x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Lyon's Lopez gets a hat-trick as they sink Anderlecht

Lyon cruised into the second round of the Uefa Champions League on Tuesday night, defeating the Belgium side Anderlecht 3-1 in Brussels to progress to the group stages with an 8-2 aggregate.

Lyon cruised into the second round of the Uefa Champions League on Tuesday night, defeating the Belgium side Anderlecht 3-1 in Brussels to progress to the group stages with an 8-2 aggregate. A new Lyon recruit, the Argentina striker Lisandro Lopez, notched a first-half hat-trick to guarantee their 10th consecutive group stage qualification. Lopez joined the French giants this summer from the Portuguese side Porto.

"It's a convincing win and very satisfying," said the Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas. "Claude Puel [head coach] and his players did not show signs of nerves. The coach has been innovative, and this victory rewards risk-taking in investment. Lisandro is a perfect example - an incredibly effective player. I am also very happy for the fans who made the trip. "We did what we needed to do, and did it well. I am satisfied because it is not easy to get through a preliminary round. It was two fine performances. We won the game the right way - with commitment and quality," Aulas continued. "Now we'll try to do France proud."

Atletico Madrid claimed their place in the group stages with a 5-2 aggregate over Panathinaikos, after beating the 10-man Greek side 2-0 in Spain. Panathinaikos all but sealed their own fate when Loukas Vinra steered the ball into his own goal just minutes into the game, followed by Djibril Cissé's red card in the 70th minute. Elsewhere, Debrecen became the first Hungarian side to advance to the Champions League second round since 1995, after dismissing Bulgaria's Levsji Sofia 2-0 at home, while FC Zurich and Maccabi Haifa also made their way into today's group stage draw. FC Zurich's injury-time goal sealed a 2-1 win over Moldova's Ventspils to see them through 5-1, while Israel's Maccabi Haifa saw off Salzburg 3-0 to match Ventspils 5-1 aggregate.

Tuesday's qualifiers will be joined in today's group stage draw by five teams progressing from last night's first round, second leg clashes, plus 22 automatic qualifiers. @Email:zgriffiths@thenational.ae