Sunday, March 14

Champions League countdown part 1

6 days to go

Olympique Lyonnais

Perhaps drawing Lyon would be a good omen for United, as the last times the two teams met, the reds went on to win the UEFA Champions League in season 2007/8.

Those who attended the away leg that night might remember Carols Tevez's last-gasp header that clinched a 1-1 draw for United, before Ronaldo's solo goal edged them through to the quarter finals.

What they also may remember is the small allocation of just 1,700 tickets United got that night, and would probably get again if the two clubs come out of the hat in Friday's 11:00 draw.

Lyon's 41,044-capacity Stade de Garland boasts a very good atmosphere and it's easily accessible with its own Metro station to the east of the city.

This is the view from the away end

The city itself is two hours south of Paris and two-and-a-half hours east of Geneva.

You can also reach via many other neighbouring towns and cities. Paying in the region of £120 to get there would be good value for money.

There's plenty to do when you arrive, with welcoming bars in the centre, an ancient amphitheatre and the famous 'Upside Down Elephant' castle which you can reach by a daunting quarter of a mile climb up steps.

From there, you can take in a breathtaking view of the entire city below and, more importantly, there's a bar and a beer garden to see it from.

It's a student city with lots of value-for-money accommodation and very friendly locals. Here are your options for getting there:

Manchester - Euston - St Pancras - Lille - Lyon

Depending on date and time of travel and how far in advance you book, this return journey can cost as list as £140. That's £69 London to Lille, £38 from Lille to Lyon, £30 Manchester to Euston and £3 cross-London Tube pass


To Lyon
Gatwick - easyJet - £88
Manchester - Brussells Airlines - £93 via Brussells
Stansted - easyJet - £105
Heathrow - BA - £147

To Grenoble
Gatwick - easyJet, flythomascook - £96

Then a 90-minute train costing £35 return

To Marsielle
Gatwick - British Airways, easyJet - £128
Stansted - Ryanair - £168

Then a 90-minute train costing £58

To Paris
Luton - easyJet - £76
East Midlands - bmibaby - £77
Birmingham - Flybe, Air France - £88
Liverpool - easyJet - £104
Leeds - Jet2 - £112
Manchester - Flybe, Air France £164

Then a two-hour train costing £100 return

To Geneva
London City - Baboo - £67
Luton - easyJet - £86
Gatwick - easyJet, Snowjet, flythomascook, British Airways - £98
Stansted - easyJet - £101
Heathrow - British Airways - £112
Birmingham - easyJet, bmi baby - £115
Manchester - easyjet, flythomascook, bmi baby, Jet 2 - £163
Liverpool - easyJet - £167

Then a 2.30 train costing £48 return

To Nimes
Luton - Ryanair - £52

Then a 2.30 train costing £55 return

To Toulouse
Gatwick - easyJet, flythomascook - £74
Bristol - easyJet - £86
Heathrow - British Airways - £161

Then a four-hour train costing £97 return

To Limoges
Liverpool - Ryanair - £66
Stansted - Ryanair - £64

Then a five-hour train costing £110 return

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