Lyon stroll but denied top spot
© AFP

Lyon turned on the style but were denied first spot in UEFA Champions League Group E on Wednesday despite a 4-0 win over Hungary's Debrecen at the Stade Gerland, as Fiorentina won 2-1 at Liverpool.

Wednesday's win left the French, dethroned by Bordeaux last season after seven straight domestic titles, with 13 points from their group matches - but Fiorentina came from behind to win at Anfield and take their points haul to 15.

Batefimbi Gomis finished from close range in the 24th minute after Debrecen keeper Djordje Pantic had failed to hold a meaty effort from veteran Sidney Govou, who promptly left the action with a knee injury to be replaced by Miralem Pjanic. A low-left foot drive from Michel Bastos two minutes before the break put the match effectively beyond the Hungarians' reach.

News that rivals for top spot Fiorentina had gone behind at already-eliminated Liverpool provided additional cheer for the French fans, who are hoping that this will be the year their team can finally push beyond the quarter-finals for the first time. A fingertip save from Pantic prevented Gomis from adding to the tally three minutes after the restart as Lyon tightened their grip on the encounter.

But Lyon continued to force the pace and Pjanic glanced home the third in the 58th minute from a precise Bastos cross deep out on the right. Bastos was terrorising the visiting defence and, having set up the third tried his luck from distance three times in quick succession - two shots flying way off target before a third was deflected.

Lyon coach Claude Puel withdrew Gomis midway through the second period for the no less prolific Lopez Lisandro, who provided fresh impetus as the waves of French attacks kept on coming. And with 14 minutes remaining, Aly Cissokho set the seal on an emphatic win, driving home a fierce low effort.

Lyon keeper Hugo Lloris battled through the closing stages with a bandaged head after colliding with Adamo Coulibaly. "Okay we were edged out (of first place) but the main thing was to go through," Cissokho told French television afterwards on learning of Fiorentina's late smash and grab at Anfield.