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Substitute Bafétimbi Gomis scored the only goal of the game as Olympique Lyonnais moved to the top of UEFA Europa League Group I with a 1-0 defeat of Real Betis Balompié that saw both sides through to the last 32.
With Vitória SC held by HNK Rijeka, Gomis's 66th-minute strike at an icy Stade de Gerland sent unbeaten OL into pole position in the section, four points clear of the Portuguese team, who miss out to Betis on their head-to-head record. Victory in Portugal on matchday six will ensure Rémi Garde's men finish as group winners.
Though they arrived in France as leaders, Betis had registered only a single point in their last seven domestic games in Spain, and their timid play smacked of a lack of self-confidence. Salvador Sevilla's long-range drive would have boosted their belief had it evaded Rémy Vercoutre, but that proved Lyon's sole first-half scare. Not that Stephan Andersen was much busier at the other end. Bar a Milan Biševac header comfortably snaffled, the Danish international largely watched the hosts play prettily but ineffectively in front of him. That did change just before the interval when Alexandre Lacazette zipped forward, but the pacy Lyon forward's toe-poked effort was grabbed by Andersen.
While Lacazette's alertness threatened to provide a breakthrough for Lyon, Samuel Umtiti's lack of it almost gifted Betis the initiative – but after seizing onto the Lyon defender's ill-advised back pass and rounding Vercoutre, Chuli found a post, not the net. Instead, Gomis did just that, though the comfort of his finish was afforded him by sharp interplay in the build-up between Lacazette and substitute Yoann Gourcuff. The duo's smart one-two on the edge of the box gave Gomis the opportunity to side-foot his shot beyond the reach of Andersen and hand Betis their first group-stage defeat.
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