Lopes error gifts Benfica victory
Anthony Lopes' uncustomary late mistake gifted Benfica a 2-1 Champions League win in Lisbon after Lyon had looked like taking something following Memphis Depay's equaliser.
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
UEFA Champions League Group G
SL Benfica 2-1 Olympique Lyonnais
After Depay (70') had cancelled out Rafa Silva's early opener (4'), OL had looked the more likely side to take all three points, until Lopes threw the ball straight to Pizzi and the substitute knocked the ball into the empty net (86').
Garcia named an attacking 4-4-2 formation but it was the home side, chasing a first Champions League win of the season, who got in front early as the dangerous Rafa Silva was afforded too much space in the penalty area and the attacking midfielder angled his shot across the face of Lopes.
Silva was causing OL all sorts of problems until he head to be replaced through injury on 20 minutes by Pizzi. OL woke up and Maxwel Cornet had a shot blocked by Grimaldo (30') before Benfica forward Haris Seferovic fluffed a chance (45').
Lyon were dominant in the second half, especially after Thiago Mendes came on for Martin Terrier (56'). Cornet's shot took a big deflection off Francisco Ferro and hit the crossbar (64') and then OL equalised through Depay, who has scored in all three Champions League games this season. Léo Dubois' magnificent cross from the right was met by the unmarked Dutchman with a splendid left-footed volley.
Moussa Dembélé might have won a penalty (74') and then Odisseas Vlachodimos made a fine save to keep out a Depay curler (79'). OL enjoyed a let-off when Pizzi's shot from outside the box hit the post (85') but the respite was only temporary as Lopes made his error and Pizzi broke Lyon hearts.
THE PLAYER: Anthony Lopes
Appointed captain for this game by Garcia, the Portuguese international had a quiet night until his inexplicable late blunder. A Lyon fan, then player, this will hit the usually dependable goalkeeper hard.
THE STAT: 13
Garcia has now lost 13 of the 25 champions League games he's overseen at LOSC, Roma and now OL.