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Oct 20, 2015 at 7.45pm UK
ZenitZenit St Petersburg
3-1
Lyon
Dzyuba (2'), Hulk (56'), Danny (82')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Lacazette (49')
/esi/1339/6_G_1_50484/index.html?art_id=253302&game_id=50484&sport_id=1&ESI

Live Commentary: Zenit St Petersburg vs. Lyon - as it happened

:Headline: Live Commentary: Zenit St Petersburg vs. Lyon - as it happened:
Relive Sports Mole's Champions League coverage as Group H leaders Zenit St Petersburg beat visiting Lyon 3-1 in Russia.

Zenit St Petersburg welcomed the visit of Lyon in Group H of the Champions League aiming to make it three wins from three in the tournament.

The Russian side started in a dominant fashion as Artem Dzyuba gave the hosts the lead after three minutes, before Lyon found an unlikely leveller through Alexandre Lacazette after the break.

Zenit proved too good in the end, though, as they went ahead once more thanks to Hulk's stunner, leaving Danny to grab a late third and wrap up all three points.

Relive all of the action with our minute-by-minute commentary below.

Good evening all and thank you for joining us as we bring you live coverage as Zenit St Petersburg welcome Lyon in Group H of the Champions League.
Andre Villas-Boas and his charges find themselves in a commanding position at the top of the group standings, having claimed two wins from their first two fixtures. Meanwhile, Lyon are yet to win in Group H and have managed just one point from their opening two matches.
Lyon coach Hubert Fournier has already suggested in the build-up to this clash that this game might be the last chance the French club have to put their qualification hopes back on a positive course. As for Zenit, another three points tonight would push them towards the brink of early qualification.
Neither of these two sides has had much to write home about on the domestic front. Both sides currently lie 10 points behind the respective table-topping teams in their divisions. Zenit trail CSKA Moscow, while Lyon are some way behind Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1.
Goals have been a massive issue thus far for Lyon, who have scored only one goal in two Group H games, and that came through defender Christophe Jallet. Alexandre Lacazette appears some way off the form he produced last year, but Lyon will need him to get firing again quickly if they are to stand any hope of progressing into the knockout rounds.
Things could not be more different for Zenit, however, who have managed to register goals through Hulk, Oleg Shatov, Artem Dzyuba and Axel Witsel. After two games, the Russian club have already notched five goals following wins over Valencia and Gent.
Some team news for you now...
ZENIT STARTING XI: Kerzhakov; Anyukov, Criscito, Lombaerts, Garay, Danny Shatov, Javi García, Witsel, Hulk, Dzyuba
ZENIT SUBSTITUTES: Lodygin, LuIs Neto, Ivanov, Ryazantsev, Yusupov, Evseev, Dolgov
LYON STARTING XI: Lopes; Yanga-Mbiwa, Jallet, Morel, Rafael, Umtiti, Tolisso, Ferri, Gonalons, Lacazette, Valbuena
LYON SUBSTITUTES: Gorgelin, Kone, Ghezzal, Darder, Malbranque, Beauvue, Cornet.
So the main news for Zenit fans is that Domenico Criscito makes a return to the starting XI after more than a month away. As expected, the hosts have handed starts to the creative talents of Hulk, Shatov, Dzyuba and Witsel. As for Lyon, rumours going around tonight are suggesting that full-back Rafael could be starting as part of a three-man attack. We will soon see when the teams start to shape up in the opening minutes.
The Stadion Petrovskiy can often be an incredibly difficult place to visit because of the weather and atmosphere inside the ground. Lyon know that they have a huge task at hand tonight and Fournier has told his charges to think positively going into the contest. Here is what he has had to say via UEFA:

"We have the capacity to beat Zenit. They go into this game with six points so it is a normal match for them. For us it is a last opportunity to start accumulating the points needed to get out of the group. Despite this pressure though, my players must focus only on positive emotions."

