A huge disappointment!
Zenit started the game sitting deep and looking to hit on the counter. OL struggled to get going. Beauvue headed a Jallet cross wide. The Russian side had the first real chance of the match just after the 15-minute lark. Darder shot on target just moments later. Lopes produced a good save to deny Danny on the end of a Hulk counterattack. OL started to find some joy getting down the flanks. But the irrepressible Hulk, aided by the OL defence, cut the ball back for Dzyuba to open the scoring! Tolisso went close to equalising from the right. Yanga-Mbiwa also, after a Gonalons shot was palmed out! Bedimo smashed a shot against the crossbar… Lodygin reacted quicker than Tolisso. OL were out of luck. Darder sent a missile fizzing just wide. OL deserved more than to be trailing at the break… Zenit showed all their European experience.
OL probed for an opening against a disciplined Zenit. And then Hulk broke through to OL backline to set up Dzyuba for his second of the night! Once again, OL was absent in defence. And when OL did attack, the blue wall proved too strong. Rafaël and Cornet came on for Jallet and Beauvue. Gonalons was sent off for a second bookable offence! Ferri came on for Darder. A man down, OL struggled in vain. Fortunately Lopes was there to deny the Russian outfit a third...
OL was not clinical enough, in either penalty box to get something against a brilliantly organised and experienced side. Gent's victory over Valencia CF, means OL are now struggling for a place in the Europa League, even if there's still everything to play for in the group with two matches left. In the end, it was a bad night for Olympique Lyonnais...
Lyon, Stade de Gerland, 31,000 spectators. Referee: Mr Brych (GER). OL 0-2 Zenit (H-T: 0-1).
OL: Lopes – Jallet (Rafaël 60'), Yanga-Mbiwa, Umtiti, Bedimo – Gonalons (cap), Darder (Ferri 76'), Tolisso, Valbuena – Beauvue (Cornet 69'), Lacazette. Coach: Fournier.
Zenit: Lodygin – Anyukov, Lombaerts, Neto, Criscito (Smolnikov 73') – Witsel, Javi Garcia (Yusupov 80') – Hulk, Danny (cap), Chatov – Dzyuba (Ryazantsev 83'). Coach: Villas-Boas.
Goals: Dzyuba 22', 57'
Yellow Cards: Witsel (Z) 20', Gonalons (OL) 32', 72', Criscito (Z) 46', Javi Garcia (Z) 54', Anioukov (Z) 56', 89', Chatov (Z) 90'.
Red Cards: Gonalons (OL) 72', Anyukov (Z) 88'.