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Lyon fight back to thwart Shakhtar


Lyon (AFP) – Lyon battled back from two goals down to earn a spirited 2-2 Champions League Group F draw with Shakhtar Donetsk in a match played behind closed doors on Tuesday.

Lively Brazilian Junior Moraes scored both Shakhtar goals but Moussa Dembele and Leo Dubois forced a draw in a vastly-improved Lyon second-half performance.

The French side were punished by UEFA for crowd trouble during their Europa League tie against CSKA Moscow in March and the game was played to echoing near-empty stands.

Perhaps the dead atmosphere weighed on Lyon, who initially looked a shadow of the team that beat Premier League champions Manchester City in their opening group match.

Memphis Depay was dropped for Dembele and Lyon failed to fire in the first half as Shakhtar reaped their reward.

A minute before half-time, Ismaily’s superb low cross fell perfectly for Moraes to squeeze a neat first-time finish past Anthony Lopes.

Shakhtar went 2-0 up when Taison began a move, feeding Alan Patrick who found Moraes and the Brazilian curled a sublime finish inside Lopes’ post.

Lyon showed signs of life when Jason Denayer’s header into the turf was parried by Andriy Pyatov and Houssem Aouar tapped in but he was in an offside position.

However, Depay’s introduction in the second half injected new pace into the home side.

Nabil Fekir’s cross allowed Dembele to score with a powerful header to give Lyon a fighting chance with 20 minutes remaining.

The difference made by Depay’s energy was underlined when Lyon pulled level.

Depay’s cross was parried, but Aouar collected the ball and pulled back a pass that Dubois fired home.

Minutes later, Ismaily fired across the goal when he could have restored Shakhtar’s lead.

And all of Lyon’s second-half efforts were almost undone again as substitute Olarenwaju Kayode hit the junction of post and crossbar in the dying moments, but the point means the French side top the group.

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