Olympique Lyonnais preserved their two-point lead at the top of UEFA Champions League Group D after a scintillating 3-3 draw with Internazionale FC at the Stade de Gerland tonight.
Hernán Crespo and Sonny Anderson each scored twice in a pulsating encounter that saw Inter twice come from behind before losing a lead of their own in the closing stages.
With confidence high after their 2-1 win in the San Siro three weeks ago, Lyon burst out of the blocks and their slick passing in midfield proved no match for Inter early on.
After only four minutes Anderson broke clear, but his low shot was blocked by Francesco Toldo at full stretch. That early warning went unheeded by Inter who continued to concede possession in midfield where Eric Carrière and Juninho Pernambucano were running the show.
Juninho came close to breaking the deadlock on 18 minutes with an audacious free-kick from more than 30 metres. Toldo sprawled to block the initial effort, but the ball fell to Carrière who fired over from close range. Lyon finally went ahead on 21 minutes when Anderson latched on to another precise pass from Carrière before rifling a shot past Toldo.
Inter coach Héctor Cúper had seen enough and Matias Almeyda was brought on in place of Luigi Di Biagio. The change had the desired effect as Inter began to wrestle control in midfield and only seven minutes later, they drew level.
Caçapa own goal
Javier Zanetti burst into the penalty area on the left and his low cross was deflected into the Lyon net by the unfortunate Claudio Caçapa.
Carrière hits back
The equaliser knocked the wind out of Lyon, and Inter were unfortunate not to take the lead when Emre Belözoglu's free-kick from distance hit a post. However, it was to be the home side who struck next. Juninho, broke down the right and crossed low for Carrière to score at the near post on the stroke of half-time.
Inter looked to hit back after the restart and on 47 minutes Vieri crashed a header on to the crossbar, but Inter were not to be denied for long.
On 56 minutes Marco Materazzi picked out Vieri from 40 metres and, after his strike was blocked by goalkeeper Grégory Coupet, Crespo pounced on the rebound to equalise. Ten minutes later and Inter were ahead, Crespo this time rising highest to head in at the far post for his fifth goal of the competition.
Lyon hit back
Inter's lead was short-lived, however, as Lyon showed their character by forcing their way back into the game. With 15 minutes to go Vikash Dhorasoo swung in a free-kick from the right that Edmilson collected at the far post, before rolling the ball low across goal for Anderson to tap in his second.
Domenico Morfeo almost snatched the winner for Inter with a diving header late on, but Lyon held on for the draw which, with AFC Ajax and Rosenborg BK drawing in Amsterdam, keeps them top of Group D.