the return leg, it will be up to our opponents to take the initiative, so our forward line could make the difference."


AFP

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