The red carpet was rolled out and the sell-out crowd was in place at Nissan Stadium for Lyon’s visit of Spanish giants Real Madrid Wednesday night.
Despite a convincing 3-0 victory over the team originally predicted to win Spain’s La Liga, Lyon will have a tough time keeping up with Real Madrid’s star power in its Europa League home opener.
Lyon has an uphill battle to hold the French powerhouse to a 1-0 victory and match its record of holding the same side scoreless for three consecutive matches, set back in September.
Manchester United, Manchester City, and Barcelona are also locked in at least a draw in the standings, but Real Madrid has an easier draw Wednesday night as well as a strong lead over the rest of the league with 22 points.
While Real Madrid may be the dominating force in the competition, Lyon is the defending champion of the competition and should take the home win to set an even more ambitious goal.
This is the first meeting between Lyon and Real Madrid and the first time one of the leading Champions League side (4-0-1) and the hosts (3-0-1) will meet.
The second-place French team in the club standings beat Real Madrid 3-1 in the Champions League in a group-stage match back in September.
Lyon’s set up a match between a powerhouse in the upcoming Champions League and a club on a path to the Round of 16.