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By Marcus Christenson at the Olympiastadion
Olympique Lyonnais striker Giovane Elber enjoyed a successful homecoming as his second-half goal gave the French side a valuable 2-1 win against FC Bayern München which moves them to the summit of UEFA Champions League Group A.
Roy Makaay had cancelled out Juninho Pernambucano's eighth-minute strike but it was Elber, who left Bayern for Lyon at the start of the season, who decided the game with a fierce left-foot shot early in the second half.
Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld was without midfield duo Sebastian Deisler and Owen Hargreaves and opted for an orthodox 4-4-2 formation with Martin Demichelis and Michael Ballack in central midfield. Lyon coach Paul Le Guen kept Sidney Govou on the bench because of a minor chest injury suffered at the weekend. Mickaël Essien deputised.
Bayern in command
Bayern started the better and immediately created two chances but Claudio Pizarro failed to get enough power and direction on his efforts. Lyon began tentatively but stunned the home team and the crowd with a wonderful goal after six minutes.
Lyon were awarded a free-kick 30 metres out and there did not seem to be any danger when Juninho stepped up. But the Brazilian unleashed a shot with such precision and power that Oliver Kahn in the Bayern goal had no chance and could only watch the ball go in off the post.
The Olympiastadion fell silent but the Bayern players found the perfect response, equalising eight minutes later. Makaay finished off a sublime passing move after Ballack had picked up the ball in midfield and found Zé Roberto out on the left. The Brazilian's cross was side-footed in by Makaay from close range.
It was a fascinating contest and the pace only dropped slightly after the first furious 15 minutes. Lyon, playing with Elber on his own up front, tried to catch the Bavarians on the break, while the hosts attempted to exploit the open spaces on the wings. It was Bayern who came closest to taking the lead towards the end of the first half when Pizarro's effort was cleared off the line by full-back Anthony Réveillère after Grégory Coupet had failed to claim Zé Roberto's corner-kick.
Neither coach made any changes at half-time and the second half continued at the same hectic tempo. As in the first period, Lyon took the lead early on. The lively Florent Malouda cut in from the left and supplied Elber with a low pass, which the Brazilian collected before turning shoot low past Kahn after 53 minutes.
Bayern nerves showing
The goal shook Bayern and nervousness crept into their game, as their distribution became sloppy and their defending erratic. Hitzfeld attempted to turn things around with the introduction of Roque Santa Cruz in place of the fading Pizarro but it was still Lyon who created the best chances. Juninho nearly added a third but his shot was straight at a grateful Kahn.
Hitzfeld responded by bringing on Mehmet Scholl and Jens Jeremies but the chances the home side created were few and far between. Lyon's back line held firm and were superbly supported by the holding midfielders Juninho and Mahmadou Diarra.
It was Lyon who created the more dangerous chances and Malouda should have done better when through on goal, but Kahn saved expertly. In the end, Lyon held on for a famous victory which sees them move top of Group A with seven points, one ahead of Celtic FC and two ahead of Bayern, whose poor run in Europe is extended. They have now only won one of their last eleven Champions League games.
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