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Stade de Gerland

Ground: Stade de Gerland

Visits: 1

Date: 21st February 2013

Match: Lyon- Tottenham  1-1  (UEFA Europa League)

Attendance: 38 761

 

As in recent years I was free from work for a week in late February. Being a week with UEFA matches I was hoping to start my trip with an interesting Europa League match. When the draw for the round of 32 was made in December I decided for a weekend in France starting with Lyon vs Tottenham on Thursday evening. My journey to Lyon started on Wednesday afternoon when I left for Copenhagen airport and the flight taking me to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. From the airport there are direct trains for Lyon, actually the train only stopped once (in central Paris) before going straight to Lyon. Being one of those high-speed trains the journey, being close to 500 km, took exactly 2 hours. Impressive! Shortly before 10pm I was at my hotel where I could rest after a day of travelling.


As I woke up in Lyon on Thursday morning it was quite cold outside (2-3 degrees) but at least it was not raining. Stade de Gerland is the end stop for one of the metro lines and from my hotel it was only 15 minutes to Stade de Gerland. Stade de Gerland was opened in 1926 and nowadays has a capacity of 40 500. As I walked round the ground it was obvious why Lyon want a new stadium, Stade de Gerland felt old and "tired". I was hoping for an open gate meaning a chance to sneak in for some pictures. The stadium was heavily guarded though and I soon realised I had to wait for my pictures. Instead I did some touristing in Lyon starting with a trip to the Saint Jean-Baptiste cathedral. From there I then crossed the river twice making my way to the city centre. At one of the squares there was a Ferris wheel and some Spurs fans took the chance to go top for a while. I was by now getting hungry and found a nice restaurant close to my hotel. Charlois steak was my lunch this Thursday in Lyon.

 

Lyon vs Tottenham had a 7pm kick-off time and by 5pm I was yet again outside Stade de Gerland. My seat was in the top row of the Jean Bouin Stand. Unfortunately there was an overhang meaning a good view of the pitch but I could barely see the other stands from my seat. Taking pictures of the empty stands was of course not a problem but I realised I needed a better seat for the match. The first leg at White Hart Lane finished 2-1 to Spurs so this was a wide open tie. Tottenham brought 2 700 fans to Lyon for this match and they were two different stands. Most of them were in the corner of the South Stand and the rest were in the block next to me in the Jean Bouin Stand. In the end I ended up less than 10 m from the visiting supporters. I found an empty seat which was as close to the away section as you could get. The actual match was ok. Lyon started the best and made it 1-0 in the 17th minute. They then defended very well for the rest of the match. Tottenham had a few chances but I was certain Lyon was going to hold on to their lead. I was wrong, in the 90th minute Tottenham equalised and the Spurs fans to my left went bananas. To be honest the atmosphere so far had been ok, not bad but not good either. The last few minutes of this match was as good as it gets if you want to experience a good atmosphere at a football match though. A last minute winner/equalizer in an European match, what more could the Spurs fans ask for? As I left Stade de Gerland I could still hear the songs from the away sections. A great night of European football came to an end. 

 

cathedrale saint jean-baptiste     staty

Cathedral                                               Statue of Louis XIV

 

lyon, vy1

View of Lyon

 

lyon, vy2

View of Lyon

 

spursfans, pariserhjul

Spurs going top!

 

tribune jean jaures, rear

Rear of Tribune Jean Jaures

 

virage sud, rear

Rear of Virage sud

 

tribune jean bouin, rear

Rear of Tribune Jean Bouin

 

virage nord, rear

Rear of Virage Nord

 

virage sud

Virage Sud

 

tribune jean jaures1

Tribune Jean Jaures

 

virage nord1

Virage Nord

 

flaggor, spurs

Flags

 

spursfans2a

Spurs fans

 

poliser2

Riot police

 

virage sud2

Virage Sud

 

lyonfans3

Lyon fans

 

spelbild

View of play

 

avspark

Kick-off

 

tribune jean jaures3

Tribune Jean Jaures

 

1-0

1-0, Lyon

 

stade de gerland, vy

My view

 

virage nord3

Virage Nord

 

lyonfans1

Lyon fans

 

pano, stade de gerland3

Pano

 

pano, stade de gerland5

Pano