LYON, France (Reuters) – Olympique Lyonnais started their Champions League group stage campaign in disappointing fashion as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday.
Memphis Depay’s penalty cancelled out Sardar Azmoun’s first-half opener as the French side, who have drawn six straight home Champions League games, dominated after the break without inflicting any serious damage on their opponents.
Zenit, who have now failed to win any of their last 10 European away games, dominated Lyon’s midfield in the first half before running out of gas.
Benfica play Leipzig in the other Group G game later on Tuesday.
Zenit caught the Lyon defence snoozing in the 41st minute when Azmoun found the back of the net with a low shot after a quick one-two with Artem Dzyuba.
Although they struggled in the midfield, Lyon levelled five minutes into the second half when Depay converted a penalty after being brought down by Magomed Ozdoev.
The hosts went close to taking the lead on the hour but Jeff Reine-Adelaide shot just wide after a clever cut-back from Lucas Tousart.
Lyon pushed harder in the closing stages but lacked a killer instinct to wrap up all three points. The French side next travel to Leipzig on Oct. 2 when Zenit will host Benfica.
(Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis)