Classy Lyon bounce back
By Adam Marshall. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Classy Lyon recovered from a goal deficit to hammer Olympiakos 4-1 and clinch a place in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.
The French champions had a poor record in Greece and fell behind after only three minutes when Haruna Babangida made the most of his start with a well-taken opener.
Two goals inside three minutes before the interval turned things around with Juninho Pernambucano netting with his customary free kick and John Carew lashing past stand-in keeper Kleopas Giannou.
Mahamadou Diarra and Carew added another quickfire double to make the points safe as Gerard Houllier's men march on with a 100 percent record, preventing the Greek side from progressing in the competition.
Babangida supplied a clinical finish to a Pantelis Kafes pass to stun the group leaders and keeper Gregory Coupet later picked up a yellow card for rushing from his goal to bring down Predrag Djordjevic on the left flank.
The fast-paced start from the home side unnerved l'OL but they edged their way back into the game with Giannou out quickly to deny Florent Malouda from Diarra's intelligently scooped pass.
Juninho had seen an ambitious free kick hit the wall but it was only a sighter as his next effort was curled into the net, skipping past the diving Giannou, who should have kept it out. Just before half time, powerhouse striker Carew capitalised on poor defending by Thanassis Kostoulas to beat Giorgos Anatolakis and drill his finish past Giannou.
Malouda had a shot blocked as Lyon stepped up a gear and the second half saw more pressure from the visitors. Sidney Govou applied a wayward finish to a lovely move but Babangida, bright throughout, kept the defenders on their toes when great skill manoeuvred him past Eric Abidal and Claudio Cacapa. Djordjevic's pass had set up the African but his finish did not match the build-up and he wastefully fired wide.
It proved a turning point as Juninho worked wonders in midfield to feed Diarra, who then released Carew. The Norwegian looked suspiciously off-side but was allowed to continue and tee up a tap-in for the outstanding Diarra.
Two minutes later, Carew got on the scoresheet again as his header from a Juninho free kick deflected into the net via Yiannis Okkas.
It left Olympiakos stunned but Ieroklis Stoltidis forced a save out of Coupet and Babangida still managed a couple of efforts.
Govou searched in vain for a fifth goal and Carew passed up the opportunity to clinch a Champions League hat-trick but this was a polished display from an ever-impressive Lyon side.
|1||1st Half Goals||2|
|3||Shots on Target||8|
|5||Shots off Target||3|
UEFA Champions League
Tue 1st Nov - Group H
Artmedia Bratis2 - 2Rangers
Inter2 - 1FC Porto
Tue 1st Nov - Group F
Olympiakos1 - 4Lyon
Rosenborg0 - 2R Madrid
Tue 1st Nov - Group E
Schalke2 - 0Fenerbahce
PSV1 - 0AC Milan
Tue 1st Nov - Group G
Liverpool3 - 0Anderlecht
Real Betis1 - 0Chelsea
UEFA Champions League Group A
|1||Paris St Germain||6||15|
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||7|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H