Mourinho: History doesn't matter
© AFP

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho believes home advantage will be enough for Real Madrid to advance to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of bogey side Lyon after the pair played out a 1-1 draw at the Stade Gerland in their last 16 first leg tie on Tuesday.

Bafetimbi Gomis's well-taken volley in the 83rd minute enabled Lyon to avoid losing to Real for the first time in seven encounters, after a Karim Benzema goal had appeared destined to consign his former club to defeat.

Mourinho agrees that Real are well placed to end a seven-year wait to make it beyond the first round of the knockout phase. "Of course I'm hopeful, but everything is open," he said. "Lyon are a good team with good players and a good coach. They have European experience. The second match will be hard.

"But it's 1-1, we will be at home and, just as it was here, the stadium will be behind us. At kick-off we will be in a strange situation because we will be almost qualified but there will still be lots of work to do. We won't be scared though. We're not afraid of history because we're writing a new history. We scored here (Stade Gerland) for the first time and we got a draw here for the first time."

We're not afraid of history because we're writing a new history. We scored here (Stade Gerland) for the first time and we got a draw here for the first time.
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho

Real made a strong start to the second half, with Sergio Ramos finding the crossbar with a header moments after Ronaldo had rattled the post, but the nine-time champions were second-best for much of the opening 45 minutes.

Lyon's best opportunity of the first half saw Gomis shoot over an open goal after Iker Casillas had pushed away a Michel Bastos cross and Lyon coach Claude Puel lamented his side's failure to drive home their early dominance. "At home in the first leg, we would have preferred them not to score. It's a bit of a shame, especially because we played a great first half," said Puel.

"At times we were a bit lacking in the final ball, be it the final pass or the final shot. We didn't start the second half well. We allowed them to get on top a bit too much and that coincided with a good spell for Real. But after 15 minutes we got going again and finished much more strongly than them. It's good to have competed with such a strong team, but winning the match would have been good.

"In the first half they created very few chances. We were less solid defensively at the beginning of the second half, but we were able to pull the game back at the end. It will give us confidence ahead of the return leg, even though we would obviously have preferred not to have conceded a goal to them."