MX23RW : Friday, September 21 16:20:06
Oct 24, 2013 at 6pm UK at ​Stade de Gerland
RijekaHNK Rijeka
Grenier (67')
Lacazette (9')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Mujanovic (24'), Bertosa (54')

Live Commentary: Lyon 1-0 Rijeka - as it happened

Live text coverage as Lyon host Croatian side Rijeka in the group stages of the Europa League.

Lyon hosted Rijeka on Thursday night with both sides desperately needing a victory in Group I of the Europa League.

The hosts controlled proceedings for most of the contest but Rijeka proved to be a difficult side to break down.

However, Clement Grenier's 66th minute header was enough to hand Lyon all three points on a tense evening at the Stade de Gerland.

Read below to find out how the drama unfolded.

5.30pmHello everyone. Lyon take on Rijeka tonight in the Europa League with both sides looking for their first win in the group stage. I'll be here to talk you through the action.

5.32pmLyon are missing a number of key players for tonight's game but they're still favourites to collect all three points against their Croatian opponents.

5.35pmRijeka are the big underdogs in this group but their campaign in this tournament would be boosted by a surprise result tonight before the return fixture in two weeks.

5.38pmVitoria Guimaraes are currently top of the group with four points and they travel to Spain tonight to face Real Betis.

5.41pmLYON: A Lopes, Zeffane, Bisevac, Gonalons, Dabo, Fofana, Malbranque, Ferri, Grenier, Briand, Lacazette

5.44pmWe're still awaiting team news from Rijeka but the hosts have confirmed what was expected from them. Yoann Gourcuff is one of the absentees for Lyon. Alexandre Lacazette starts in attack, with support from Jimmy Briand and Clement Grenier.

5.48pmRIJEKA: Vargic, Mujanovic, Knezevic, Maric, Bertosa, Mocinic, Males, Kvrzic, Alispahic, Pokrivac, Benko

5.50pmNo surprises from Rijeka either. Benko will carry the main threat for the visitors and if Lyon can keep him quiet, they'll be confident of securing a win.

5.53pmKickoff is quickly approaching at the Stade de Gerland. It's a very big night for both sides. Group I could look very different by the end of the evening.

5.57pmBoth teams are out on the pitch now. Lyon aren't the club they used to be but they are surely expected to beat Rijeka tonight. Just a final few things to put in place before the match begins.

6pmGarde looks on slightly nervously, while the visiting supporters continue to make plenty of noise in the stands. Rijeka get the game underway.

1 minBenko is the target of an early long ball forward but the striker has no chance of collecting the pass before it rolls out for a goal kick.

3 minLacazette chases down what looks to be a lost cause to win Lyon their first corner of the game. Grenier delivers a good cross but Bisevac cannot direct his header towards goal.

4 minRijeka should be full of confidence tonight. They recently recorded an 11-0 victory in the Croatian domestic cup. To be honest, I'm not totally convinced about the quality of their opponents.

5 minSAVE! Lopes pulls off a fine low save to deny Males, who fancied his chances from 25 yards.

7 minLyon are being hurried into mistakes in midfield early on but it will be interesting how long the visitors can continue to press so well.

8 minRijeka look to be patient in possession but they're struggling to reduce the gap between Benko and the midfield.

9 minYELLOW CARD! Lyon break quickly and Briand picks out Lacazette, who really should score from a good position. However, the forward's touch is poor and he's punished for diving when Vargic comes out to make the save.

11 minCLOSE! Grenier collects a pass out and he cuts in on his right foot before curling the ball just past the post from 20 yards out.

12 minLyon are controlling the game now but they have been perhaps been guilty of making the wrong decision in the final third of the pitch. Benko wrestles off a couple of challenges at the other end of the pitch but Lopes easily collects the forward's cross.

14 minOuch! Alispahic is hurt for a brief moment following a challenge from Malbranque, who made the tackle with his studs in the air. No response from the referee.

16 minLyon are going through the gears slowly in front of their own fans. Rijeka are a difficult side to break down but the hosts need to find their creative players more.

17 minBenko is looking like an isolated figure at the moment. Rijeka threaten to break away on a couple of occasions but they can't find the striker.

