PARIS (AP) — Lille staged an amazing comeback from a two-goal deficit to beat Manchester City 3-2 in the Europa League on Tuesday, advancing from the group stage on the away goals rule and bringing a winning and memorable European record to the North African club.
After City dominated the game in France, Lukasz Teodorczyk scored for the visitors after 30 minutes, but half an hour later France forward Kevin de Bruyne put the Premier League champions back ahead.
But despite dominating possession, City’s zone defense suddenly broke down in the 71st minute and left Lyon free to score. Antoine Griezmann scored in the 83rd minute to make it 3-2, before the hosts extended their lead just two minutes later through Romain Hamouma.
In a dramatic, seven-goal, second-half thriller, several players were involved in some wild celebrating, Lyon fan in the stand being hit by a smoke bomb in the result.
The injury-hit English side won the group, ahead of Napoli and Shakhtar Donetsk.
But Lyon’s win came at a cost: It will be without winger Nabil Fekir, one of the Premier League team’s best players, and central defender Aymeric Laporte, out for three months with a knee injury. City will still progress, but not with their usual class, which had previously delivered a 3-0 win over Lyon at home in the first round of the group stage.
The two sides had already met in last season’s Champions League, when City won 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium, scoring two goals in stoppage time. But the French club’s different approach to Tuesday’s match suggested that a repeat in the next round is possible.
Lyon dominated from the start, even without Fekir, and City defender Eliaquim Mangala was fortunate to stay on the field after he slid on the turf in the eighth minute.
Winger Corentin Tolisso scored an own goal in the 13th minute, when he headed the ball past goalkeeper Ederson Moraes from midfielder Mouctar Diakhaby’s cross. Fekir was introduced in the 22nd and added a second a minute later, curling a free kick into the top corner.
But all that changed in the second half as City’s zone defense suddenly broke down, and his side could not keep a clean sheet for the first time this season.
Lyon’s coach Bruno Genesio thought it should have been 4-2, after it conceded a penalty in the 85th minute after Diakhaby had handled in the box. But City defender Kyle Walker was yellow-carded for bringing down Griezmann, and the French winger stepped up to score the penalty, the side’s second away goal in the competition.
“I think it was a penalty for us,” Genesio said. “But 1-1 at halftime we thought we would have the better chance to win. At the end the team decided to play more offensive, and then at the end of the game to get the third goal.”
Griezmann added the third minutes later after Manchester City was again caught napping.
Leicester beat visiting Red Star Belgrade 4-0 on Tuesday in the other group match, to clinch second place in the group and a spot in the Europa League playoffs.