Lyon beats Schalke 1-0 in Champions League

BY foxsports • September 14, 2010

Brazil international Michel Bastos scored an opportunist first-half goal as Lyon won 1-0 against 10-man Schalke in their Champions League Group B match on Tuesday.

Lyon scored in the 21st minute when Bastos took advantage of some poor defending from right back Christoph Moritz to lob the ball over goalkeeper Manuel Neuer's head.

The goal was given to Bastos, although replays showed center half Benedikt Hoewedes pushing the ball over the line with his foot as he scrambled back to try and clear it.

Hoewedes was sent off in the 34th minute for a high tackle on Lyon winger Jimmy Briand.

Schalke had opportunities to score in the first half but was twice denied by brilliant saves from France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

''I think we could have controlled the second half a bit better by scoring a second goal, as you're never safe,'' Lyon coach Claude Puel said. ''We moved the ball around well and it wasn't easy to find space because they were well organized.''

The win will be of great encouragement to Puel's team, which has won only one of its five league games so far and is languishing in 16th place in the French first division it once dominated with seven straight titles from 2002-08.

But Lyon, which reached the Champions League semifinals for the first time last season, should have done better with an extra man when enjoying large spells of possession in the second half.

''That's the only thing I regret because we played quite well and wore them out by keeping possession well,'' Puel said.

Lyon playmaker Yoann Gourcuff, who joined from Bordeaux in the summer, felt that the result would help galvanize the side.

''We were compact and well organized, but we need to be a bit better technically,'' Gourcuff said. ''But this is a game we had to win and the confidence will come back when we start winning again.''

Schalke started brightly and almost took the lead in the 11th when Lyon's inexperienced 18-year-old left back Thimothee Kolodziejczak failed to clear the ball properly and Jefferson Farfan took it off him.

Farfan's snap shot seemed to be going into the top right corner only for Lloris to pull off a great one-handed save.

Schalke paid for some slack defending when Briand floated a long cross-field pass and Moritz - who normally plays as a midfielder - naively headed it back to Neuer without looking, allowing Bastos to nip in behind him.

Lloris then made another superb save, diving low to his right to push away Moritz's shot from outside the area in the 31st minute before the momentum turned against the German team.

Hoewedes was shown a straight red card by referee Ivan Bebek for a high tackle that caught Briand's right shoulder, although it looked more clumsy than malicious.

With Gourcuff closely marked, Bastos enjoyed more freedom and tested Neuer with a low shot that Germany's World Cup goalkeeper pushed wide for a corner in the 53rd.

Schalke's new-look strike partnership of former Real Madrid striker Raul and Netherlands forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar totally failed to click and neither managed a shot on target.

Raul kept dropping too deep, while Huntelaar's poor work rate will not have pleased Magath.

Briand set up midfielder Miralem Pjanic for a good chance inside the area in the 67th, but Pjanic curled his shot wide of the left post when he had time to pick his spot.

Benfica beat Hapoel Tel Aviv 2-0 in Group B's other game.