Saint Petersburg - Zenit St Petersburg
edged closer towards a place in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday
after a 3-1 home victory over Lyon in Group H.
Artem Dzyuba continued his impressive goal
scoring form as he put Zenit ahead after just three minutes at the Stadion
Lyon pulled level shortly after half-time
through Alexandre Lacazette but Hulk drilled home a trademark long-range strike
to restore the lead for Zenit.
Danny then ended any hopes of a Lyon
comeback on 83 minutes as Andre Villas-Boas' men registered a third win in as
many attempts to strengthen their position at the top of the group.
"It's a fantastic win. It was a really
difficult match against Lyon and I'm pleased," said Zenit coach
"Next time out we'll go to Lyon and it
will be a decisive match as much for us as for them."
He added: "In the (Russian) league
we've made mistakes as a team which have led to us conceding goals and dropping
points. In the Champions League, we haven't made these same errors. That's the
Zenit are three points clear of
second-placed Valencia who beat Gent 2-1 in the night's other game to leave
both defeated sides, Lyon and Gent, on one point apiece with their European
dreams fading fast.
Lyon were caught cold on a chilly night in
St Petersburg as the hosts secured an early breakthrough when Oleg Shatov
played in Dzyuba to coolly steer beyond Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes for his
sixth goal in his last seven appearances for club and country.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa stung the palms of Zenit
'keeper Mikhail Kerzhakov with a snap volley but the home side should have
increased their lead when Hulk found Dzyuba in acres of space inside the box,
only for the Russia striker to slip as he pulled the trigger.
Having conceded possession for the Zenit
opener, it was from right-back Christophe Jallet's low cross that Lyon restored
parity as Lacazette cleverly flicked the ball past Kerzhakov four minutes into
the second half.
However, Lyon were made to pay a heavy
price seven minutes later after Hulk shrugged off a couple of challenges before
taking aim from distance and beating Lopes with a vicious swerving effort.
Dzyuba wasted a chance to add to his tally
after prodding wide on 67 minutes but Zenit skipper Danny ensured the Russians
achieved a hat-trick of wins to start a group stage campaign for the first time
as Shatov raced clear before squaring for the Portuguese to tap in.