The duel between Giovane Elber and his FC Bayern München successor Roy Makaay finished even.
By Matt Gatward
For so long it appeared there was going to be a winner in the much-hyped personal duel between FC Bayern München strikers past and present in UEFA Champions League Group A on Tuesday night.
Roy Makaay's 25th-minute goal gave Bayern an undeserved lead against Olympique Lyonnais at the Stade Gerland and it looked like being enough to give the Bundesliga champions three points. But the hosts, led by the energetic Giovane Elber - who joined Lyon from Bayern for €4.3m in the summer - hit back to earn a point in the closing stages through Péguy Luyindula.
It was fitting that Elber, Bayern's record goalscorer in the Champions League with 21, avoided finishing on the losing side as his all-round display deserved better. His night almost reached a magnificent crescendo too but his late effort was wonderfully saved by Oliver Kahn.
Elber's performance will add weight to the arguments of those who believe Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld was wrong to sell the Brazilian and spend €18m on Makaay. Few would have questioned Hitzfeld, though, when Bayern's new hero stabbed the ball home after neat play from Roque Santa Cruz and Michael Ballack.
Being behind meant the challenge was laid down to Elber and his colleagues to find an equaliser. And Elber ultimately proved up to the task. Before the game, the 31-year-old said he harboured no grudges against Bayern: "I am not out for revenge - I just want to make sure Lyon go as far as possible in the Champions League."
Elber's attempts at ending the acrimony that soured his departure from Bayern were admirable but there was no doubt he was desperate to beat the Bavarians. He made a brighter start than Makaay, although he was aided by a midfield that was livelier than Bayern's.
The Brazilian was involved in some neat link-up play that threatened to tear Bayern apart. The closest he came to grabbing the first goal was on eight minutes when his turn and shot from the edge of the area was deflected.
Makaay's goal then silenced the home fans. Ironically, it was one of his first touches, but it showed his powers of concentration that he was able to take the opportunity when it came. Elber, in contrast, was constantly involved and after drifting to the right, his cross to the far post was just too strong for Juninho Pernambucano.
No love lost
Bayern's defence were not playing the old pals' act with their former team-mate and Robert Kovac was cautioned for hacking at Elber as he threatened to burst through on the stroke of half-time. Bayern barely deserved their lead at the interval and Elber was doing his best to drag Lyon level.
Out of reach
At the start of the second period, Anthony Réveillère chipped a neat ball to Elber but he could not quite stretch enough and the ball drifted through to Kahn. It was turning out to be a frustrating night for Elber and that was best illustrated in the 70th minute when Michael Essien's goalbound shot struck a colleague and deflected wide.
But Elber's time was to come. He celebrated wildly when Luyindula equalised with a far-post header and then led the charge for the winner. The stage seemed set when a cross from the right fell at his feet with seconds left. His turn created the chance but his crisply-struck shot was a touch close to Kahn and the keeper made a magnificent reflex save.