A miracle occurred last night, and before any Liverpool or Man City fans get too ecstatic we’re not referring to Man United’s capitulation in Basel, we’re referring to Lyon’s 7-1 win in Zagreb.
Prior to last night’s game between the two sides the Ligue 1 side needing to make up ground on Ajax in order to make it into the last 16 of the Champions League. A lot of ground. There needed to be a huge shift in goal difference to occur and lo and behold that huge shift duly arrived.
Zagreb had nothing to play for so who could have predicted that midfielder Jerko Leko would be sent off for two bookable offences within the first 28 minutes? Could such a sending off help to convince the powers that be that a thrashing was perhaps not something they needed to look in to?
Ten minutes later Zagreb has secured a shock opener and to intents and purposes Lyon’s hopes of qualification were over, as dead as a collection of Dodos. At this point, even with Ajax being two down at home to Real Madrid’s weakened side, Lyon needed to start scoring goals, a lot of goals, and quick.
Bafetimbi Gomis scored just before the break, a goal that was surely to be nothing more than a consolation in the grand scheme of things, right? The second half began with Lyon clearly looking for goals and Zagreb’s defence parted like the Dead Sea with alarming ease conceding two goals within the space of a minute, some feat that. The third goal being straight from the kick-off that followed Lyon’s second.
From that point onwards Lyon kept scoring. In all the French side netted seven goals in just over 28 minutes. That’s a goal every four minutes for those who do not possess good mathematical skills. Taking into account picking the ball up from the kick-off, players running back and the fact that Zagreb players will of course be in possession of the ball from the kick-off, it takes some doing to be that defensively inept.
Factor in the cheeky wink that a Zagreb player Domagoj Vida gives after one of the final goals, see image below. Factor in that for every single Lyon goal not a single challenge is made by a Zagreb defender. Factor in that Lyon have scored just two goals in their first five Champions League matches. Factor in that Lyon hadn’t scored in their last three Champions League matches and something surely doesn’t add up.
The fact that Ajax had two goals chalked off in their match against Real Madrid will just have conspiracy theorists reaching for their Warren Reports in anger.
It doesn’t take a lot to fix a match. A couple of players would do it and it’s been done before. Perhaps the result, and the poor officiating, in Amsterdam were not part of the equation? After all Lyon’s win was so huge that what occurred in the Ajax match mattered less.
Dinamo Zagreb sacked manager Krunoslav Jurcic a few hours after this debacle, slightly odd that given that his side leads the domestic league by six points don’t you think?
If you want seven more reasons to think that last night’s match at the Stadion Maksimir then we strongly suggest you watch the video below.
We hasten to add that we are not aware of any evidence of match-fixing in relation to this match and are merely discussing the issue and opening up the topic for debate. We are in no way accusing any player or official of any wrongdoing.