Marcelo's second-half header ensured that Lyon left Russia with a 1-0 lead over CSKA Moscow courtesy of a hard-fought victory in the first leg of the club's Europa League last-16 clash at the VEB Arena this evening.
The first opportunity of the game went to Lyon's Kenny Tete, who saw a long-range effort easily saved by Igor Akinfeev, before at the other end, Ahmed Musa sent a strike whistling past the post for CSKA.
Soon afterwards, Lyon stopper Anthony Lopes needed to be alert to stop Musa getting on the scoresheet, but Lyon came closest to breaking the deadlock in the 27th minute when Houssem Aouar danced past two players before seeing Akinfeev make an excellent intervention to prevent his effort from finding the corner.
Both teams continued to create chances in Moscow, with Aleksandr Golovin's 20-yard strike seemingly on its way into the net before Akinfeev made the save.
Lyon made the most of the early exchanges in the second half and they might have taken the lead had Mariano Diaz been able to find a better finish, after doing all the hard work with some impressive skill to beat two CSKA defenders.
The visitors continued to threaten in the second period and they almost grabbed themselves a vital away goal, this time as Memphis Depay drove in a testing free kick that was saved smartly by a diving Akinfeev.
The French side did eventually open the scoring, however, as Marcelo rose highest inside the Moscow box to send Depay's corner beyond Akinfeev with a clinical header.
Lyon frustrated an underpar Moscow during the latter stages and they might have grabbed another crucial goal on the road, but Depay could not guide his header on target as he sent a good chance over the crossbar.
Moscow might have salvaged themselves a goal right at the death, although Fedor Chalov somehow saw his smart header down into the bottom corner kept out by Lopes, who reacted brilliantly to give Lyon the edge going into the second leg.