You would have to think that defeat tonight would really all but end Lyon's chances of progressing, especially given the quality of Valencia and the industry of Gent. Three points for the French club could quite easily blow things wide open, though.
Zenit coach Villas-Boas has talked up the quality of some of his players, while also insisting that he wants his side to gain qualification at the earliest possible moment. Again, he was speaking about the clash via UEFA yesterday:

"At this level the individual skill of the players is important, because within a few seconds a player can turn the outcome of the match. Dzyuba and Shatov as well as Hulk, Danny, Witsel can all change games. We have very good players in attack and are very good on the counter – it is perhaps out best feature – but that is unlikely to surprise the Lyon coach. We still have games to come in France and Belgium after this but when it comes to qualifying, the sooner the better. I'm very pleased with six points from two matches and want us to continue in the same vein."

Here is a shot from just a few minutes ago depicting an undoubtedly cold night in Russia:

Zenit will have confidence going into this clash given that they have a great record against French clubs. As it stands, the Russians have not lost in four home games against French opposition.
If Lyon are to get anything out of this fixture, they will really need to improve their current conversion rate. So far the French side has registered 38 attempts and only scored one of them. A lot is resting of Lacazette at the moment...
Not long to go now until kickoff and it is time for a prediction. Russia is such a hard place to visit and Zenit have been in good form in the Champions League of late. Lyon's lack of goals could be a real problem tonight and I fancy Zenit to notch a third consecutive win: 2-1 to the home side.
The players are out on the pitch as we await the start of the game. It is time for pictures and then we will be off! Zenit are in blue, while the visitors are in all white.
KICKOFF! Zenit get things moving in front of a packed house. The hosts come forward down the left, but Lyon head clear at the first attempt. As predicted, it seems as if Rafael is starting in a forward-lying position.
GOAL! ZENIT 1-0 LYON (Artem Dzyuba)
Terrible defending from Lyon! Jallet moves across far too slowly to stop Shatov, who picks out a deft through-ball into the path of Dzyuba, who is poorly marked by Umtiti. The Zenit striker moves freely beyond the last man and curls an adroit finish past Lopes and into the bottom corner. Disaster already for the visitors...
YELLOW CARD! Fournier will be livid following some shocking marking in the early stages. However, Lyon come forward for the first time through Valbuena who is dragged down by a soon-to-be booked Hulk. The free kick is in the perfect position just short of the edge of the area, but the Lyon midfielder's effort goes straight into the wall and Kerzhakov gathers.
Zenit have taken control of this fixture already and they are moving the ball around with a lot of comfort. Lyon are attempting to press, but it seems really half-hearted from the French side. Tolisso soon finds himself with possession at distance, leaving his long-range effort to be blocked before it meets Kerzhakov.
Lyon enjoy a good spell down the right flank and the ball eventually finds Rafael. The Brazil aims to pick out a cross into the box, but produces a poor effort that is comfortably taken by the Zenit keeper, who comes off his line to prevent the danger.
The visitors seem to turn up the heat a touch and Lacazette almost finds himself in behind the defence. The striker perhaps takes one touch too many, allowing Lombaerts to get a foot in and make the clearance.
Much better from Lyon... Some crisp passing sees the away side make progress outside of the area, but they just cannot find the final touch to get beyond the home back-line. They will need to be careful, however, as Zenit can be destructive on the counter.
Rafael has a little more space now just short of the box and he aims to chip the ball beyond the defence for a running Lacazette. Garay keeps his concentration, though, and is able to head the ball away. Zenit move down the other end on the counter through Hulk, who cannot quite pick out Dzyuba.
Zenit just give a hint of how dangerous they can be on the break. They move at pace down the left flank and have to be thwarted by a retreating Jallet who comes in to concede a throw.
Lyon will need to open up a touch if they want to start making some more chances and that could play into Zenit's hands as the game progresses. Valbuena aims to switch the ball from the left out to Jallet, but the pass is a poor one and Lyon concede possession after a tidy spell inside the home half.
SAVE! Fantastic stuff from Kerzhakov... Lyon send a free kick into the box, where the clearance is only able to reach a free Yanga-Mbiwa on the right side of the area. The defender volleys first time with great effect, although he cannot find a way past the diving Zenit keeper, who is also able to push the ball clear of the danger as well as preventing an almost-certain goal.
