Spanish La Liga
Valencia Out of The ECL With Losing To Lyon At Home
Valencia crashed out of the Champions League due to a 2-0 home defeat to the already eliminated Lyon on Wednesday. Gary Neville endured the worst possible start to his managerial career.
Goals either side of halftime by Maxwel Cornet and Alexandre Lacazette handed the French side their first European win of the season, as Socceroos keeper Mat Ryan watched on from the bench.
“It’s disappointing. Obviously we wanted to win the game, but we have no complaints,” said Neville.
“Lyon looked dangerous in the first half and the counter-attack was a problem for us.”
The England coach was set for a baptism of fire after his surprise appointment last week with Valencia needing to win and Gent to drop points to seal their place in the last 16 for the first time in three years.
The former Manchester United defender made just two changes from the side that held European champions Barcelona to a 1-1 draw on Saturday with Joao Cancelo returning from suspension and Shkodran Mustafi fit again to take his place at the heart of the defence.
And Mustafi was desperately unlucky not to get Neville off to a flying start inside 10 minutes as he thundered a header off the post and was then penalised for a foul when he did find the net from Valencia‘s next corner.
However, the visitors responded, producing an impressive display and Valencia had to count on goalkeeper Jaume Domenech to keep them in the game.
Domenech’s first fine save came on 11 minutes when he turned Cornet’s effort to safety as the 19-year-old bore down on goal.
Domenech had to come to Valencia’s rescue twice more in quick succession as he denied Corentin Tolisso and Rafael da Silva.
However, Lyon were handed the halftime lead they deserved by Cornet’s stunning solo effort nine minutes before the break as he cut inside before firing into the top corner via a slight deflection off Aymen Abdennour.
Neville made a bold move at the start of the second period by throwing on Alvaro Negredo for his first appearance in over two months in place of the more defensively-minded Danilo.
It wasn’t enough though as Lacazette secured the result 15 minutes from time with an assured finish.
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