18 minBriand shows good skill to earn himself some space on the right wing but his cross is too deep for Lacazette, who is forced to watch the ball land safely in Vargic's arms.

20 minSHOT! Lopes begins a counter attack with a superb long kick to Briand on the right. The winger picks out Ferri, who blasts the ball over from distance.

22 minA good spell of possession for Rijeka midway through the first half but they're struggling to move further up the pitch as a unit. Lyon's defence are sitting deep but they've barely been troubled.

24 minYELLOW CARD! The referee gets his yellow card out for the second time this evening and it's Mujanovic who is punished for a heavy foul on Grenier.

25 minGrenier strikes the wall with his free kick from 30 yards away from goal. Lyon manage to retain possession but Lacazette's delivery from the right is very poor and Rijeka clear.

26 minDabo has been very impressive so far in this game for Lyon. He's not always a regular but his ability to end opposing counter attacks on the left has been a big help to the hosts.

28 minBriand switches wings to collect the ball on the left. An excellent piece of skill allows him to skip past one defender but his cross is easily collected by Vargic.

29 minRijeka once again keep the ball for a long spell but they seem reluctant to commit too many players forward, which is preventing them from creating any clear opportunities. The Lyon defence looks relaxed at the moment.

31 minSHOT! Mujanovic advances forward and he cant help but fire a shot well wide of the target when Lyon offer him too much space.

33 minSAVE! Rijeka fail to close down Grenier, who forces Vargic into an awkward save with a low drive from 25 yards. Decent save from the visiting goalkeeper.

34 minRijeka are looking stronger in midfield the longer this first half goes on but they're not carrying much attacking threat at all.

36 minLovely passing from the hosts allows Fofana to collect the ball in space but his long distance effort is deflected behind for a corner.

37 minCLOSE! Rijeka easily clear the danger created by the corner. Lyon quickly retain possession though and Grenier is just inches away from opening the scoring when he fails to reach Lacazette's superb cross.

39 minCLOSE! Malbranque manages to create an opportunity due to sheer determination inside the box. Lacazette receives the ball at the near post but he fires his effort across the goal from a tight angle.

40 minLyon are piling on the pressure before half time. Rijeka will be delighted if they can make it to the break on level terms.

42 minThe hosts are probing away outside the box. Rijeka have plenty of players back to make a breakthrough difficult but Zeffane does well to earn his side a corner.

43 minFofana loses his marker inside the box but he can't make meaningful contact with his header from Grenier's corner.

45 minCLOSE! Grenier sets his sights on goal when Lyon win another free kick. The midfielder's effort causes problems for Vargic, who is lucky to see the ball rebound off his chest and roll to safety.


6.48pmLyon have certainly been the better side in the first half but they haven't been able to make the breakthrough yet. It's vital that they pick up three points tonight.

6.51pmRijeka look to be a very well organised side but I think the visitors would be in trouble if they were to fall behind. They haven't offered much going forward, with Lopes being forced into action just once in the first 45 minutes.

6.54pmLyon need to be quicker when they have the ball in Rijeka's half. The visitors were dropping deeper in the latter stages of the first period but the home side's attacks were too easy to read at times.

6.57pmIt's currently goalless in the other match in this group between Real Betis and Vitoria Guimaraes in Spain. If that game ends as a draw, a victory for either of these sides would be even more important.

7.00pmBoth sides are already back out on the pitch and it will be the hosts who get the action back underway.

46 minLyon settle quickly at the start of the second half and the pace of their play has already increased.

47 minSHOT! A good move from Lyon results in Lacazette collecting the ball before turning quickly and firing a shot straight at Vargic.

48 minCLOSE! Rijeka should be ahead. Kvrzic delivers a superb cross towards the back post, where Benko somehow manages to head the ball past the post. It's an awful miss!

50 minRijeka once again clear the initial danger from a corner but fail to retain possession. Grenier delivers an inviting ball into the six yard box but Vargic does well to punch clear.

52 minGrenier causes more problems with a great cross from a free kick on the left. Males does well under pressure to head the ball away while under pressure inside his own six yard box.

