Lyon 1-2 Gent
Kalifa Coulibaly headed the winner in the final seconds of the match to take the visitors second in Group H and end Lyon's European campaign.
Article top media content
- Kalifa Coulibaly's last-gasp winner lifts Gent into second in Group H
- Jordan Ferri gives Lyon early lead in last European game at Stade de Gerland (7)
- Gent's Danijel Milicevic levels with fine free-kick (32)
- Coulibaly heads decisive goal in last action of night (90+5)
- Final Group H matches: Valencia v Lyon, Gent v Zenit (9 December)
Kalifa Coulibaly scored the most dramatic of winners with the very last touch of the match as Gent earned a win at Lyon that took the Belgian debutants into second place in UEFA Champions League Group H and ended their hosts' European campaign for another year.
Having collected only one point from their first four fixtures, Lyon needed a positive start in what was the final European game at their Stade de Gerland, and promptly got it thanks to Jordan Ferri's first goal since December 2014. Rachid Ghezzal won the ball 20 metres out and delayed his pass to allow Ferri a clear run; the Lyon midfielder beat the otherwise impeccable Matz Sels at his near post.
The Gent goalkeeper twice denied Alexandre Lacazette as Lyon sought to press home their advantage, although the visitors passed up a glorious chance to equalise when Brecht Dejaegere lashed over from inside the penalty area. An open first half featured four shots on goal for each side – and in the 32nd minute, Danijel Milicevic's fine curling free-kick levelled matters.
Sels remained busy, punching away a fierce Rafael drive, while his opposite number Anthony Lopes kept out a Dejaegere header before the break to keep it all square. The onus was on Lyon to press, however, and they duly continued piling forward after half-time, Sels saving a Mathieu Valbuena volley and Ghezzal's shot.
The Gent custodian then plunged to his right to frustrate Ghezzal again as the hosts carried on chasing the goal that would have extended their round of 16 hopes into matchday six. Two minutes from time, Lacazette's blocked effort meant their last opportunity had gone; instead, Coulibaly headed in from a corner deep into added time to take the points back to Belgium and leave Gent within sight of progress.
Hein Vanhaezebrouck, Gent coach
We got more than we deserved, which does not happen for us too often. My players are not used to celebrating like they did at the end, but I am happy for them that we took the three points. They deserve to qualify for the Europa League and maybe for the Champions League [last 16]. It will not be easy as Zenit have 15 points from five games. We did not have any fans here but I hope for the Zenit game we will have a full house behind us.
Tonight we did not start well but we did not rush things either. We were not there physically and we had to adapt to a new level. The goal we conceded could have been avoided. Lyon are a good team with a lot of individual talents.
Our collective spirit is great, however, we always come back and that's what happened tonight. My players went to celebrate in front of the empty tier that was ours – it was a message to all the fans who have supported us during the last few days. This win is one of the best of my career.
Hubert Fournier, Lyon coach
It is a big disappointment. There is not much to say when you have one point from five matches. We were never able to compete fully. Tonight we started well and then we let this Belgian team play and they punished us on a set piece. It is cruel to lose in the last seconds – the draw would have been fair. We lacked a lot of things, most of all defensive rigour. The result speaks for itself.