Reuters Soccer Blog

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Not quite a feast of football in tasty Lyon


SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/It was my first trip to Lyon to see Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid and though I knew what to expect on the field given the Spanish side’s troubles here in the past, I had no idea what the city or its famed cuisine would be like.

In the end, the food in one of France’s gastronomic centres probably outshone the fare on the pitch although it was a decent game with both sides fighting for every ball in the cold and the rain.

Karim Benzema’s goal against his former club 43 seconds after coming on as a substitute added a bit of spice and Bafetimbi Gomis’s 83rd minute equaliser for Lyon means the last 16 second leg at the Bernabeu on March 16 is nicely simmering.

But nothing could quite compare to the culinary delights of Lyon’s bistrots and brasseries. Pistachioed sausages, calf’s head, a floating island of meringue on custard with pink pralines and the simply majestic “Andouillette Maison Ravier avec Sauce Moutarde a L’Ancienne” (which OK is effectively tripe.)

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Perhaps a preposterous idea, but after the opening round of matches in La Liga, Real may be concerned they did not heed coach Jose Mourinho’s warnings about the need for a third striker.

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Real Madrid’s 250 million euros spending spree has left new coach Manuel Pellegrini with the kind of headache most managers could only dream of.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema, Xabi Alonso, Raul Albiol, Alvaro Arbeloa, Esteban Granero and Ezequiel Garay have all been added to a squad that finished second in the league under Juande Ramos last year.

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France striker Karim Benzema is joining Real Madrid from Olympique Lyon, the Ligue 1 club said on Wednesday on their website.

The 21-year-old Benzema will become Real’s third major signing under returning president Florentino Perez after Brazil’s Kaka and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.