Lyon 2 Hoffenheim 2: Kaderabek strike rescues 10-man visitors
Hoffenheim’s Champions League campaign was rescued at the death as Pavel Kaderabek scored in second-half stoppage time to snatch a 2-2 draw against Lyon despite being down to 10 men.
Lyon were set to celebrate a win that would have put them on the brink of the knockout stage after first-half goals from Nabil Fekir and Tanguy NDombele gave them control of the game.
Kasim Adams was sent-off for a second bookable offence to strengthen Lyon’s hand but the match began to turn when Andrej Kramaric dragged a low shot into the net in the 65th minute.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side pushed hard for an equaliser that looked like it might evade them until the 92nd minute when a free-kick to the far post found Kaderabek and he gratefully volleyed it home to earn his side a point that keeps them in contention to qualify from Group F, while second-placed Lyon now trail leaders Manchester City by three points.
Hoffenheim showed real intent from the outset but fell behind after 19 minutes when Ferland Mendy’s audacious drive smacked against the post before the rebound eventually fell to Fekir, who sidefooted it past Oliver Baumann from five yards.
Anthony Lopes made a superb reaction save to deny Ishak Belfodil at point-blank range before the lively Houssem Aouar broke down the Lyon left and pulled the ball back brilliantly to NDombele, who had time and space to stroke the ball into the right corner of the net via a Kevin Vogt deflection.
The second half was only six minutes old when Adams’ clumsy challenge on Fekir earned him a red card, the Ghanaian having already been booked in the first-half, but Kramaric raked a low, bobbling shot into the bottom left corner of the net to give his side hope.
Kramaric was denied his second when Lopes made a diving save to parry away his header but Lyon’s resolve was undone when Joelinton flicked a free-kick on to Kaderabek, who volleyed it instinctively into the net at the far post to earn his side a point in dramatic fashion.
What does it mean? Second place back up for grabs
Just three points separates second-placed Lyon and third-placed Hoffenheim with two rounds of matches still to play in Group F. It could go right down to the wire.
Kramaric once again inspires Hoffenheim
Having scored a brace in the 3-3 draw in Germany, Kramaric proved to be Hoffenheim’s key player yet again, and had he not mustered a goal when his side looked deflated then their comeback may not have materialised.
Depay outshone by fabulous Fekir
Memphis Depay grabbed the headlines with a goal and an eye-catching performance in Hoffenheim but he played second fiddle to captain Fekir in the rain in Lyon.
Key Opta facts:
– Lyon are now unbeaten in their last seven Champions League games (W2 D5); only once before have they had a longer run in the competition, going 14 games without defeat between December 2004 and March 2006.
– Hoffenheim are now winless in all six of their away games in European competition (including qualifiers), drawing three and losing three. They have conceded 2+ goals in five of those six matches.
– Lyon’s Nabil Fekir has been directly involved in four goals in his three Champions League games this season (two goals, two assists); he wasn’t involved in any in his first five appearances in the competition prior to this campaign.
– Tanguy Ndombele has scored two goals in his last four games for Lyon in all competitions, with both coming in the Champions League against Hoffenheim; he had only netted one in his first 59 for the club prior to this.
– 23 of Lyon’s last 27 Champions League goals have been scored by French players.
– All three of Hoffenheim striker Andrej Kramaric’s Champions League goals have come against Lyon.
Lyon travel to Guingamp to face Ligue 1’s rock-bottom side on Saturday, while Hoffenheim have the chance to earn their fourth consecutive Bundesliga win at home to Augsburg.