BUCHAREST (AFP) - Two goals apiece from French starlet Karim Benzema and Fred gave Lyon a 5-3 Champions League victory against Steaua Bucharest here Tuesday, as the visitors moved into second place in Group F.
Double strikes from Benzema and Brazilian Fred, and a potential goal of the tournament from Kader Keita was enough to see off a solid Steaua, who twice took the lead.
Lyon coach Claude Puel hailed the result as "magnificent" given that his side were 2-0 down after 11 minutes.
"We were up against it with those two stupidly conceded goals before a third in the same conditions a little before half-time," said Puel. "Many teams would have faded by we knew how to react.
"Even if we will once again talk of the team's defense, I would also like to underline the character and conviction of my team who were capable of overturning a situation like that."
It didn't take long for the game to produce its first talking-point in what was a horror opening 15 minutes for the French.
They went one down in the eighth minute after full-back George Ogararu burst down the right to send in a perfectly weighted pass to the unmarked Arthuro who headed past Hugo Lloris.
The French side, porous domestically having conceded five goals in their last two league matches, were a second down after just three minutes, following a glaring mistake by Lloris.
Romanian international Dorin Goian headed what appeared to be a weak and tame effort goalward, but the flat-footed Lyon stopper misjudged the flight of the ball as it limped into the net.
The towering defender, who scored against France in the recent World Cup qualifier in Constanta, could hardly believe his luck.
The visitors, who have never progressed past the last 16 in this tournament, needed a whiff of inspiration to re-ignite their challenge. They got it on the 23rd minute - and what a screamer it was.
Keita sneaked in to the box undetected and sweetly connected onto a Jean II Makoun chip to thunder a volley past a helpless Robinson Zapata.
That proved a fillip for the French, and they equalised 10 minutes later through France's top goalscorer Benzema.
The international peeled off his marker intelligently to nod past Zapata after latching on to a Fabio Grosso curling pass.
Just as Lyon were in the ascendancy, Steaua inflicted a brutal blow on the stroke of half-time. Ovidiu Petre again exposed weaknesses at the heart of the away team's backline to head the Romanians in front.
In a less frantic second period both sides cancelled out each other's attacking elan in a bid to stop leaking goals, a situation that helped Steaua as the game wore on.
Goian again tried his luck with a headed effort on the hour mark, but Lloris gathered this time and Lyon's deadball expert Juninho whipped in a free-kick eight minutes later but it spun out of play.
But the following two electric minutes completely changed the complexion of the tie.
Lyon substitute Fred hardly had his boots soiled when he found space just inside the Steaua box in the 69th minute to slot a side-footer past Zapata to draw level again.
Fred, recently booed off the field by his own fans during a league match, will certainly have silenced a few of his critics.
Then, two minutes later and with Steaua finding it difficult to regroup, Benzema clipped a delicate shot into the bottom righthand corner.
With the home fans beginning to make for the exit, Fred struck his second in the second minute of stoppage time to complete the rout. It seems Fred was having the last laugh now.
With Bayern Munich beating Fiorentina 3-0 in Germany, Lyon now move into second place.
