Champions League

Nightmare start for Neville at Valencia

2015-12-10 00:21
Gary Neville (AFP)

Valencia - Gary Neville endured the worst possible start to his managerial career as Valencia crashed out of the Champions League due to a 2-0 home defeat to the already eliminated Lyon on Wednesday.

Goals either side of half-time by Maxwel Cornet on his first Champions League start and Alexandre Lacazette handed the French side their first European win of the season.

Belgian champions Gent beat Zenit St Petersburg 2-1 to seal their place in the last 16 behind the Russians in Group H.

England coach Neville was set for a baptism of fire after his surprise appointment last week with Valencia needing to win and Gent to drop points to seal their place in the last 16 for the first time in three years.

The former Manchester United defender made just two changes from the side that held European champions Barcelona to a 1-1 on Saturday with Joao Cancelo returning from suspension and Shkodran Mustafi fit again to take his place at the heart of the defence.

And Mustafi was desperately unlucky not to get Neville off to a flying start inside 10 minutes as he thundered a header off the post and was then penalised for a foul when he did find the net from Valencia's next corner.

Lyon were already eliminated from all European competitions and hadn't won any of their last five games in all tournaments.

However, the visitors produced an impressive display and Valencia had to count on goalkeeper Jaume Domenech to keep them in the game.

Domenech's first fine save came on 11 minutes when he turned Cornet's effort to safety as the 19-year-old bore down on goal.

Valencia started the evening without eight first team players through injury and they suffered another setback when Argentina international Enzo Perez hobbled off to be replaced by Javi Fuego.

Domenech had to come to Valencia's rescue twice more in quick succession as he denied Corentin Tolisso and Rafael da Silva.

At the other end, Lyon 'keeper Anthony Lopes showed he was just as capable of pulling off a big save as he flew to his left to parry Paco Alcacer's header.

However, Lyon were handed the half-time lead they deserved by Cornet's stunning solo effort nine minutes before the break as he cut inside before firing into the top corner via a slight deflection off Aymen Abdennour.

Neville made a bold move at the start of the second period by throwing on Alvaro Negredo for his first appearance in over two months in place of the more defensively minded Danilo.

Yet, despite the home fans roaring on their side with encouragement after Zenit briefly restored parity against Gent, it was Lyon who again posed the greater threat after the break on the counter-attack.

Lacazette blasted over from close range before he played in Sergi Darder with a wonderfully timed pass, but the former Malaga midfielder was denied by another fine stop from Domenech.

There was nothing the Valencia stopper could do 15 minutes from time, though, as Lacazette was released in behind the defence and the French international sprinted beyond Abdennour before slotting home his second Champions League goal of the season.

Read more on:    lyon  |  valencia  |  champions league  |  gary neville  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

01 November 2016
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 21:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 23:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 23:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 23:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 23:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 23:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 23:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 23:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 23:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 23:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 23:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 23:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 23:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 23:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 23:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 23:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 21:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 23:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 23:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 23:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 23:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 23:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 23:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 23:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 21:00
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 21:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 23:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 23:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 23:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 23:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 23:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 23:45
06 December 2016
FC Bayern München v Atlético de Madrid, Allianz Arena 23:45
Barcelona v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Camp Nou 23:45
Benfica v Napoli, Estadio da Luz 23:45
Manchester City v Celtic, Etihad Stadium 23:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas, Kiev Olympic Stadium 23:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Ludogorets Razgrad, Parc des Princes 23:45
PSV v FC Rostov, Philips Stadion 23:45
FC Basel v Arsenal, St Jakob-Park 23:45
07 December 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Monaco, BayArena 23:45
FC Porto v Leicester City, Estadio do Dragao 23:45
Club Brugge v FC København, Jan Breydelstadion 23:45
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb, Juventus Stadium 23:45
Lyon v Sevilla, Parc OL 23:45
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon, Pepsi Arena 23:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Santiago Bernabeu 23:45
Tottenham Hotspur v CSKA Moscow, Wembley 23:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.