The Belgian champions earned a draw on their debut despite ending with nine men, although they needed Matz Sels’ late penalty save.
Gent marked their UEFA Champions League debut with a hard-earned draw against Lyon, the Belgian champions holding on despite ending with nine players and thankful for a late Matz Sels penalty save.
Laurent Depoitre had a shot tipped on to the crossbar by Anthony Lopes as the Buffalos began brightly. Depoitre later had the ball in the back of the net but the forward’s celebrations were cut short by the offside flag.
Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette grew increasingly influential and Sels saved well from him at the near post.
Brecht Dejaegere was sent off four minutes before half-time for a tackle on visiting captain Maxime Gonalons, yet Hein Vanhaezebrouck’s side still managed to fashion a wonderful chance for Renato Neto before the interval.
Sels kept out Lacazette on the resumption as Lyon began to lay siege to the home goal. Les Gones did make their numerical advantage count just before the hour, substitute right-back Jallet heading in a left-wing Mathieu Valbuena corner.
Gent refused to let their heads drop and captain Sven Kums drove them on, supplying the assist for Danijel Milicevic’s historic strike, an angled shot across the face of Lopes.
Lyon, however, had a golden chance to take all three points when Lacazette was pulled down by Thomas Foket with two minutes left. With the midfielder dismissed, Lacazette stepped up to take the spot kick himself, but Selz dived to his right to push away and ensure Gent would not be beaten.