1 - 0
2 - 0
2 - 1
2 - 2
3 - 2
3 - 3
3 - 4
3 - 5
for O. Petre 57'
for Semedo 65'
for F. Lovin 81'
|Filipe Luis suffers thigh tear|
|Kashima Antlers 2 Auckland City 1: Late Kanazaki header the difference|
|Suarez´s Barca renewal already done, says Bartomeu|
|Barcelona invite Chapecoense for Joan Gamper Trophy|
|Arsenal would have a chance against Real Madrid, insists Wenger|
|FIFA chief Infantino calls for zero tolerance on child abuse|
|Sanchez will not leave Arsenal for China - Wenger|
|Dybala delighted with Juventus return|
|Rashford desperate to learn from Ibrahimovic|
|Weigl not ready for Real Madrid - Tuchel|
|Why Zidane must drop Ronaldo at the Club World Cup|
|Barton: They built me up into a Neymar-Messi type|
|Shakhtar aware of Barca interest in Srna - Fonseca|
|Mets hitting coach believes Tebow can make it to MLB|
|Aubameyang reiterates Madrid dream after Bernabeu show|
|Zidane praises Benzema after 50th Champions League goal|
|Aubameyang deserves 99 per cent of credit - Reus|
|Neymar: There´s only one Ballon d´Or winner and it´s Messi, not Ronaldo|
|Magiera hails Legia victory as for ´all of Poland´|
|Tuchel thought Aubameyang had blown chance to equalise|
|Pochettino confident Spurs are back on track|
|Santo hails Porto´s mature performance|
|Lyon proved we can compete with Europe´s best - Genesio|
|Slutsky unsurprised by apparent Premier League interest in Dzagoev|
|Jardim frustrated as Monaco finally lose|
|Allegri dismisses importance of first-place finish|
|Zidane ´angry´ as Real Madrid let top spot slip|
|Sevilla aren´t satisfied with Champions League last 16 - Sampaoli|
|Ranieri slams Leicester´s lack of character|
|Confident Roberts ready to wing in for City|
|Real Madrid equal record 34-match unbeaten run|
|Kane relieved to end Wembley hoodoo|
|Legia Warsaw 1 Sporting CP 0: Guilherme seals Europa League spot|
|Porto 5 Leicester City 0: Silva at the double as Ranieri´s men crumble|
|Borussia Dortmund break record for goals in Champions League group stage|
|Real Madrid 2 Borussia Dortmund 2: Reus equaliser sees visitors grab top spot|
|Bayer Leverkusen 3 Monaco 0: Hosts retain unbeaten record with routine win|
|Club Brugge 0 FC Copenhagen 2: Routine win not enough as FCK must settle for Europa League|
|Lyon 0 Sevilla 0: Europa League holders secure passage|
|Juventus 2 Dinamo Zagreb 0: Bianconeri top group with easy win|
|Tottenham 3 CSKA Moscow 1: Spurs survive scare to seal Europa League berth|
|Benzema reaches 50 Champions League goals|
|Buffon´s 50-game Champions League run comes to an end|
|Santi Cazorla gives Achiles surgery two thumbs up|
|Video technology to assist referees at FIFA Club World Cup|
|Spalletti wants winning mentality to continue for Roma|
|M´Vila rejects Sunderland return|
|Robson-Kanu prioritised Premier League move, despite Atleti interest|
|Puel dismisses Fonte departure speculation|
|Mourinho rejects ´best coach in the world´ tag|
|Manchester United not giving up on Premier League, insists Mkhitaryan|
|Infantino favours 16 three-team groups at World Cup - report|
|Europa League an ´important competition´ for Mourinho|
|Brozovic extends Inter stay|
|Rooney still has England future - Hodgson|
|New wardrobe top of Jesus´ Manchester to-do list|
|Pioli not concerned by Simeone´s Inter comments|
|Poyet: It would be a pleasure to sign Tevez|
|Celtic charged by UEFA over crowd disturbances|
|Not extending Man United stay my only regret - Larsson|
|Aubameyang´s mum: He always spoke about Madrid, never Barcelona|
|AC Milan sale delayed until March|
|Police horse burger thrower fined|
|Nolito comfortable with Guardiola´s rotation policy|
|Ajax expect in-demand Bazoer to exit|
|Not even the Golden Boot would get me an England recall, says Defoe|
|MLS MVP Villa has no interest in Premier League move|
|Vidal: I never had a problem with Luis Enrique|
|Ancelotti not keen on Madrid Champions League reunion|