CLOSE! Pure industry from Hulk sees the striker bustle through into the Lyon area. He then flicks the ball out towards an unmarked Dzyuba, who scuffs an effort over the bar while under pressure from both Lyon centre-backs.
Valbuena has been a touch wasteful so far for Lyon. He is receiving the ball in some good positions, before being knocked off his stride by the power of the Zenit midfielders. This time Garcia nips in to steal the ball just short of his own box to prevent a Lyon attack gathering pace.
SAVE! This is what Hulk is all about... The forward takes the ball easily off Jallet and then pushes forward towards the Lyon goal. From distance, he produces a rocket that requires Lopes to leap up athletically and tip the shot over the crossbar.
The visitors are struggling to create at the moment. They do win a corner, though, leaving Tolisso free to fire the knock-down over the bar without troubling Kerzhakov.
Another half-chance for Lyon, this time as Ferri finds some space to lash a speculative effort towards the Zenit goal. Safe to say, it goes flying over the bar and Kerzhakov is motionless.
Rafael goes on a run to try and trick the Zenit defence, but there is no way of getting past Criscito who stands firm and nips in to win the ball back for his side. Neither team has been able to muster much in the final third over the past 10 minutes.
CLOSE! Zenit lead a smart counter and Hulk moves forward at pace down the right. He has Danny over on the left side of the box to pick out, but he is unable to find the pass through a cluster of Lyon defenders.
SHOT! Lyon have the ball in a good position with Jallet, who drifts across the Zenit box to pick out Valbuena. The midfielder cuts inside to open up some space for a shot, only to instead pass further back to Morel, who sends a long-range effort over the bar without causing any trouble at all. Odd.
Shatov breaks away from the middle of the pitch with lightning speed. It looks as though the pass is on out wide either side of him, although his next touch is poor and Lyon are able to make a vital interception to stop the move developing midway into their half.
HALF TIME: ZENIT 1-0 LYON
Martin Atkinson brings an end to a positive first half for the hosts, who have capitalised on some rather torrid defending from Lyon this evening. Take no credit away from Dzyuba, though, as he produced a high-quality finish to put his side in front.
Lyon have really shot themselves in the foot so far. They have been far too complacent when passing and have taken way too many unnecessary risks at the back. Going forward things have not been much better and Lacazette has been virtually anonymous.
The visitors have been allowed large portions of the ball following the opening Zenit goal, holding 53% of possession. However, they have been able to do nothing with it and Zenit will not mind too much as they aim to sting their opponents on the counter.
Dzyuba has caused all sorts of problems tonight and he really has made use of some poor defending:
Zenit might have been able to have grabbed another goal from the first half, but they will be pleased with their exploits thus far. Fournier might need to make a change to put some energy into Lyon, who do not look threatening at all. It must be difficult for the visiting midfielders, who do not have much going on in front of them, while behind them things seem to be falling apart.
If things continue the way they currently are, Zenit will be confident of making this three wins from three. Dzyuba will also want to boost his current goal tally. As it stands, the striker has scored in five consecutive games.
Fournier has had his players out early going through some warm-ups as they aim to overturn some poor first-half form. The visitors have a lot of work to do in order to get back into this contest.
KICKOFF! Lyon get things going again in the second period and Rafael goes straight into the book with a yellow for a late tackle on Witsel after conceding possession.
CLOSE! Jallet looks to take things into his own hands when he cuts in from the right, before flashing a good effort across the face of goal and just wide of the far post.
GOAL! ZENIT 1-1 LYON (Alexandre Lacazette)
They have done it!. Jallet finds more space down the right flank and he turns in a cross towards the front post. Lacazette is there to move ahead of his marker and get the slightest of touches on the ball with a Cruyff turn-like finish to guide the leather into the net past a helpless Kerzhakov. Wonderful finishing from the frontman.
YELLOW CARD! We have just had a bit of a handbags situation on the pitch, where Umtiti has gone into the book for having a bit too much to say the referee.
Hulk sends the resulting free kick into the Lyon box, where Dzyuba reacts quickest to send a header towards goal, but Lopes has no problems with his tame effort.
