- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

LYON, France (AP) - Valencia put its Champions League campaign back on track as midfielder Sofiane Feghouli scored and goalkeeper Jaume Domenech made two decisive saves in the closing stages to secure a 1-0 win at Lyon.

The Spanish side put on a spirited display in the first half then weathered Lyon’s fruitless pressure to bounce back from its opening home loss to Zenit St. Petersburg in Group H.

Valencia hit the woodwork twice in the first half before Feghouli broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute with a powerful strike from the edge of the box.

Zenit defeated Gent 2-1 in the group’s other match to strengthen its first place, three points above Valencia.

It was Lyon’s first Champions League match at the Stade de Gerland in more than three years and Hubert Fournier’s players hoped for a better result after drawing 1-1 at Gent in their opening game.

“We conceded a silly goal, it’s frustrating,” Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons said. “They made us pay cash for our mistakes. We gave it all in the second half, it was not enough.”

Valencia got off to a bright start and dominated a lively first half. Tunisian defender Aymen Abdennour created the Spanish’s side first chance in the ninth minute as he rose above Lyon defenders only to head the ball wide from Pablo Piatti’s free kick.

Piatti caused problems to Lyon’s back four throughout the evening with his precise crosses and accelerations. Lyon could even have taken the lead against the run of the play in the 27th, when Mathieu Valbuena’s curled free kick forced keeper Jaume Domenech to tip the ball onto his post.

Valencia then hit the woodwork as Abdennour’s header was denied by the post in the 35th minute before a clever one-two between Sofiane Feghouli and Joao Cancelo caused havoc on the right flank, with Feghouli hitting the crossbar.

Valencia finally went ahead after Alvaro Negredo played a quick free kick for Piatti, whose cross found Feghouli alone outside the box. Keeper Anthony Lopes had his hand on the Algerian midfielder’s shot but only managed to deflect it into the net.

Lyon pushed hard but could not level before the interval, as Alexandre Lacazette’s shot was deflected by a defender onto the crossbar.

Valencia sat back after the break but Lyon’s players struggled to create movement in the final third and lacked a cutting edge when they found themselves in good position.

Lyon coach Hubert Fournier brought on Claudio Beauvue in place of Lacazette for the last 15 minutes but Valencia remained in control and Domenech made two brilliant saves to preserve the lead, parrying two shots from Corentin Tolisso and Samuel Umtiti in the final minute.

“We had a plan which was to stay tight in the first half and let our fullbacks attack their fullbacks, and it worked very well,” Feghouli said. “In the second half we changed our plan and we had to defend more, but it was very important for our confidence that we won.”

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