Valencia crash out of CL

Gary Neville's Valencia bow ended in disappointment as Los Che crashed out of the Champions League with a 2-0 defeat to Lyon on Wednesday.

Neville's first task as Valencia boss was to bring back Alvaro Negredo from the wilderness, albeit only as a substitute, after he was frozen out by Nuno Santo, allegedly for negative remarks he made about the former Coach's tactics in October.

In the starting line-up, two changes were made from Saturday's 1-1 draw with Barcelona as Joao Cancelo replaced Ruben Vezo at right-back, while Shkodran Mustafi came in for Aderlan Santos in the middle.

Neville would have been pleased with how his new side fared in the opening stages of his reign, Mustafi seeing a header cannon off the post, before his next attempt did cross the line, although it was ruled out for an infringement.

However, Lyon – who had nothing to play for, with last place in Group H confirmed before the game – grew into the match and were twice denied by Jaume Domenech, the goalkeeper keeping out Alexandre Lacazette's one-on-one and Rafael's header.

Nonetheless, the French side soon took the lead through Maxwel Cornel, who picked his spot in the D with a perfectly-bent effort into the top-left corner of Domenech's goal.

Valencia, who also lost Enzo Perez to injury, adopted a direct approach in the second half, best personified by Negredo's introduction, but they lacked a spark in their play and only came closest from Cancelo's angled drive, which was saved by Anthony Lopes.

Neville's decision to sanction numbers going forward inevitably left gaps behind, and Lyon did superbly well to exploit them as Lacazette raced past Abdennour from Maxime Gonalons' through ball and fired a low finish past Domenech to double the visitors' lead.

The result ended Lyon's five-match losing streak, while Valencia are forced to settle for the Europa League knockout stages from February.

Valencia 0-2 Lyon

Cornet 37, Lacazette 76

Valencia: Domenech; Cancelo, Mustafi, Abdennour, Gaya; Perez (Fuego 24), Parejo. Danilo (Negredo 52); Mina, Alcacer, De Paul (Piatti 75)

Lyon: Lopes; Rafael, Yanga-Mbiwa, Morel, Bedimo; Darder (Kone 77), Gonalons, Tolisso; Grenier (Ghezzal 70); Cornet, Lacazette (Beauvue 75)

Referee: Jug [SLO]

Tags Lyon Olympique Lyonnais