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Lyon in French Cup quarters
February 09, 2018
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Paris: Nabil Fekir’s penalty helped Lyon beat Montpellier 2-1 on Wednesday to reach the French Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2012.

Maxwel Cornet caught home goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte by surprise to give the visitors an early lead, only for Jonathan Ikone to quickly lash in an equaliser.

But Fekir grabbed his 20th goal of the season with a 27th-minute spot-kick which proved to be the winner, leaving Montpellier coach Michel Der Zakarian fuming after Fekir was adjudged to have been fouled by Pedro Mendes.

“The penalty? Often big teams are rewarded or favoured,” the Armenian said.

“When Paris, Marseille, Monaco or Lyon cry, referees whistle penalties for them. We’ve had situations, (but) we haven’t had a penalty since the beginning of the season.” Lyon move into the last eight for the first time since winning the trophy for a fifth time six years ago, bouncing back from back-to-back league defeats that have seen them slip to fourth in Ligue 1.

Coach Bruno Genesio made five changes to the side that blew a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to 10-man Monaco at the weekend, and it was Cornet who made the most of his opportunity by giving them a 13th-minute lead.

The 21-year-old latched onto Bertrand Traore’s pass, and with Lecomte anticipating a cross, he fired home inside the near post with a clever first-time effort to score his fourth goal of the season.

But Montpellier levelled just nine minutes later, as 19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain loanee Ikone met Paul Lasne’s cutback to hammer into the top corner.

It took Lyon less than five minutes to move back in front, though, as Mendes clumsily bundled over Fekir in the area, with the attacking midfielder picking himself up to slot in from the penalty spot.

Agence France-Presse

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