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Lyon 3 Dinamo Zagreb 0: Cornet shines as Genesio´s men start in style

Maxwel Cornet starred for Lyon as the Ligue 1 side eased to a convincing 3-0 Champions League victory over Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old, starting in place of the injured Alexandre Lacazette, was fantastic throughout at Parc Olympique Lyonnais – and capped-off a superb display with a well-taken goal to put Lyon three up just before the hour-mark.

Having taken an early lead through Corentin Tolisso’s brilliant header, Bruno Genesio’s side dominated much of the proceedings, and doubled their tally early in the second half when Cornet teed up Jordan Ferri.

Dinamo – the weakest link in a group also containing Juventus and Europa League holders Sevilla – would have pulled one back shortly after Cornet’s strike if not for a glaring miss from El Arabi Soudani.

But ultimately it was comfortable for Lyon as they moved to the top of Group H, with Juventus held to a 0-0 draw by Sevilla, who host the French side on matchday two on September 27.

Despite the absence of top-scorer Lacazette, Lyon started brightly, Dinamo goalkeeper Adrian Semper getting down low to his right to prevent Cornet from netting with a brilliantly-executed flick 10 minutes in.

But the 18-year-old could do nothing to deny Lyon a deserved lead three minutes later, Tolisso latching onto Rafael’s cross and powering a terrific header in off the underside of the crossbar.

Dinamo should have been further behind soon after, but Maxime Gonalons – unmarked from Cornet’s inswinging corner – could only direct his header over.

Gonalons took a knock to the head in the process of squandering that opportunity, and Lyon coach Genesio decided to take no risks with his captain, substituting him on the half-hour mark.

Lyon, whose 12-match unbeaten run at home was ended by Bordeaux last time out, saw further chances to double their lead go begging as Maciej Rybus drilled a low effort wide before Cornet had a goal disallowed for offside.

However, Lyon wasted no time in extending their advantage just four minutes after the restart, Cornet the architect as he played a sublime throughball into Ferri, who lofted a delightful finish over the onrushing Semper.

And matters were made worse for the visitors soon after, Cornet turning from provider to goalscorer as he raced onto Tolisso’s pass and slotted a low strike into the bottom-left corner.

As Lyon threatened to run riot, Dinamo searched for an immediate response, but Soudani somehow failed to convert from point-blank range – shinning an effort against the crossbar before hammering over on the rebound.

Soudani was involved again as Dinamo lodged their next meaningful attack, dragging an audacious volley wide with just under 20 minutes remaining.

Cornet received a standing ovation from the Lyon faithful as he made way shortly after, though there was to be one more chance for Dinamo – substitute Mario Situm prodding a shot against the woodwork as the visitors failed to claim a consolation from a comprehensive defeat.

Wed 14 Sep, 2016
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