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By ESPN Staff

Lyon chief pressure players ahead of Utd tie

LYON, France, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Olympique Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas put the pressure on coach Alain Perrin and his players on Sunday, three days before the French champions welcome Manchester United in the Champions League. 'I spoke to the players yesterday (Saturday) and to the staff this morning,' said Aulas, whose team go into Wednesday's first leg of their first knockout round tie after a 1-0 Ligue 1 defeat at Le Mans on Saturday. 'I felt I needed to point out a few things,' he told reporters. 'When you have excellent players and a competent staff, you need good results.' Aulas notably criticised Perrin for resting several players on Saturday, among them France striker Karim Benzema, who came on as a late substitute. 'I would have preferred to see our best possible team play against Le Mans and I also would have liked to see the players giving it their very best,' he said after watching a sluggish display from the six-times French champions, still the Ligue 1 leaders. 'It's worrying but I believe we can react and will do so as early as Wednesday,' Aulas added. Lyon, who have never advanced past the quarter-finals of the Champions League, are desperate to make an impact in Europe at last.