A canny early set-piece broke Debreceni VSC's spirits as they lost 4-0 to Olympique Lyonnais, though scorer Kim Källström sheepishly said he had put most similar efforts in training "20 metres over".
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Kim Källström thanked coaching insight and fortuitous finishing for his early strike at Debreceni VSC as Olympique Lyonnais went on to earn a 4-0 UEFA Champions League triumph in Hungary.
Unmarked on the edge of the area, Källström turned the ball in from a Miralem Pjanić corner with just three minutes gone, his sweetly taken left-footed half-volley denting the home side's enthusiasm and prompting two more goals in the next 21 minutes. Both came from set-pieces as well, Pjanić registering directly from a free-kick before picking out Sidney Govou from another corner, with the captain's header deflecting in off Péter Czvitkovics. Bafétimbi Gomis struck on the break shortly after the restart, but the story of the game was Pjanić's dead-ball delivery and Debrecen's failure to cope with it.
"This morning, the coach [Claude Puel] showed us some video of how they leave no players there," said Källström, explaining why Pjanić sought him out for Lyon's opener. "We said that from our first corner we'd try what we did and the result was great." It is a move the Ligue 1 outfit have worked on time and time again in training, but the Swedish midfielder admitted that his conversion rate behind closed doors is a little less impressive than his goal in Budapest might suggest. Joking that he usually hits the target "zero" times out of ten, he added: "It was a great ball from Pjanić and I just had to put it in, but normally I put it 20 metres over."
Lyon's proficiency from set-pieces gave them an early grip on the encounter and Debrecen were never able to recover. "We did really well from dead-balls," said Källström, a 2006 signing from Stade Rennais FC. "It's part of the game so you have to do well with them and we have some good players who take them very well. It was a great game for us, a great night. After ten minutes it was 2-0 and it was much easier. There was no pressure any more and we could just play our game, take it easy and really control it."
The result also took Lyon top of UEFA Champions League Group E, three points clear of Liverpool FC and ACF Fiorentina, and boosted their belief that they can seal a place in the knockout stage. "We have six points and we're out in front in the group," said Källström, whose side now face a double-header with five-time competition winners Liverpool, commencing with a Matchday 3 outing at Anfield on 20 October. "Our goal is to win the group and we'll do everything to do that. We go to Liverpool next and it'll be really tough, but we'll give it a really good go."