Memphis Depay and Martin Terrier both scored to give struggling Lyon a morale-boosting 2-0 win over RB Leipzig in Champions League Group G on Wednesday.
Lyon had not won a game since a 6-0 thrashing of Angers in Ligue 1 on August 16 which had increased the scrutiny on head coach Sylvinho.
However, Depay and Terrier struck either side of
the break as Lyon ruthlessly exploited defensive sloppiness from the Bundesliga side.
The away win put Lyon level on four points with Group G leaders Zenit, while Leipzig are a further point behind in third place.
In-form Timo Werner spurned a great early chance to score for Leipzig when he arrived to meet Lukas Klostermann’s low cross only for his finishing to let him down as he guided the ball wide.
Lyon capitalised on the miss and took the lead thanks to a piece of opportunism from Depay after 11 minutes.
6 – Lyon’s Memphis Depay has been involved in six of their last nine UEFA Champions League goals (3 goals, 3 assists). Boss. pic.twitter.com/UnbqOgw6gK
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) October 2, 2019
Houssem Aouar stole possession off Dayot Upamecano, who lost his footing as he attempted to clear, and Depay took the ball off his team-mate’s toe before he strode forward and clinically sent a low shot past Peter Gulacsi.
Werner skipped clear of the visitors’ defence before the half-hour mark but, with just Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes to beat, spooned his shot over crossbar.
Lyon hung on for the remainder of the half and only an audacious backheeled flick off the line by Marcelo from Yussuf Poulsen’s header prevented Leipzig from equalising.
Depay’s curling free-kick picked out the unmarked Terrier early in the second half and although he headed wide it signalled Lyon’s intent.
Terrier made up for his earlier miss with 25 minutes to go when causal defensive play from substitute Nordi Mukiele, who lost the ball after a stepover, allowed the forward to steal in and strike a low shot into the bottom corner.
What does it mean? Pressure eased on Sylvinho
Before this game Lyon had drawn seven of their last eight European games, and were winless in their last six games in Ligue 1, which had heaped the pressure on head coach Sylvinho.
Against this Leipzig side, second in the Bundesliga, Sylvinho got his tactics spot on and his team executed the Brazilian’s plan to press high and hit their opponents on the break to perfection.
The victory gave Lyon their first win in this season’s Champions League and restored some much-needed confidence. Leipzig, meanwhile, are having a wobble with back-to-back defeats after their flying start.
In a difficult start to the season for Lyon, the performances of Dutch forward Memphis Depay have been a source of encouragement and he took his tally to six goals in all competitions with this one.
Depay looked razor sharp against Leipzig and was within a whisker of scoring a second goal just before the break only to be deemed offside.
Werner’s seven goals in all competitions have played their part in Leipzig’s best-ever start to a campaign, but the Germany international endured a rare off night.
The 23-year-old striker left his shooting boots at home as he missed a few chances he would otherwise have buried, getting just one of his four attempts on target.
Key Opta Stats:
– Leipzig’s last seven matches in the Champions League have now alternated between a defeat and a victory.
– Lyon have scored at least once in each of their last seven away games in the Champions League (11 goals), last failing to score in September 2016 against Sevilla.
– Leipzig have failed to score on home soil in European competition for just the second time in the 10 such games in the club’s history.
– Since the start of last season, Aouar has provided four assists in the Champions League for Lyon; no OL player has assisted more goals in the competition during this period (Depay also 4).
– Depay’s goal is the earliest goal the team has scored in the competition since Jordan Ferri’s strike against Gent in November 2015, which came in 7th minute.
RB Leipzig return to Bundesliga action with an away trip to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday and host Zenit next in this group on October 23. Lyon are also on the road domestically as they travel to Saint Etienne on Sunday, with Benfica their next opponents in Europe.
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