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Thousands of Lyon fans invade the pitch to celebrate reaching French Cup final

  /  autty

Thousands of Lyon fans streamed onto the pitch at full time to celebrate their team reaching the French Cup final with a convincing 3-0 win against Valenciennes on Tuesday night.

Lyon faced the bottom side in Ligue 2 at their home ground and lived up to their billing as favourites, with former Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette scoring twice before Gift Orban wrapped up the victory.

As the final whistle blew, Lyon fans rushed onto the pitch to bask in the glory with their heroes after watching their side reach the cup final for the first time since 2012.

Flares were lit, creating a smoky atmosphere at the stadium, while club president John Textor also enjoyed the moment by taking a selfie on the pitch.

Lyon - who won seven consecutive league titles between 2002 and 2008 - have not won any major silverware since lifting the French Cup 12 years ago, but are now just one game from ending that run.

Tuesday's result continued their resurgence under Pierre Sage, their third manager of the season.

The club started the campaign with Laurent Blanc in charge but he lasted less than a month of the campaign, and was sacked just days after Lyon ultras confronted their players on the pitch following a 4-1 loss to PSG.

Lyon turned to another former World Cup winner in Fabio Grosso after Blanc, but he only had a little over two months at the helm after the team found themselves in a relegation battle.

Grosso was left with facial injuries after Lyon's team bus was attacked by hooligans in Marseille in late October, and he was fired the following month.

In came Sage, initially on an interim basis, and he has turned Lyon's fortunes around.

The 44-year-old has won 15 of his 21 matches in charge to guide Lyon up to 10th in the table and away from the threat of relegation, while they now have a cup final to look forward to.

Footage circulated after Tuesday's game of Lyon's players hoisting a delighted Sage in the air as they celebrated their win long after the final whistle.

Lyon will find out their opponents for the final tonight, with PSG and Rennes set to face each other in the other semi-final in Paris.

Related: Olympique Lyonnais