Lyon romp past Debrecen
Lyon made it two wins out of two in the UEFA Champions League with a comfortable 4-0 victory at Hungarian champions Debrecen at the Ferenc Puskas Stadium here on Tuesday night.
The French side made light of several absences to roar into an unassailable half-time lead through Kim Kallstrom, Miralem Pjanic and Sidney Govou, inflicting upon their hosts a forgettable home debut in Europe's premier cup competition. Bafetimbi Gomis lobbed in the fourth after heading the ball past Debrecen goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic early in the second period, as Lyon established a three-point lead over Liverpool and Fiorentina at the top of Group E.
"I think we made the game look easy," said Lyon coach Claude Puel. "I consider Debrecen a good team. It was thanks to a bit of luck and a bit of quality that we opened the score quite quickly from set-pieces, because it was our opponents who threatened first. Debrecen deserved to score because their team never stopped playing but we approached the game in the right way."
Lyon were missing summer signings Lisandro Lopez and Michel Bastos through injury, forcing coach Claude Puel to name an unfamiliar starting XI with midfielder Jeremy Toulalan deployed at centre-back and full-back Francois Clerc put into action as an auxiliary right-winger. It mattered little, though, for the visitors were 3-0 up within 24 minutes, thanks in no small part to the right foot of 19-year-old Bosnian playmaker Pjanic.
In the third minute his left-winger corner was expertly half-volleyed home from the edge of the penalty area by Kallstrom and Pjanic doubled Lyon's advantage 10 minutes later with a sweetly struck 25-yard free-kick. Govou then put the game beyond the hosts with a header from a Pjanic corner that glanced off Peter Czvitkovics's arm before nestling in the bottom-right corner.
Govou nearly notched a second in spectacular fashion, bringing down a centre from the right, flicking the ball over a defender's head and firing in a low volley that Poleksic pushed away, while Clerc lashed a volley wide on the stroke of half-time.
When Debrecen did push forward they found France international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in commanding form. He denied Czvitkovics three times and tipped over a fierce drive from substitute Gergely Rudolf as the hosts sought a response to Gomis's strike, before Govou fired straight at Poleksic from Clerc's subtle through-ball.