Lyon secure comfortable victory
Fri, 25 Jan 2013 22:04:00
A brilliant one-handed save from Rochdale keeper Josh Lillis ensured the points were shared in a 0-0 draw at Cheltenham.
Cheltenham defender Keith Lowe got on the end of a Billy Jones free-kickmidway through the second half only to see his close range effort superbly kept out.
The first period had been dominated by the visitors with Jason Kennedy and Ashley Grims putting efforts just the wrong side of the target.
Cheltenham keeper Scott Brown was forced into action to push a Bobby Grant effort over the bar on 17 minutes before Grimes was denied by a crunching tackle from home skipper Russ Penn.
With the gale force wind at their backs after the break, Cheltenham had more of the ball with Sido Jombati and Marlon Pack having half chances.
But Lowe posed the biggest threat, with his close-range effort being followed by a shot from the edge of the area that was deflected just wide of the post.
For Dale, skipper Peter Cavanagh let fly with a long-range shot that zipped wide.
Jakub Blaszczykowski scored twice in the first 21 minutes but Jurgen Klopp's men had to wait until the 88th minute before being assured of the points, when Robert Lewandowski made it three.
The result was rarely in doubt, though, as Dortmund dominated from start to finish, struggling only to find the back of the net more frequently.
It could have been a different story had Nurnberg gone ahead with their first attack of the game in the 15th minute.
After weathering an early storm Markus Feulner set up Tomas Pekhart, whose effort was saved well by Weidenfeller, who did even better to prevent Feulner from tucking in the rebound.
Their resistance was broken three minutes later, though, when Timo Gebhart was adjudge to have fouled Lukasz Piszczek inside the penalty area.
His Polish compatriot Blaszczykowski took the responsibility from the penalty spot and he made no mistake shooting to the right of Raphael Schafer to put Dortmund ahead.
He struck again three minutes later when he was left unmarked to stroke in Mario Gotze's low cross.
The expected opening of the floodgates failed to materialise, though, largely because of Dortmund's poor finishing rather than Nurnberg's defending.
Lewandowski was guilty of missing the best chances for the home side, who continued to peg Nurnberg back inside their own half.
A rare shot from distance from Feulner on the hour mark was the last time Nurnberg dared take aim at Dortmund's goal.
And the home side finally got the third goal to reward their persistence in the 88th minute, with Lewandowski hammering his shot high into the roof of the net after being set up for his easiest chance of the night by Marco Reus.
Goals from Gueida Fofana and Bafetibis Gomis secured an impressive fourth win in five on the road for the visitors, while Valenciennes' recent slump continued following four defeats in their last six league games.
Lyon made a blistering start and took the lead with their first attack. Guedia Fofana picked the ball up in midfield and outstripped two Valenciennes defenders before firing a superb shot beyond Nicolas Penneteau from 25 yards.
The visitors continued to press and Bafetibis Gomis could easily have had a hat-trick inside the opening 10 minutes.
The French international twice tested Penneteau with first-time efforts before he failed to find the target from a pinpoint Rachid Ghezzal cross.
Penneteau's work was not done there, however. Moments later Gomis combined well with Steed Malbranque on the right before stinging the fingertips of the hosts' goalkeeper from just inside the area.
Valenciennes failed to learn their lesson and Gomis finally got reward for his endeavour just before the hour mark. Gueida Fofana picked out Alexandre Lacazette on the right and his cross was powerfully turned in at the near post by Lyon's leading scorer.
The rattled hosts finally managed to muster a shot at goal before the break, but Vincent Aboubakar failed to make a good connection from Mathieu Dossevi's cross and his header was easily gathered by Remy Vercoutre.
The pause did nothing to change the rhythm of the game and Alexandre Lacazette went close soon after from a Malbranque corner, but his near-post looping header finished up behind the goal.
Valenciennes nearly hauled themselves back into the game in the 57th minute when Anthony Le Tallec turned well on the edge of the area. His curling shot looked to be bending inside the right post but Remy Vercourte got down well to make a smart one-handed save.
With Lyon seemingly happy to sit back and preserve a two-goal lead, Valenciennes continued to press late into the game.
Matthieu Dossevi met Anthony Le Tallec's cross with a dangerous volley from 12 yards but Vercoutre remained alert and turned his effort away for a corner.
Despite late pressure from the hosts, Lyon's defence remained resolute ensuring they were only the second team, alongside title-rivals Paris St Germain, to win at the Stade de Hainut this season.