Anderlecht coach Ariel Jacobs wants his team to produce one of the great comebacks tonight against Lyon in order to repay the fans who travelled to France for the first-leg mauling.
The greatest of comebacks would take the biscuit for Jacobs
Anderlecht coach Ariel Jacobs wants his team to produce one of the great comebacks tonight against Lyon in order to repay the fans who travelled to France for the first-leg mauling. Claude Puel's side blitzed the Belgian outfit 5-1 last week with four first-half goals at the Stade Gerland to virtually book their spot in the Champions League group stages. Jacobs' side face a big domestic match against Standard Liege next Sunday but, for now, he has urged his players to make amends for last week's hammering.
"We are really concentrating on the match against Lyon," he said. "We owe something, not least to our supporters who travelled [last week]. Then we will think about Standard." Anderlecht responded well at the weekend with a 2-0 win at Zulte-Waregem to remain two points clear at the top of the Belgian Jupiler League. Jacobs has taken some comfort from the character his team showed. "We headed to Zulte-Waregem having lost by a heavy score at Lyon, which was not ideal," he told his club's website.
One big name is sure to fall when Fiorentina and Sporting Lisbon are level at 2-2 from their first leg in Portugal ahead of tomorrow's game in Florence. Fourth in Serie A last season, Fiorentina have struggled to keep pace with the traditional Serie A title contenders such as Juventus, Inter and AC Milan and last won the title in 1969. Their sole continental triumph European triumph was in the 1961 Cup Winners Cup.
Sporting, 18-time winners of the Portuguese league, have only won the 1964 Cup Winners Cup on the continent. Meanwhile, Arsenal will be without captain Cesc Fabregas for their second leg against Celtic at the Emirates Stadium because of a hamstring injury he picked up in Saturday's 4-1 victory over Portsmouth. Celtic's midfielder Shaun Maloney is confident the team can overcome the 2-0 home leg deficit in the same way they knocked out Dynamo Moscow in the previous round.
"If we can nick the first goal as we did in Moscow, that would give us a chance to get the tie back, and start to put Arsenal under a bit of pressure," Maloney said. "We've not given up the tie yet." * With agencies Anderlecht v Lyon, KO 10.45pm, Aljazeera Sport + 4