Zenit maintains 100 percent CL record with 3-1 win over Lyon

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) Artem Dzyuba scored in the third minute and Hulk fired home a spectacular shot from distance as Zenit St. Petersburg closed in on qualification from Group H with a 3-1 win over Lyon in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Russian club maintained its 100 percent record in the competition with a third consecutive win, while Lyon remained in last place with one point.

Lyon made a dreadful start as Dzyuba found the net for the fifth successive game for Zenit with a clean finish at the far post from Oleg Shatov’s pass.

After Alexandre Lacazette canceled out the hosts’ lead early in the second half, Hulk stole the ball in midfield, surged toward the goal and unleashed a 30-meter shot into the top corner. Danny completed Zenit’s win in the 82nd minute.

Valencia’s 2-1 win over Gent in the group’s other match lifted the Spanish side five points clear in second place.

Lyon didn’t panic after Dzyuba’s opener and enjoyed a good spell of possession. But the fine passing football from Hubert Fournier’s players failed to bring a quick equalizer.

Lyon’s first chance came in the 22nd minute from a free kick, with a poor clearance finding Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who forced Mikhail Kerzhakov to make a diving save with a fine volley.

Zenit looked happy to sit back and play on the counterattack, but Andre Villas-Boas’ side lacked accuracy and wasted several good chances on the break before halftime.

Lyon played with more pace and fluidity early in the second half and was soon rewarded when Lacazette used his poacher’s instinct to level in the 49th. Mathieu Valbuena started the move with a lofted pass to Christophe Jallet, whose cross was flicked in by Lacazette with a deft back-heel.

However, Lyon’s comeback didn’t last.

Just seven minutes after the equalizer, Hulk used his power to steal the ball from Maxime Gonalons near the halfway line and then hammered his shot past keeper Anthony Lopes for his third Champions League goal this season.

Dzyuba missed the chance to extend Zenit’s lead with a chip that landed just wide and Lyon laid siege to the goal in a stirring final 15 minutes.

But the visitors were caught on the break after Hulk and Shatov combined well to cut their defense open, with Danny tapping home with a simple finish.