Memphis seals share of points for Lyon against Zenit
Memphis Depay scored a penalty to cancel out Sardar Azmoun's opener for Zenit Saint Petersburg as Olympique Lyonnais kicked of their UEFA Champions League Group G campaign with a 1-1 draw.
Olympique Lyonnais 1-1 FC Zenit Saint Petersburg
Zenit were without former Girondins de Bordeaux star Malcom due to injury, but they started well at the Groupama stadium with Anthony lopes doing well to save a deflected Douglas Santos effort early on (4'). Azmoun then tried a shot from range, but against Lopes was equal to it (21'). Lyon settled after those early scares and Moussa Dembélé was unlucky to see a shot fizz past the post at the other end soon after (24'). Marcelo then rose highest to meet a Memphis corner only to head off-target. It was somewhat against the run of play, then, when Azmoun made it 1-0 after a slick combination with Artem Dzyuba (41').
OL coach Syvinho - making his Champions League debut as a manager - stuck to his guns at the interval, keeping the same personnel for the second half, and his faith was rewarded six minutes after the restart when Memphis drilled home a penalty after Magomed Ozdoyev had fouled the Dutchman in the Zenit box (50'). Les Gones had a gilt-edged chance to pull clear on the hour mark when Léo Dubois found Jeff Reine-Adélaïde in space, but the former Arsenal youngster fired wide (60'). Ten minutes later Zenit had their first real chance of the half when Ozdoyev got on the end of Dzyuba's pass, but Lopes pulled off the save of the game to keep him out (70'). Maxwel Cornet (77') and Martin Terrier (85') were introduced later on, but the fresh legs failed to result in another goal for OL as it ended 1-1.
THE PLAYER: Anthony Lopes
Memphis may have earned and scored the penalty, but this share of the points would have been impossible if not for the intervention of Portuguese shot-stopper, Lopes. How the 28-year-old only has seven caps for his national team is anybody's guess.
THE STAT: 19
Lyon had 19 shots on Zenit's goal compared to just 12 on theirs. Group G looks finely balanced with RB Leipzig and Benfica also for company, but if Lyon keep playing like this in Europe they'll be confident of progressing to the knockout stages for the second time in as many seasons.