Lyon left their dismal home form behind them to register a 3-1 win at Hapoel Tel Aviv on Wednesday, giving the misfiring French giants maximum points from their first two Champions League outings.
Lyon raced into a seventh-minute lead when England’s World Cup final referee Howard Webb awarded them a penalty after Jimmy Briand was brought down by Walid Badier.
Michel Bastos converted the spot-kick, sending Hapoel goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama the wrong way.
Lyon, smarting after defeat by regional rivals Saint-Etienne in the Rhone Derby at the weekend, set out to double their advantage, with Briand forcing Enyeama into a save shortly after.
For Hapoel this was a historic first ever home Champions League tie at their Bloomfield Stadium, in what was also the first meeting between the two sides.
And the Israeli outfit were intent on getting something out of their big night, with Lyon keeper Hugo Lloris forced into action to repel attempts from midfielder Avihai Yadin and former Espanyol striker Ben Sahar.
In a lively opening it was then the turn of Hapoel’s Eran Zahavi to test Lloris, who was up to the challenge.
Bastos, fresh from his first World Cup campaign, had earned the points in the opening 1-0 win against Schalke, and the 27-year-old winger took his Champions League tally this campaign to three in the 35th minute.
The Brazilian got his and Lyon’s second of the night when he pounced on Yoann Gourcuff’s corner at the edge of the box, the ball thudding high into the net after taking a deflection off Romain Rocchi.
Hapoel got a deserved consolation goal after some spirited attacking when Enyeama wrongfooted his Lyon opposite number Lloris for his second Champions League penalty this season in the 79th minute.
The spot-kick was given by Webb for a foul on Douglas da Silva by Dejan Lovren.
That set up a nervy climax for Lyon, who improved their goal difference when Miralem Pjanic produced their third of the night in the fourth minute of time added on.
The win left Claude Puel’s men well on course to make it into the knockout stage from Group B.
They have six points, with Schalke and Benfica on three apiece and Hapoel propping up the mini-league with no points.
This result was a much needed fillip for Puel and his underachieving squad, after the Saint-Etienne loss left the seven-time national champions languishing second from bottom in the French first division.
A measure of their domestic woe is the fact their four-goal haul in Europe is the same number of goals they have scored after seven games in Ligue 1.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!