UEFA Europa League
Vodafone Arena, İstanbul, Turkey
Lyon win 7-6 on penalties
Lyon sealed a place in the UEFA Europa League Semi-finals after defeating Besiktas 7-6 on penalties away at the Vodafone Arena in İstanbul.
Anderson Talisca, who initially put the Turkish side ahead in the 28th minute, headed home in the second-half to cancel out Alexandre Lacazette’s first-half strike to level the aggregate scores and send the tie to Extra-Time, which eventually led to a penalty-shootout. Lyon skipper Maxime Gonalons scored the decisive penalty, firing his spot-kick home after Besiktas’ Matej Mitrovic was denied by keeper Anthony Lopes.
The hosts started well and went close in the opening minute when Cenk Tosun fired a powerful effort from-range but Lopes did well to get down to his right and make the save. Three minutes later the striker fired another powerful effort at-goal from-range but Lopes did well again, to palm the effort away.
In the 13th minute the visitors had a good chance to open the scoring when Lacazette wonderfully found Corentin Tolisso, who controlled the ball well before dragging his strike wide on the volley.
In the 28th minute the Turkish league leaders found the opener when a short-corner eventually fell to Talisca, who fired the ball home past Lopes, through a crowded penalty-area. The goal gave the Turkish side the advantage given their away goal in France.
However their lead on the night lasted barely six minutes as Lyon drew level. Lacazette exchanged a nice one-two with Gonalons, before lobbing Fabricio to level the scores on the night and extend their aggregate lead.
In the 40th minute the French side very nearly took the lead on the night when Tolisso played Lacazette through on-goal with a headed-pass and the striker looked to bend the ball into the far-corner but his effort struck the inside of the post and stayed out as the Frenchman prematurely reeled off to celebrate.
Two minutes later Besiktas went close to levelling the aggregate scores when Talisca’s powerful strike from-range curled inches wide of the far-post.
On the stroke of half-time, the visitors had another good chance to extend their aggregate lead when Christophe Jallet found Maxwel Cornet, who curled an effort just wide of the far-post.
Besiktas started the second-half in the ascendancy and went close to taking the lead again on the night when Talisca met a cross ahead of Lopes, who was caught in no-man’s land, but Jallet cleared the ball off the line.
The hosts went close again when Talisca fired an effort inches wide of the far-post from-range following a Ricardo Quaresma freekick. Two minutes later the hosts had a good chance to level the aggregate scores when Tosun met Gökhan Gönül’s teasing delivery with a header but Lopes brilliantly palmed the ball away.
Three minutes later Besiktas found the net again to level the scores on aggregate when Talisca met a teasing delivery from Adriano to head home powerfully past Lopes.
In the 62nd minute the French side had a good chance when Lacazette latched onto a fine cross-field pass from Tolisso but his powerful effort was straight at Fabricio, who smothered the effort. Five minutes later Fabricio was forced into action again to tip away Lucas Tousart’s cross, which took a wicked deflection off Atiba Hutchinson.
In the 78th minute the visitors had another good chance when Mathieu Valbuena’s freekick was met by Mouctar Diakhaby with a free-header but he headed the ball wide from close-range.
Six minutes later the Turkish side very nearly took the lead on aggregate when a dangerous Quaresma’s dangerous delivery strikes the post before Babel fires the follow-up wide against his own-man.
Three minutes later the visitors had a great chance when Diakhaby met a Valbuena corner with a header but his effort was instinctively saved by Fabricio, although he should have scored, before Tousart’s acrobatic effort was palmed away by the keeper.
A minute from time Lyon should have scored when Lacazette was played through on-goal by Tolisso, the striker had just Fabricio to beat but he fired the ball against the bar as the game went to Extra-Time.
In the 101st minute the hosts should have taken the lead on aggregate when Quaresma did exceptionally well to dispossess Jérémy Morel and pull the ball back to Talisca, who had to score, but he somehow fired the ball wide from close-range.
Three minutes later the visitors had another good chance to extend their aggregate lead when substitute Nabil Fekir found Diakhaby following a corner, but the defender headed the ball wide from close-range.
A minute into the second period of Extra-Time, Besiktas looked set to score when a Quaresma freekick was flicked-on into the path of Tosun, but he miscued his effort and Lopes palmed the strike away. A minute later the Turkish side had another great chance when Lopes spilled a cross into the path of Quaresma, but he sliced the ball wide.
Four minutes later the French side should have found the net when Morel did well to pull the ball back to Tolisso, who had to score but his tap-in was brilliantly palmed away by Fabricio.
After six perfect penalties each from both sides, Besiktas defender Duško Tošić stepped up to see his spot-kick saved by Lopes, giving Jallet the chance to send Lyon through but the full-back failed: firing his spot-kick over the bar to give the hosts a lifeline. However Mitrovic couldn’t take advantage and saw his tame effort from 12 yards, saved by Lopes, who guessed correctly again. Gonalons had the opportunity to win the game for Lyon and he made no mistake, sweeping the ball home, sending Fabricio the wrong way in the process.
The result meant that Lyon progressed into the Europa League Semi-finals while Besiktas bowed out of the competition.