Lyon seized the initiative in Champions League Group B with a 1-0 victory over Schalke here on Tuesday, as last season’s second-placed teams in France and Germany met at Stade Gerland.
Michel Bastos capitalised on hesitancy in the visiting defence to score the game’s only goal mid-way through the first half, while Schalke had to play with 10 men for over 50 minutes due to Benedikt Howedes’s sending off.
It meant Yoann Gourcuff’s Champions League career with Lyon began on a winning note, but all-time competition top scorer Raul tasted defeat on his first appearance in the tournament with new employers Schalke.
The hosts, semi-finalists last season, took the lead in the 21st minute when Bastos seized on Christoph Moritz’s weak back header, flicked the ball over Manuel Neuer and then slid in to touch the ball home ahead of Howedes.
Moritz came close to atoning when his low drive was pushed away by Hugo Lloris, but Schalke received a body blow in the 38th minute when Howedes was harshly shown a straight red card for catching Jimmy Briand with a high foot.
Lyon took full advantage of the space afforded to them by Howedes’s dismissal, with Jeremy Toulalan going closest to doubling the score when his close-range header from Miralem Pjanic’s free-kick was saved by Neuer.
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