Nice’s reward for upsetting Ajax in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League is a tasty clash against in-form Italian outfit Napoli.
The Partenopei finished third in Serie A last season, just one behind second place Roma, which sent the latter directly into the group stages and forced the former to have to go through a playoff.
Among the seeded sides, Napoli, Sevilla and Liverpool were the teams to avoid for OGNC. Les Aiglons are unseeded, while both Liverpool and Napoli were seeded for the league route draw.
Nice would perhaps have preferred to draw one of CSKA or Sporting Lisbon, but as they say, to be among the best, you’ve gotta beat the best.
On a side note, we’ll get to see this pretty amazing Napoli kit in action soon (first leg in Naples) Continue reading
A stunning result for Nice in Amsterdam this evening, with Les Aiglons securing a 2-2 draw against Europa League finalists Ajax that saw them prevail on the away goals rule (3-3 on aggregate) in their Champions League third qualifying round tie.
OGCN were the only French side in action in the third qualifying round, with champions Monaco and second place Paris Saint-Germain already guaranteed of a spot in the group stages.
Souquet and Marcel were on target at the Amsterdam Arena for Nice- their goals came in the 3rd and 79th minutes respectively.
Nice’s opponents in the next round will be one of Sevilla, Napoli, Liverpool, Sporting Lisbon or CSKA Moscow, with OGCN being an unseeded team in the league route part of the playoffs. Continue reading
The last French side left in European competition, Bruno Genesio’s Lyon, bowed out it last night despite beating Ajax 3-1. OL were facing a mountain after being beaten 4-1 in Amsterdam last week, and things got worse for Les Gones when teenager Kasper Dolberg put Ajax ahead.
However Alexandre Lacazette bagged a pair before half time to put them back into the contest and Ghezzal’s second half effort forced a nervy ending, with Ajax also reduced to ten men following Nick Viergever’s dismissal. However the Dutch side just about held on to seal their first European final since 1996.
Could this have been a final for OL instead if Lacazette had been fit for the first leg? Perhaps yes, given that injury allowed him to play only fifteen minutes at the Amsterdam Arena. The striker himself admitted that it could have been a different ball game if he had been fit, and added that his side had their chances, but didn’t take them, and needed to be more clinical. Continue reading
Young Kylian Mbappe added another feather to his cap by becoming the youngest ever player to score in a Champions League semifinal (18 years 140 days, and also the first goal Juve have conceded in the knockout stages of the CL this season), but ASM bowed out of the Champions League following a 2-1 loss in Turin (4-1 on aggregate).
Juve lead 2-0 from the first leg at Stade Louis II, and ASM’s slim hopes were practically finished by half time at the Juventus Stadium when strikes from Mandzukic and Alves (the latter a real stunner), saw Juve go in 2-0 ahead at the break Continue reading
Twin disappointments for the last two remaining French clubs in European competition as AS Monaco and Olympique Lyonnais lost the first leg of their respective competition’s semi-finals. Monaco went down 2-0 at home to Italian champions Juventus, with Gonzalo Higuain doing the damage for the visitors.
Lyon’s chances of making it to their first ever European final also look slim after a 4-1 loss to Ajax Amsterdam. Mathieu Valbuena’s away goal gives them a glimmer of hope, but few would bet against Ajax reaching their first final since 1996 at Parc Olympique Lyonnais next week. Continue reading
Ligue 1’s last two teams left in Europe, AS Monaco and Olympique Lyonnais, will do battle against Besiktas JK and Borussia Dortmund in their respective continental quarterfinals.
Monaco, who were surprise quarterfinalists in the Champions League after eliminating Pep Guardiola’s Man City on the away goals rule, have drawn Dortmund- a side ASM will fancy their chances of beating, in comparison to say, Bayern, Barca or Real Madrid.
Lyon’s prize for eliminating AS Roma in the Europa League Round of 16 is a tie against Besiktas.
France had PSG as a representative in the Champions League, but they bowed out following a stunning loss at the Nou Camp after having won the first leg 4-0.