Lyon beat Debrecen, Fiorentina outplay Liverpool

It has been a tough night for Liverpool (photo). The Reds suffered a 2-0 loss against Fiorentina in the Champions League. Their Group E rivals Lyon cruised to a decisive victory over Debrechen, winning 4-0. Arsenal won 2-0 against Olympiakos.


AFP - Liverpool saw their hopes of advancing to the knockout stage of the Champions League suffer a jolt on Tuesday when they went down to a 2-0 away loss to Group E rivals Fiorentina.

The five-time European champions had done the minimum in seeing off Hungary's Debrecen to open their campaign at Anfield but the English Premiership giants were undone by two first-half goals from teen Montenegrin striker Stevan Jovetic.

With French side Lyon crushing Debrecen 4-0 away they now lead the group and can travel to Anfield for their next game full of confidence.

Arsenal gave the English contingent some cheer with a 2-0 home win over Olympiakos of Greece with Robin Van Persie and Andrei Arshavin on the mark after the break.

Group H rivals AZ Alkmaar and Standard Liege, whom the pool-topping Gunners have already seen off away, parted 1-1.

But Scottish fans suffered a horror show as Rangers, having started with a gutsy draw at Germany's Stuttgart, went down 4-1 at home to a rampant Sevilla of Spain in Group G.

Stuttgart again drew, this time at Romania's Unirea Urziceni, who held them 1-1.

Holders Barcelona, having held Group F rivals Inter Milan in Italy in their first game, swatted Dynamo Kiev with Lionel Messi bagging the opener and Pedro Rodriguez hitting the clincher.

In the same group Jose Mourinho's Inter could only manage a 1-1 draw at Russian newcomers Kazan, who had the temerity to take an early lead courtesy of Argentine striker Alejandro Dominguez's meaty drive.

Inter levelled after 25 minutes, with the unmarked Dejan Stankovic heading in but were grateful to survive the final half hour with 10 men for a point after striker Mario Balotelli was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Mourinho's men are now third in the table two points behind Barca and one adrift of Kiev.

While Liverpool struggled, Lyon were on fire in Budapest.

Kim Kallstrom scored after just three minutes, firing home a half volley home following a Miralem Pjanic corner from the left and the French doubled their lead when Pjanic netted a freekick after 13 minutes.

Lyon were running riot and Sidney Govou headed in a third on 24 minutes after another Pjanic corner kick routine caused havoc in the home backline.

Bafetimbi Gomis lobbed home the fourth after the break.

The contrast with Liverpool's fortunes could not have been more stark as Rafa Benitez's 2005 champions found Fiorentina stepping through the gears to bounce back from their loss at Lyon.

And the Italians earned swift reward when Montenegrin striker Jovetic, only starting in the absence of the suspended Alberto Gilardino, stunned the visitors with two goals inside nine minutes on his competition debut.

Cristiano Zanetti picked him out with a neat through ball and Jovetic, who netted Saturday's winner in Serie A at Livorno, slipped the ball expertly past keeper Pepe Reina.

The 19-year-old then struck again on 37 minutes, nudging home instinctively as Juan Vargas fed him from out on the left flank.

Lucas Leiva headed millimetres over as Liverpool tried to rally after the interval but they never looked capable of a comeback of the kind they produced to come back from three goals down in the 2005 final in beating AC Milan on spotkicks.


Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning