Lyon storm to victory
Benzema and Fred braces seal crucial win
By Steve Pass. Last Updated: 21/10/08 10:47pm
Benzema: Scored brace
Lyon twice came from behind to beat Romanian outfit Steaua Bucharest 5-3 and maintain their UEFA Champions League Group F challenge.
But the French champions did not make things easy for themselves, with poor defending seeing them go two down within 11 minutes.
The hosts, aiming to build on a brave away draw at Fiorentina last time, opened the scoring on eight minutes when Gheorghe Cristian Ogararu crossed from the right and an unmarked Bernhardt Arturo headed home at the far post.
They added a second three minutes later after Banel Nicolita's corner on the right struck Nicolae Dorin Goian on his back at the far post and Lyon keeper Hugo Lloris dived over the ball to concede a soft goal.
Lyon, who had drawn their opening two Group F games, almost got one back through Karim Benzema on 17 minutes but his low shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Robinson Zapata diving to his right.
But the French giants did score on 23 minutes when Jean Makoun crossed to Abdul Kader Keita on the right of the box and he volleyed in a fantastic goal.
Lyon then enjoyed the better of the play and Ederson crossed dangerously from the left but Keita shot wide at the far post.
Juninho and Benzema had penalty shouts turned down before Benzema got the equaliser on 33 minutes from a Fabio Grosso cross from the right, rising unmarked in the box to nod home after his marker Mirel Matel Radol had slipped.
Steaua weathered the storm and had their own penalty shout in the 41st minute when Arturo went down in the box under a challenge from Anthony Reveillere but the ref again waved on.
But on the stroke of half-time they re-took the lead when Ovidiu Petre out-jumped Makoun to head home a Nicolita corner from the right.
Soon after the break, Ederson had a great chance to level from the left of the box but blasted over, while Zapata made a great save to stop a powerful Benzema effort a minute later and also kept out a long distance Makoun shot on 52 minutes.
But substitute Fred got the equaliser on 69 minutes with a powerful effort from just inside the edge of the box after an unselfish pass by Jeremy Toulalan.
The visitors then took the lead for the first time on the night two minutes later when Benzema steered home Juninho's free-kick from the right.
Steaua pressed for an equaliser but deep in injury-time Fred added a fifth after Zapata had saved his first effort and he fired home the rebound.
The win puts Lyon in a strong position in Group F ahead of the two sides' meeting again in France in a fortnight's time.
|Steaua Bucharest||Team Statistics||Lyon|
|3||1st Half Goals||2|
|5||Shots on Target||10|
|1||Shots off Target||9|
UEFA Champions League
Tue 21st Oct - Group H
Zenit1 - 1BATE Borisov
Juventus2 - 1R Madrid
Tue 21st Oct - Group E
Villarreal6 - 3Aalborg
Man Utd3 - 0Celtic
Tue 21st Oct - Group F
Bay Munich3 - 0Fiorentina
S Bucuresti3 - 5Lyon
Tue 21st Oct - Group G
Fenerbahce2 - 5Arsenal
FC Porto0 - 1Dynamo Kiev
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