Lyon are really growing into things. A corner into the box finds Rafael leaping highest, but he cannot make the connection to send the ball beyond Kerzhakov.
Rafael makes some good progress down the right channel and he wins a cheap free kick in a strong position. Valbuena sends in the ball, but Zenit head away at the first attempt.
GOAL! ZENIT 2-1 LYON (Hulk)
Fair enough... Hulk picks up the ball just inside the Lyon half and charges towards goal, before lashing a memorable effort from distance with his left past Lopes and into the bottom corner. You simply cannot stop that, pure brilliance from the forward.
CLOSE! Lyon start again and go straight down the right through Jallet, who turns a brilliant ball into the middle. The Zenit defence pull back, leaving Lacazette as the nearest player to the incoming ball. If the frontman commits he scores, but instead the ball flashes across the face of goal.
PENALTY SHOUT! Rafael produces some great feet to beat his marker and it looks like he is brought down right on the edge of the Zenit area, only for the referee to wave play on. Lombaerts has clearly caught him and Lyon should have a penalty.
All of the problems are coming down the right flank for Zenit and Lyon have really improved in the second half. This time Rafael teams up again with Jallet, but the Russians just about scramble things clear before a cross is made.
The away side come back again and there is a potential ball on to Jallet down the right, but the full-back cannot time his run and gives away a cheap offside decision. Lyon are a touch unlucky to be behind at the moment. Hulk's brilliance has separated the two sides.
CLOSE! That should be game over... Danny comes forward and picks out the perfect pass for Dzyuba, who moves one-on-one with Lopes. The striker goes for the chip and manages to beat the keeper, but his effort drops wide of the target.
SUBSTITUTION: Lyon make a change as Ferri is replaced by Rachid Ghezzal.
CLOSE! Better now from Lyon who manage to get in behind thanks to Valbuena. The midfielder picks out a chipped ball into the middle of the area for Lacazette who heads tamely down low for the Zenit stopper to gather.
SUBSTITUTION: Artur Yusupov comes on to replace Dzyuba, as Villas-Boas aims to bolster the numbers in his midfield ahead of the closing stages.
CHANCE! From hero to zero again for Lacazette... Ballet brings the ball down brilliantly out of the area before sending a clever ball into the middle of the area. Lacazette is the man the ball drops to, but he cannot make a connection and instead finds thin air as the chance goes begging.
CLOSE! Lacazette responds well to stay on his toes and he reacts well to break in behind the Zenit defence. It looks as though he is about to pull the trigger, only for Anyukov to slide in at the vital moment and stop the shot.
SHOT! Wow, almost again for Lyon. It is Umtiti who finds space just outside of the area and he pulls back to launch a thunderbolt from distance that clips the crossbar and goes over with the Zenit keeper well beaten.
Lyon are finishing the half the strongest of the two sides, but can they find a leveller here? Another corner comes in from Valbuena, only for Zenit to clear and counter.
GOAL! ZENIT 3-1 LYON (Danny)
From that counter attack the ball is moved quickly out to Shatov on the left side of the pitch, as he manages to cleverly beat the offside trip inside the Lyon half. Instead of being selfish, he cuts the ball across to an incoming Danny, who side foots with pace beyond Lopes to kill the game off.
Lyon had looked likely to get back into this just a few minutes ago, although Zenit's efficiency and clinical finishing has left them looking blank. The hosts aim for another this time through Hulk, who goes for the chip over Umtiti, but the defender gets enough on it to divert the ball away for a corner.
Morel does well for the visitors now and he makes some progress down he left flank. His cross finds Beauvue, who cannot find the required connection and Zenit are able to see away the danger.
It takes all of three Lyon players to dispossess an imperious Hulk now, and even then they have to concede a free kick as the forward aims to take time out of the game.
DISALLOWED GOAL! Zenit have another one in the back of the net following a neat run and header from Garay, but he looks across to see the linesman's flag raised.
Three minutes of added time here in Russia, Lyon's Champions League hopes might have just gone up in smoke...
FULL TIME: ZENIT 3-1 LYON
So Zenit record a third consecutive win in the Champions League for the first time ever and they look certain to win Group H this winter. Lyon had chances to get back into the game and had pulled level at 1-1, but Zenit proved just too good for them as they proved the more clinical on home soil. Lyon's European dreams might be over already, as they leave with just one point from three fixtures. That is going to be all from me tonight, thank you for joining us!
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