Six second-half goals helped Olympique Lyonnais to a remarkable 7-1 victory against GNK Dinamo Zagreb – their biggest ever UEFA Champions League victory – and the most unlikely route through to the round of 16.
Needing AFC Ajax to lose to Real Madrid CF, victory themselves and a seven-goal turnaround to finish second in Group D, Lyon's chances looked remote. Their task appeared almost insurmountable when Mateo Kovačić put Dinamo – down to ten men following Jerko Leko's dismissal – in front five minutes before half-time, but Bafétimbi Gomis equalised before the break.
The France striker completed the fastest ever UEFA Champions League hat-trick within seven minutes of the restart and later added a fourth – only the seventh player to reach that tally in a single game in the competition's history. Maxime Gonalons, Lisandro and Jimmy Briand also registered to put Lyon through at the expense of Ajax, who went down 3-0 to Madrid.
However, even after Leko's 28th-minute red card gave them an extra man, it looked a long way from being so straightforward when Kovačić dashed in front of Mouhamadou Dabo to turn in after Hugo Lloris had made two fine point-blank saves to deny Fatos Beqiraj. The hosts' joy lasted only five minutes, though, Gomis sliding in on the goal line after Aly Cissokho's cross from the left had deflected off Šime Vrsaljko and looped over Ivan Kelava.
With an extra man, Lyon's chances were still alive but called for all-out attack. They began three minutes into the second half when Briand headed on Yoann Gourcuff's corner and Gonalons finished at the far post. From the restart, Briand pounded on a defensive lapse and squared for Gomis to side-foot in.
Dinamo were reeling and soon conceded again, Gonalons feeding Cissokho, who in turn crossed for Gomis to complete his treble and beat a mark set by Blackburn Rovers FC's Mike Newell in December 1995. Rémi Garde's team paused for breath but made it five on 64 minutes, Alexandre Lacazette threading a pass through to substitute Lisandro to slot through the legs of Ivan Kelava.
Six minutes later Gomis struck his fourth when he sliced a first-time shot wide of Kelava from a cross by Cissokho. On 75 minutes Briand slotted past a shell-shocked goalkeeper after controlling a flick-on from Lisandro to complete the scoring and an extraordinary route into the draw on Friday 16 December. Dinamo, meanwhile, conceded 22 goals in the group stage, a competition record.
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