53 minZeffane sprints past a couple of defenders before delivering a deep cross to Grenier, who heads the ball back across the goal. Briand can't react quick enough to convert from close range and the visitors clear.

54 minYELLOW CARD! Bertosa is rightly booked when he clatters into Lacazette with a tackle from behind.

56 minSAVE! Big chances missed for Lyon. A loose ball falls to Lacazette inside the box but the forward can't beat Vargic from 12 yards out.

57 minCLOSE! Kvrzic whips in another good cross, which Benko allows to run past him. Alispahic arrives in the box later but he fires his effort just wide of the goal. This game should not still be goalless.

59 minLacazette and Malbranque almost create an opening when they exchange passes inside the box but the latter must settle for a corner when his cross is blocked.

60 minRijeka do just enough to clear the danger from Grenier's corner. Lyon manage to keep the move alive when Lacazette heads a cross just past Briand inside the box.

62 minSHOT! Ferri slides a perfect pass to Malbranque bu the former Tottenham midfielder curls his effort over the crossbar from just outside the box.

64 minRijeka have definitely looked like more of a threat on the counter attack in the second half but it's Lyon who are still dominating possession.

65 minSUBSTITUTION: Josip Brezovec is on for the visitors and he replaces Kvrzic.


67 minLyon finally have the goal that their superiority has deserved. Malbranque cuts inside and delivers a magnificent cross to give Grenier the simple task of heading home from six yard. Difficult tasks for the visitors from here.

68 minSUBSTITUTION: Garde makes his first change as Dabo comes off to be replaced by Corentin Tolisso.

70 minThere's a stoppage in the game when Gonalons goes down complaining about a knock on his ankle. It looks like he'll be fine to continue.

72 minRijeka have enjoyed some decent possession since falling behind but most of their passing is being done in areas which will not worry the hosts.

73 minThe visitors might need to adopt a more direct approach in the closing stages because they need to get Benko involved in the game more.

74 minSUBSTITUTION: Rijeka make another change as Pokrivac is replaced by Anas Sharbnini.

76 minSUBSTITUTION The changes keep coming as Lacazette comes off to make way for Yassine Benzia.

77 minFofana advances forward in midfield and he decides to unleash a shot from distance. No panic for Vargic, who watches the ball drift wide.

79 minIt's Grenier's header which is making the difference at the moment. Benko is looking increasingly frustrated in attack. He'll know how big that miss was just after the break.

80 minRijeka showing plenty of determination in the closing stages but they just cannot create the opportunity that they desperately need. Lyon's defence are dealing with everything that comes their way.

81 minSHOT! Sharbnini collects the ball just outside the box and his effort is deflected behind. Lyon aren't threatened by the corner that follows.

82 minSUBSTITUTION: Alispahic comes off to make way for Ivan Krstanovic, who will attempt to make an impact in the final eight minutes.

84 minRijeka are enjoying a good spell but it's mainly due to Lyon dropping deeper as they look to secure all three points.

85 minSUBSTITUTION: Malbranque's night comes to an end and he's replaced by Arnold Mvuemba.

86 minBenko chases down what looks like a lost cause before delivering a cross to Krstanovic, who fails to connect well with his header.

88 minLyon look like they've done enough to secure their first win in the group stage of this competition. Just a couple of minutes plus stoppage time remaining.

90 minLyon are seeing plenty of the ball and it appears that Rijeka's challenge is beginning to fade in the closing stages. Three minutes of added time to be played.

90+1 minSHOT! Benzia isn't far away with a great effort from distance but the ball drifts just past the post.

90+3 minRijeka are applying the pressure in stoppage time but Lyon seem to have done enough to secure the victory.


7.51pmLyon have managed to claim their first victory in Group I thanks to Grenier's header in the 66th minute. Rijeka could have claimed a draw with the chances they created but the result was fair.

7.54pmThanks for joining me this evening but make sure you stick around on Sports Mole as we bring you coverage from events across Europe. Goodnight.

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Lyon's French coach Remi Garde looks on during the UEFA Europa League football match Real Betis vs Olympique Lyonnais at the Benito Villamarin stadium in Sevilla on September 19, 2013.
Read Next:
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