Lyon coach Claude Puel saluted his players after their 3-1 victory over Bordeaux on Tuesday but warned there was still work to do in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final.
Puel's side will take a two-goal advantage into the return leg at Bordeaux's Stade Chaban-Delmas on 7 April after a Lisandro Lopez brace and a goal from Michel Bastos put them in the box seat at the end of a pulsating game. Lisandro gave Lyon an early lead that was cancelled out by Marouane Chamakh but Bastos restored the hosts' advantage in the first half and Lisandro sealed a famous win for the seven-time French champions with a 77th-minute penalty.
"It was a very good match, each team had periods where they dominated," said Puel in his post-match press conference. They made things difficult for us by pressing us well at the start of the first half but we managed to score despite being on the back foot.
"They equalised quickly and that opened up the match. We started the second half slowly. Bordeaux made us run and almost got an equaliser but we started going forward, made some chances, got 3-1 up and had three or four chances to make it 4-1."
Lisandro and Sidney Govou will both miss the second leg after picking up bookings late in the game and Puel conceded that that gave a glimmer of hope to Laurent Blanc's beaten side. "The match didn't go badly, looking at the shape of the game. But it leaves an opportunity for Bordeaux in the second leg," he said.
"We'll be without Govou and Lisandro. Bordeaux will get (Alou) Diarra back (after suspension) so it's still open. It leaves chances for both teams. It's 50-50. It was just the first leg. Both teams have an opportunity in the second leg and we'll go there wanting to score."
Blanc applauded both teams for what he described as "a very good match", but was left to rue a nervy performance from his usually reliable defensive unit. The suspension of captain Diarra and an injury to centre-back Marc Planus meant Ludovic Sane, who was playing in the sixth tier of French football as recently as 2008, had to drop into the back four, with Jaroslav Plasil deployed in an unfamiliar midfield holding role.
"We had a bit of weakness at the back," said Blanc, who is aiming to lead Bordeaux into the last four of Europe's top club competition for the first time since the 1984-85 season. When you look at the players in our defence, they are young players and they lack experience. The environment and the pressure affected them. For the return leg we will have to build on what we did tonight and defend better.
"(Planus and Diarra) are important players for Bordeaux and we missed their experience in defence today. But we can't dwell on that. Planus was injured, Alou was suspended. We'll have him back for the next match and Lyon will have players suspended. At this level, things like that even things up."
Lisandro's penalty was awarded after Mathieu Chalme was adjudged to have blocked Aly Cissokho's shot with his hand and Blanc refused to criticise the decision of the referee. "It (the ball) hit his hand," said Blanc. "If a player makes a tackle, he can't have his arm stuck to his body. But the referee gave a penalty and we won't feel sorry for ourselves."