Benzema and Fred shoot down Steaua in thriller

TWO goals apiece from French starlet Karim Benzema and Fred gave Lyon a 5-3 Champions League victory against Steaua Bucharest last night 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.

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 pass to the unmarked Arthuro who headed past Hugo Lloris.

Lyon were two down after 11 minutes, following a glaring mistake by Lloris. Romanian international Dorin Goian headed what appeared to be a weak effort goal-ward, but the flat-footed Lyon stopper misjudged the flight of the ball as it limped in.

The French 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 with a Jean II Makoun chip to thunder a volley past Robinson Zapata.

They equalised 10 minutes later through France’s top goalscorer Karim Benzema.

On the stroke of half-time Steaua made it 3-2. Ovidiu Petre again exposed weaknesses at the heart of the away team’s backline to head the Romanians in front.

On 70 minutes Lyon substitute Fred found space just inside the Steaua box in the 69th minute to slot a side-footer past Zapata to draw level again.

Then, two minutes later, Benzema clipped a delicate shot into the bottom righthand corner for a 4-3 Lyon lead.

Fred struck his second in the second minute of stoppage time to complete the scoring.

Bayern Munich ignored their poor league form to secure a convincing 3-0 win over Fiorentina to take control of Group F. Bayern had a dream start when Luca Toni brushed off a rib injury to face his former club and flicked the ball into the path of Miroslav Klose who out-paced the defence to drill the ball into the corner after just four minutes.

Then Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger capitalised on a mistake in the defence on the edge of the area and smashed his shot past Fiorentina’s French goalkeeper Sebastien Frey on 25 minutes to make it 2-0 at the break.

And on the stroke of 90 minutes Bayern’s Ze Roberto unleashed an unstoppable shot which gave Frey little chance and made sure the Italians return home empty handed.


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