MADRID - Real Madrid's hopes of winning a 10th European Cup in this year's final at the Bernabeu suffered a blow with their 1-0 Champions League last-16 defeat away to Olympique Lyon.
"The Whites' dream is in danger," sports daily Marca wrote yesterday, after a spectacular strike from Jean Makoun gave Lyon a deserved victory in the first leg on Tuesday.
Real's big guns - Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká and late substitute Karim Benzema - failed to rise to the occasion and Spanish media criticised coach Manuel Pellegrini's decision to play little-used Malian Mahamadou Diarra as a second holding midfielder, singling out Kaká as one of the most disappointing figures on the night.
"Kaká is still lost," said El Pais.
A one-goal deficit is far from the end for a club with such a talented squad, but after five consecutive seasons of exiting the competition in the first knockout round, Real's director-general Jorge Valdano was worried.
"It was a bad night. We had ups and downs in our play and we weren't ourselves," the Argentine said. "We left a bad impression."
Meanwhile, Manchester United beat AC Milan 3-2 in their Champions League match at the San Siro, also on Tuesday. - Reuters