The travelling Lyon fans hail their players after winning at Manchester City in 2018
19 September 2018, Lyon

‘It was tense but you could feel something was brewing’

Lyon
Tom Abadie

I have been following Lyon for over ten years now – and my most recent exciting Champions League night with them was when they beat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last season. I went to watch it at a university bar in England, which was obviously full of City fans and other English fans of British clubs. It was tense but, from the start, you could feel something was brewing with this Lyon team. Nabil Fekir was playing wonderfully well, just like the rest of the midfield. City were really struggling to get the ball towards our box and every Lyon attack was lethal.  

I didn't celebrate much for the first goal, being surrounded by British fans (though my God was I happy inside). However, for the second I just had to stand up and cry out. What a goal that was! I was so proud of my club and so shocked that we could manage such a performance. We hadn’t been brilliant in the league for a while but, somehow, we were beating multimillionaire Manchester City. It was unreal. The fact that my beer tipped over when I jumped up didn't matter – we were leading 2-0 in Manchester! How crazy was that?

Clearly some City fans were not impressed by my celebrations, but what can you do? Lyon were the better team, a far smaller club that relied on young talent from the academy; very far from the millions spent on the opposition. I was a little overwhelmed – it had been a while since we had had that kind of performance in a European competition. I admit there were tears.  

The rest of the game was very tense. I don't bite my nails but if there was one game of football that could push me towards that, this would have been the one. Bernardo Silva scored a good 25 minutes before the end of time, which only made things worse.

We held off until the end. What a result! I was a little scared we would get a beating next time we played them, by way of revenge, but that night I could only have a smile on my face and enjoy a few beers with the fans there who didn’t like City. A night to remember – and I dreamt about Cornet and Fekir’s goals for the next two nights.

Our Champions Journalist winner:
Tom Abadie
Witnessing Lyon defeat Paris Saint-Germain at the Stade de Gerland was the moment everything clicked for Tom in his life as a football fan. He was blessed during those early years as the likes of Juninho Pernambucano and all-time favourite player Karim Benzema helped make the club France’s dominant force, but he screamed loudest when OL edged Beşiktaş on penalties in the Europa League in 2017.
About Champions Journalist: Champions Journalist is an annual competition that gives fans a chance to write about their club for Champions Journal.
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With thanks to our Champions Journalist winner
Tom Abadie
Champions Journalist is an annual competition that gives fans a chance to write about their club for Champions Journal.