Gent 1-1 Lyon
The Belgian champions earned a draw on their debut despite ending with nine men, although they needed Matz Sels' late penalty save.
Article top media content
- Gent hold Lyon to dramatic draw on UEFA Champions League debut
- Home midfielder Brecht Dejaegere sent off late in first half
- Christophe Jallet heads Lyon in front (58); Danijel Milicevic levels (68)
- Matz Sels saves Alexandre Lacazette's late penalty as Gent end with nine
- Next games: Zenit v Gent, Lyon v Valencia (29 September)
Gent marked their UEFA Champions League debut with a hard-earned draw against Lyon, the Belgian champions holding on despite ending with nine players and thankful for a late Matz Sels penalty save.
Laurent Depoitre had a shot tipped on to the crossbar by Anthony Lopes as the Buffalos began brightly. Depoitre later had the ball in the back of the net but the forward's celebrations were cut short by the offside flag.
Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette grew increasingly influential and Sels saved well from him at the near post.
Brecht Dejaegere was sent off four minutes before half-time for a tackle on visiting captain Maxime Gonalons, yet Hein Vanhaezebrouck's side still managed to fashion a wonderful chance for Renato Neto before the interval.
Sels kept out Lacazette on the resumption as Lyon began to lay siege to the home goal. Les Gones did make their numerical advantage count just before the hour, substitute right-back Jallet heading in a left-wing Mathieu Valbuena corner.
Gent refused to let their heads drop and captain Sven Kums drove them on, supplying the assist for Danijel Milicevic's historic strike, an angled shot across the face of Lopes.
Lyon, however, had a golden chance to take all three points when Lacazette was pulled down by Thomas Foket with two minutes left. With the midfielder dismissed, Lacazette stepped up to take the spot kick himself, but Selz dived to his right to push away and ensure Gent would not be beaten.
Man of the match: Sven Kums
The home captain epitomised Gent's refusal to let playing a man light get the better of them. Already influential in the first half, Kums stepped things up after the interval and capped his night with the well-weighted pass that set up Milicevic's goal.
Jallet's unlikely bonus
Keeping their goal intact while playing with ten men for 49 minutes was always going to be a tall order for Gent, though Lyon's breakthrough came from an unlikely source as Jallet, on at half-time for Rafael, nodded in. It was a first UEFA Champions League goal for the former Paris Saint-Germain man.
Testing night for Lyon
Before Dejaegere's red card, Lyon coach Hubert Fournier felt compelled into a tactical switch, such had been the Belgian champions' ascendancy. Getting more bodies in midfield in defensive phases helped Lyon combat Gent's 3-5-2 and helped give the visitors chances to win it.