03/03/2008 15:22, Report by Chris McKenna
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Lyon: A brief history

Olympique Lyonnais was founded in 1950 after five decades of playing under a range of different names.

The French side play their home games at the Stade Gerland and are currently the undisputed top team in France having won the French Ligue 1 title for the last six seasons. Success, however, is relatively new to the club; before 2002 Lyon had never won the competition.

Although fans have enjoyed plenty of good moments since the turn of the century, 2003 was marred by tragedy when midfielder Marc-Vivien Foè, on loan at Manchester City at the time, collapsed and died while playing for his country Cameroon against Colombia at the Stade Gerland. Lyon have since not used the 17 shirt, as a mark of respect for Foe who wore that number for the French club.

Despite dominating the French League in modern times, Lyon have undergone a number of managerial changes. Indeed, ex-Liverpool boss Gèrard Houllier is just one of the casualties. Former Portsmouth manager Alain Perrin is currently in charge and will be hoping his side’s record against the Reds changes when the teams meet in the Champions League last 16.

United have never lost to Lyon, although the two meetings in 2004's group stage remain the only tussles between the sides. Two second-half goals from Ruud van Nistelrooy gave United a valuable 2-2 draw in Lyon before a rare Gary Neville strike and another from van Nistelrooy earned the Reds three points at Old Trafford.

Lyon may not have lifted the Ligue 1 trophy until 2002 but the club did pick up its first piece of silverware in 1951 when the team won the second division. However, success was short lived and they soon found themselves back in Ligue 2.

After rebuilding, Lyon won their second Ligue 2 title in 1954 and went on to remain in the top flight for more than 25 years, picking up three French Cups along the way before the club was relegated again in 1983. Financial problems kept the side down

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