Europa League: Clement Grenier's goal secures Lyon's 1-0 victory over Rijeka
Lyon claimed their first win in Europa League Group I after Clement Grenier's goal secured a 1-0 victory over Rijeka.
Last Updated: 24/10/13 8:11pm
Lyon claimed their first win in Europa League Group I thanks to Clement Grenier's second-half score as they defeated Rijeka 1-0 at the Stade de Gerland on Thursday.
Grenier's 66th-minute header ended Lyon's two-game winless streak in European competition to keep them firmly in the hunt for qualification.
Lyon had drawn their previous two games against Real Betis and Guimaraes, while Rijeka only had a point to their name ahead of kick-off thanks to a 1-1 draw at home to Betis on matchday two.
However, Steed Malbranque's cross from the left was perfect for Grenier, who powered forward to head past Ivan Vargic and claim three points for the Ligue 1 side.
It was the first time Lyon and Croatia's Rijeka had faced each other, with the match Rijeka's first encounter with French opponents.
The game started evenly, with Lyon's Milan Bisevac narrowly missing from close range before Rijeka's Mate Males forced a save from Les Gones keeper Anthony Lopes.
Grenier sent a shot wide while Jordan Ferri sent one over the bar as the French side struggled to find a cutting edge.
Rijeka defender Luka Maric then saw his 25-yard shot cleared by Alexandre Lacazette before Grenier was denied by a brilliant save from Vargic as the game was deadlocked at 0-0 at half-time.
After the break, Vargic saved another Lacazette shot and five minutes later the Rijeka stopper kept his side in the tie again when he saved from Grenier with his feet.
The Lyon midfielder was becoming a pest but he wasted another chance to give the home side the lead when Vargic punched his 52nd-minute corner clear before he put a header wide moments later.
Lyon were creating all of the chances but could not put them away and it seemed that their third game from three in the Europa League was set to end in another frustrating draw before Grenier finally made the breakthrough midway through the second half.
Josip Brezovec came the closest to levelling the scores when he forced a clearance from Milan Bisevac, with Ivan Krstanovic's 86th-minute header a tame effort which was easily saved by Lopes as the visitors left empty-handed.