Olympique Lyonnais are headed to Cyprus with a victory, and perhaps more importantly, they have denied APOEL Nicosia an away goal. However, they won't be entirely comfortable with their one goal winning margin, and the second leg in Nicosia should be a closely contested match. Les Gones should have scored more, but will be mostly satisfied with their 1-0 victory.
The first half was mostly uneventful, though Lyon was the better side. They created a number of shooting opportunities, but their finishing was very poor. The two teams went into the half tied 0-0, with Lyon having 13 shots to APOEL's zero and 66 percent of the possession.
Lyon jumped right out on the attack and almost found a goal in the opening two minutes. Ederson picked up a through ball by Michel Bastos in the 47th minute, on which Dionisis Chiotis came off his line too early. Ederson appeared to have a simple finish on an open net, but Paulo Jorge rushed back and made a brilliant clearance on his shot.
APOEL couldn't hold on long, though. Alexandre Lacazette found the eventual winner in the 58th minute with a brilliant finish, which will be a terrific confidence boost to the youngster after he had a poor first half. Captain and central defender Cris started the move with a great run forward into the box before he laid off the ball to Lacazette. He cut inside from the left onto his right foot and chipped the ball over Chiotis, giving his team a 1-0 lead.
Gustavo Manduca had the best opportunity to get a goal back for the visitors in the 88th minute, but he had a hard left-footed shot from 12 yards out saved by Hugo Lloris. That was not only their only shot on target, but their only shot period. They will almost certainly be a bit more ambitious in the second leg.
For more on Les Gones, check out The Offside Lyon.