|Zabaleta: Guardiola needs Iheanacho more than ever|
|Ranieri not fearful of Foxes chop|
|Celtic fan arrested for throwing burger at police horse|
|Dad-to-be Lewandowski reveals baby news with goal celebration|
|Klopp´s Liverpool watched Barca at Camp Nou|
|Wenger braced for tough last-16 draw|
|Roberts buoyed by Guardiola acclaim|
|Gladbach´s Alvaro Dominguez retires at 27|
|Simeone satisfied with aggressive Atletico|
|Emery aims to bounce back after European disappointment|
|Madrid demand ´maximum respect´ for Ronaldo|
|No pressure on Iheanacho to fill Aguero´s boots - Guardiola|
|Cocu praises PSV effort despite European exit|
|Ancelotti hoping for confidence boost|
|Gunes takes blame for Besiktas thrashing|
|Vitoria upbeat despite Napoli defeat|
|Arda Barca future brighter after hat-trick|
|Le Tissier makes ´naked massage´ claims|
|´He has a smell for the goal´ - Wenger hails hat-trick hero Lucas|
|Guardiola to assess Roberts situation at end of season|
|Napoli have no fear - Reina|
|Iheanacho shines but Guardiola concerns lie deeper|
|Barcelona pass masters set new Champions League benchmark|
|Dybala ready to return for Juventus|
|PSV 0 Rostov 0: Russians seal Europa League spot with stalemate|
|Paris Saint-Germain 2 Ludogorets 2: Di Maria rescues draw but PSG miss out on top spot|
|Benfica 1 Napoli 2: Super-sub Mertens seals top spot|
|Dynamo Kiev 6 Besiktas 0: Nine-man visitors crash out|
|Messi fails to match Ronaldo´s Champions League record|
|Basel 1 Arsenal 4: Lucas hat-trick helps Gunners clinch top spot|
|Manchester City 1 Celtic 1: Roberts scores against parent club|
|Bayern Munich 1 Atletico Madrid 0: Lewandowski free-kick the difference in Bavaria|
|Barcelona 4 Borussia Monchengladbach 0: Arda hat-trick lights up Barca procession|
|Zidane ´more sympathetic´ than other Madrid coaches, says Ramos|
|Bartra eager to square up against old rivals Madrid|
|Pardew´s job is ´totally safe´ - Palace chairman|
|Shelvey and Dummett red card appeals successful|
|Lopes doubtful for Sevilla clash due to lack of sleep|
|Real Madrid test will bring the best out of Aubameyang - Tuchel|
|Slutsky to leave CSKA Moscow|
|Genesio hails Valbuena character|
|Spurs hungry for Europa League football - Vertonghen|
|Deschamps claims Pogba is unlikely to ever win Ballon d´Or|
|Xavi: Barca have not lost their essence|
|Strootman banned for sparking Rome derby brawl|
|Mkhitaryan accepts blame for slow start at United|
|New York City star Villa named MLS MVP|
|Ramos distances himself from tax avoidance scandal|
|Witsel casts doubt on January Juventus switch|
|Schmidt has faith in misfiring Hernandez|
|Gabriel not happy at Inter, says agent|
|PSG just another game for returning Balotelli|
|Dortmund eye top spot and a goalscoring record - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Southgate bids farewell to England assistant Lee|
|Europa League can help Spurs end Wembley hoodoo - Pochettino|
|Watmore´s season ended by injury|
|Zidane: Dortmund clash is a final|
|Gotze to miss Madrid test|
|Lacazette to ponder Lyon future|
|Griezmann lauds ´world class´ Aubameyang|
|Sporting´s in-demand Gelson going nowhere, claims agent|
|FA appoints new lead QC as scope of child sexual abuse review is outlined|
|Hodgson: England players failed to grasp my instructions|
|Xhaka pleads for time to settle in at Arsenal|
|Kluivert urges PSG to learn from Montpellier humbling|
|Augenthaler tips Bayern captain Lahm to play on|
|Rodgers: Celtic growing in confidence in Europe|
|Brazil-Colombia friendly proposed to raise money for Chapecoense|
|If you don´t play, you can´t shine - Hummels urges Mourinho to believe in Mkhitaryan|
|Ronaldinho ready to help Chapecoense|
|United can still finish top four - Guardiola|
|Bale´s ankle ´feeling better every day´|
|Sarri: Napoli in Lisbon to win|
|Watford and West Brom hit with FA charge|