Lacombe delighted with Lyon revival
Needing Ajax to lose to Real Madrid, victory themselves at Dinamo Zagreb and a seven-goal turnaround to finish second in Group D, Lyon's chances looked remote. But an astonishing second-half performance, which saw Garde's men score six times to secure a 7-1 victory while Real won 3-0 in Amsterdam, saw them through.
Lacombe told the club's website: "I didn't really believe it could happen at half-time. We had laboured badly in the opening 45 minutes. I said then that we weren't at Lourdes but that we might just end up believing in miracles.
"It's a rare thing to score so many goals in Europe. I'm very happy for Remi and the rest of the coaching staff because we've qualified for the last 16 for years and it would have been a real shame to miss out this season.
"I spoke a lot with Remi. He told me that he had a real go at the players at half-time. Remi is a really super guy and respects everyone. I'd also like to thank Real Madrid, who did their job tonight like true professionals."
Garde admitted a half-time re-think was required. He told the UEFA website: "I tried to bring the focus back to our gameplan at half-time. They had ten men on the pitch and we had just conceded and were not really producing everything we needed.
"There was a bit of anger [at half-time]. We knew that our toughest mission was to put doubt in their heads by scoring one or two goals. We had all thought about this scenario and afterwards we all felt great joy, but credit to the players."
Bafetimbi Gomis did most of the damage for Lyon by completing the fastest ever Champions League hat-trick within seven minutes of the restart after half-time, and later adding a fourth. Maxime Gonalons, Lisandro Lopez and Jimmy Briand also scored.
Briand said: "We were the only ones that believed it was still possible, even at half-time. We had seen that Real were leading 2-0 and we knew if we got a second goal quickly, it could change in favour.
"We never stopped pushing. We've achieved an incredible result. The coach made a few changes for tonight's game, but the whole squad stayed focused and united."