Lyon overcome unlucky Fener
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: 03/11/04 9:45pm
Lyon moved into the next phase of the UEFA Champions League after a highly entertaining 4-2 win over Fenerbahce.
The Stade Gerland crowd were silenced in the first half when Sahin Selcuk's deflected effort put his side ahead, but Michael Essien soon levelled with a smart finish for Lyon before Florent Malouda put them ahead early in the second period.
Tuncay Sanli put Fener back on level terms, but Lyon then took charge with the visitors reduced to ten men after Cetin Servet was booked for a second time.
Lyon did leave it late to seal victory, though, as Brazilian substitute Nilmar struck twice deep in injury time - with fellow countryman Juninho Pernambucano providing both.
Lyon had the better of the opening exchanges with Malouda looking particularly sharp and he had a couple of early chances, but he failed to test Recber in the Fener goal.
The Turks also started well and it was the impressive Sanli who had their first effort on goal as he volleyed just wide from the edge of the area with a stunning effort.
Moments later it was Fener who took a shock lead as they took advantage of some sloppy home defending. Eric Abidal failed to clear and the ball dropped to Selcuk who fired a stinging effort at goal, which deflected off Cris and past a helpless Gregory Coupet.
Lyon were spurred into action by the goal and Malouda, along with Juninho - began to cause some real anxious moments in the Fener defence.
It was not long before the equaliser came and it was a class move as Malouda broke down the left and crossed into the area, the ball deflected off Fabio Luciano and into the path of Michael Essien who volleyed home with great aplomb.
Sanli then again fired a warning to Lyon as he made Coupet tip his 25-yard effort over the bar.
Malouda, who seemed to cover every blade of grass in the opening half hour, then missed a gilt edged opportunity to level when he got on the end of a Pierre Alain Frau cross but he could only head straight at Recber from just five yards.
Juninho struck the bar with a wicked free kick, while Mahamadou Diarra fired over, as Lyon began to intensify the pressure.
Malouda again had a great chance to put his side ahead as Anthony Reveillere crossed from the right after a marauding run, but Recber came out bravely to parry.
Recber was soon called into action again, this time from Frau's deflected effort.
Fener began the second period in positive fashion, with Brazilian star Alex looking to get into the game.
However, just as the Turks were looking comfortable - they went behind as Malouda grabbed the goal his performance deserved as he poked home from close range after a nice ball into the six-yard box from Frau.
Despite being behind, Fener continued playing some nice football and it was again Selcuk and Sanli combining to cause havoc, with the latter only just firing wide.
The game was now end to end, and Malouda forced Recber into a terrific finger-tipped save to prevent Lyon from going further ahead.
Coupet then almost gifted Fener a leveller as he dropped a straightforward cross, but luckily for him there was no attacker within a yard of him and the Lyon defence were able to clear.
Coupet was again guilty of suspect keeping as he hesitated to come out as Cris tried to fend off Sanli, but the striker and keeper clashed as the ball came in between the two. The French international got to his feet very gingerly but he managed to carry on.
Lyon's midfield continued to look dangerous and Diarra threaded through Essien on the right edge of the area, but he could on fire across Recber's goal and wide.
Coupet could not carry on as Fener looked to test him and Nicolas Puydebois was introduced. But unfortunately for the home side, the reserve keeper's first action was to pick the ball out of the net.
Fener won a corner which was curled in by Alex, Fabio Luciao headed down and the very impressive Sanli turned the ball in as Puydebois looked to challenge.
The Turks were now looking for a winner and were clearly on a high, but their cause suffered a major blow when Cetin Servet dived in on Nilmar and picked up a second yellow card.
Despite being down to ten men, Fener still looked to push forward, but Lyon never looked like conceding again.
Recber came for a cross, but without anyone challenging he dropped and Nilmar almost took advantage but he could only poke the ball wide as he failed to react in time.
Fener were looking tired, but seemed set to grab a point - but two goals in two minutes, deep in injury time - sealed victory for Lyon.
Four minutes into injury time, Lyon grabbed a third as Nilmar - a second half sub - got the slightest of touches to an in-swinging Juninho free kick.
There was no question about the fourth as Lyon caught Fener on the break and it was the same act as Juninho crossed for Nilmar, and the striker left little doubt of the scorer this time around as he bulleted his header past an unfortunate Recber.
Lyon claimed the victory and booked their place in the next round, while the unfortunate Fener look destined for a Uefa Cup spot after a spirited display saw them emerge with nothing for their efforts.
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|8||Shots on Target||5|
|8||Shots off Target||2|
UEFA Champions League
Wed 3rd Nov - Group B
Dynamo Kiev2 - 2R Madrid
Roma1 - 1Leverkusen
Wed 3rd Nov - Group C
Mac Tel Avi2 - 1Ajax
Bay Munich0 - 1Juventus
Wed 3rd Nov - Group D
Lyon4 - 2Fenerbahce
Man Utd4 - 1Sp Prague
Wed 3rd Nov - Group A
Deportivo0 - 1Liverpool
Olympiakos1 - 0Monaco
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|3||FC Viktoria Plzen||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H