Lyon upset Man City to set up semi-final with Bayern
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Lyon upset Man City to set up semi-final with Bayern

Olympique Lyonnais have stunned pre-tournament favourites Manchester City with a 3-1 victory to move into the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they will face Bayern Munich.

It is the first time that two French teams will compete in the semi-finals of the competition with Paris Saint-Germain facing RB Leipzig in the other Franco-German game in the last four.

Dejected City pair Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling after the loss to Lyon.

Dejected City pair Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling after the loss to Lyon.Credit:Getty Images

The result also means that, for the first time the first since 1991, no team from England, Spain or Italy will compete in the last four of Europe's premier club competition.

But for City and their manager Pep Guardiola it is the third season in a row that the team has gone out in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and they remain without a place in the last four under their Spanish coach.

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This time around, City watched their Champions League dreams disintegrate inside 59 crazy seconds, beginning with a jaw-dropping miss from Raheem Sterling.

Sterling was City's leading goalscorer this season with 31 goals and the chance that fell his way late in the game to make the score 2-2 was so simple that he could be expected to bury it with his eyes closed.

Sterling puts the ball over the bar.

Sterling puts the ball over the bar.Credit:AP

But the England forward somehow sent the shot flying over the bar with the goal gaping in front of him, sending a seemingly perfect chance to equalise begging.

The madness continued down the other end as City's defence was sliced open by Lyon and a pedestrian shot from Houssem Aouar was somehow spilled by their ever-reliable goalkeeper Ederson to the feet of Moussa Dembele, who made no mistake to make it 3-1.

From a nailed-on equaliser practically handed to them and a chance to take the game to extra-time, City had suddenly conceded again and were out of the competition they covet most and which their Abu Dhabi owners have spent billions of pounds to win since buying the club in 2008 but failed to do so.

"That moment sums up this competition," said a distraught Guardiola, a two-time winner of the Champions League with Barcelona who was hired by City precisely due to his track record in the competition.

Moussa Dembele celebrates with his teammate after scoring the sealer.

Moussa Dembele celebrates with his teammate after scoring the sealer.Credit:Getty Images

"In this situation you have to equalise to take it to extra time, but then we concede the third and it's over."

The moment will rank alongside Sterling's late strike against Tottenham Hotspur in last year's competition, which was agonisingly ruled out by a VAR review, as yet another cruel moment for City in a competition they seem to be finding new ways to not win.

"Different year, same stuff. I think the first half wasn't good enough, I think we know that, we started slow, we had not many options, but the second half we played really well ... it's a shame for us to go out in this way," said a disconsolate Kevin de Bruyne.

"We need to learn. It's not good enough, and that's it," he added.

Guardiola's methods have propelled City to two Premier League titles but he remains without a Champions League trophy since his 2011 victory with Barcelona.

The Spaniard's tactical decision to play with an extra defender, in a three-man central defence, failed to work and left City chasing the game in the second half.

Lyon were on the front foot and stunned City when they took the lead in the 24th minute.

A ball over the top found Karl Toko Ekambi and although Garcia halted his progress the ball fell to Maxwel Cornet who, spotting that Ederson was well off his line, showed great awareness and skill, from just outside the box, to curl a low shot into the unguarded near post.

It was Cornet's fourth goal in three games against City.

Memphis Depay, Rayan Cherki and Houssem Aouar celebrate Lyon's success.

Memphis Depay, Rayan Cherki and Houssem Aouar celebrate Lyon's success.Credit:Getty Images

City drew level through a de Bruyne side-foot finish in the 69th minute after good work from Sterling and pushed forward in search of winner only to be caught out on the break.

Dembele broke free and Ederson's outstretched leg couldn't keep his shot out of the net as Lyon went 2-1 up in the 79th. City argued there had been a foul on Aymeric Laporte in the build-up but VAR looked at the incident and allowed the goal to stand.

Sterling then missed a golden opportunity and Lyon hit back immediately to ice the game.

Rudi Garcia's side had only finished seventh in the curtailed French league season. However, after a lengthy break from action Lyon have come back to eliminate Juventus and City to set up a clash with a Bayern team on a high after crushing Barcelona 8-2 in their quarter-final.

Reuters

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