Lyon finally get missing win

Thirty-five years after Lyon's last win in the French Cup, the club beat Paris Saint-Germain in the final with a late Sidney Govou goal in extra time. This season, Lyon also won the Champioship for the seventh time.


Lyon completed a memorable first league-cup double on Saturday when they beat Paris Saint Germain 1-0 in the French Cup final to add to their seventh successive championship.

Lyon's fourth French Cup, coming after wins in 1964, 1967 and 1973, was fittingly secured by Sidney Govou who scored the extra-time winner.

Govou, goalkeeper Gregory Coupet and Brazilian playmaker Juninho are the only three players who have featured in all of Lyon's seven league title campaigns.

Lyon coach Alain Perrin said of those three players afterwards: "This was a great way to pay homage to "Juni," "Sid" and Greg who won all seven titles and who might perhaps now leave for other clubs.

"To win two consecutive cups (they beat Sochaux in the final last year) is not a simple thing to do and it was good for the club who expected to win the double."

And on rumours that he might be leaving Lyon, Perrin added: "My future? I came to Lyon to stay."

PSG, who won the League Cup this season but only narrowly avoided relegation, were unlucky not to have settled the tie in normal time, hitting the woodwork on two occasions.

Zoumana Camara saw a 10th-minute attempt come off the post before veteran striker Pedro Pauleta, probably playing his last match for the club, thought he had scored with a left-foot drive on the half-hour mark only to see Anthony Reveillere clear the ball off the line.

In first half injury time, defender Sylvain Armand headed the ball from a Jerome Rothen free-kick into the net past Coupet only for the effort to be ruled out for offside.

PSG's luck continued to desert them on the hour mark when Coupet made another important save from Mario Yepes before Kim Kallstrom cleared off the line, via the crossbar, as Camara followed up.

Substitute Bernard Mendy then thought he had won the final for PSG in the fourth minute of injury time at the end of the game only to see his close-range drive superbly saved by the in-form Coupet.

Lyon had gone into the match under a cloud after veteran defender Patrick Muller had left the squad without permission on Friday to join up with the Swiss national team to prepare for Euro 2008.

Muller had been warned his place in the squad was at risk if he didn't prove his fitness. The champions were second-best in most departments of the final.

French international striker Karim Benzema almost scored in the first half after a sweet one-two with Brazilian teammate Fred only for his sharp drive to miss the target.

Substitute Mathieu Bodmer then saw his header midway through the second half cleared off the line by Yepes with keeper Jerome Alonzo well beaten.

Lyon made PSG pay for their misses when Govou scored in the 103rd minute. A cross from Benzema confounded the PSG defence and Govou was the more alert to the ball and fired in from an acute angle past Alonzo.

Paris Saint Germain coach Paul Le Guen said afterwards: "We tried hard and almost did what needed to be done. Even though people have told me it was a good match, you need to win cups for them to remain in the memory.

"We weren't far from our best form but it was not enough. We tried hard, crossed well, looked for the ball and got free kicks, we tried to stop Lyon playing, and sometimes managed it but Lyon have this ability to hold firm and keep a grip on matches.

"They took their chances better than us and bravo to them."

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