x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Footbal round-up: Lyon come from behind and Hearts salvage a draw

Two quick goals give French side edge over Ligue 1 rivals Sochaux.

Lyon came from a goal down to claim their second victory in their opening two games of the Ligue 1 season.

Ryad Boudebouz gave the hosts the lead with a penalty after four minutes only for Lyon to score two goals in eight minutes at the end of the first half from Yassine Benzia and Alexandre Lacazette.

Yoann Gourcuff scored a third for Remi Garde's side who top the fledgling table.

However, they were forced to respond to the hosts' early penalty, given for a foul by Milan Bisevac on Cedric Bakambu with Boudebouz giving Anthony Lopes no chance with the spot-kick.

Lyon, third in Ligue 1 last season, were immediately on the attack.

Clement Grenier's low 25-yard drive was blocked by Simon Pouplin with Sochaux again grateful to their goalkeeper when he thwarted Grenier's curled free-kick from distance.

However, he could not keep Lyon out forever with the visitors drawing level 10 minutes before the break.

Grenier freed Benzia on the left and his 20-yard shot beat Pouplin.

Lyon went ahead eight minutes later and again Grenier and Benzia were involved.

Grenier released the striker on the edge of the area and he backheeled the ball to Lacazette who shot across the keeper into the left of the goal.

The visitors then put some daylight between themselves and Sochaux after 48 minutes.

Steed Malbranque dispossessed Cedric Kante and in turn freed Gourcuff whose fierce 20-yard shot was fired low into the net.

Sochaux were by no means down and out. Julien Faussurier sent in a ball across the goal which Lyon defender Gueida Fofana almost sent into his own net.

Boudebouz was thwarted when Lopes made a reflex save from his fierce snap-shot and the same player saw his drive deflected by the keeper's boot.

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Hearts manager Gary Locke praised the character of his young side after Jamie Walker recovered from conceding a late penalty to quickly fire a stunning equaliser against Partick Thistle.

Walker's clumsy challenge on John Baird allowed Aaron Muirhead to lash home a well-deserved 85th-minute opener that looked set to send the Jags top of the Scottish Premiership table.

But the midfielder burst forward three minutes later to smash the ball into the top corner from 20 yards to earn Hearts a 1-1 draw and move them to within 11 points of their nearest challengers following their punishment for going into administration.

Locke said: "Fair play to Jamie. He switched off a bit at the corner and got caught wrong side and gave away the penalty

"But he kept his head up and he's come up with a wonderful strike to get us back in the game.

"I'm delighted with that, it was just the 30 seconds of concentration that cost us.

"But we are learning all the time. We are a young team and we are going to make mistakes.

"It's important we respond in the right manner and we did that tonight."

Locke, who had six players involved in Scotland Under-21s' 6-0 defeat by England on Tuesday, added: "The players showed unbelievable character again and showed they are fighting for the cause. It was certainly a goal worthy of an equaliser.

"The spirit's there. It's been a difficult week. We have not had much time on the training ground with half the boys being away.

"Preparation wasn't great but they showed they are willing to battle right to the end."

Thistle boss Alan Archibald was proud of his players' performance but was dejected at their failure to claim victory.

"I thought we deserved three points," he said.

"It felt like a defeat at the end given we were winning with five minutes to go.

"I thought we dominated possession and passed the ball really well. They were a credit tot themselves and the club the way they went about their business.

"They were brave taking it and passing the ball in dangerous areas. If we were just a wee bit more clinical in the final third we would have been ahead [earlier]."

The former Thistle defender, who lost Sean Welsh to a dead leg at half-time, sensed a danger after their goal celebrations.

"For some reason as a team and a defender you drop a yard back thinking it's going to help but it doesn't," he said.

"When you have just scored you want to keep the ball for two minutes, kick it in the stand or whatever, but we couldn't do that and as a manager you are always worried about that spell."