Despite Chelsea Under-21s taking the lead through Jimmy-Jay Morgan, we had no answer to three Lyon goals in reply, as the French side claimed the points in our International Premier League Cup opener.
Mark Robinson’s team edged the first half, but the second saw the game turned on its head, as Lyon scored three goals to win the game.
After a slow start from both sides, we took the lead through Jimmy-Jay Morgan who headed in superbly after an excellent Josh Brooking cross. He could have made it two from another header but he mistimed his effort on goal.
The second half saw Les Gones draw level through a counter-attack, which Samuel Bossiwa finished off. Romain Perret, a second-half substitute, scored with his head soon after coming on to give Lyon the lead and the same player made it 3-1 late on in the game, condemning the Blues to defeat.
Bringing the game to life
With twenty-five minutes gone in the game, there was nothing noteworthy to report on besides a Morgan header which was easily saved by the goalkeeper.
The warning signs were there though, and we took the lead 30 minutes into the game, when Morgan was picked out in the box by a fine cross from Brooking and the striker sent a controlled effort into the net with his head.
Morgan had another chance with his head as he was found by a Dylan Williams free-kick but he miscued his header in the box.
The away side did go close from a set-piece of their own as Breyton Fougeu’s free-kick only just went over the bar.
Soaking up pressure
The second half started with Lyon on the front foot and Chelsea goalkeeper Max Merrick was called into action in quick succession. First, he denied Philippe Boueye with a very good save to tip the ball round the post. After that, he blocked two shots from Chaim El Djebali to keep us ahead.
We seemed to have weathered the second-half pressure from our opponents, but an overturn of possession started a fast counter-attack and a sweeping move was finished well by Bossiwa, who found the corner of the net.
The away side took the lead through substitute Perret, who did well to glance a header into the net from a Fougeu free-kick.
Morgan went close to a second and again it was with his head that he threatened, steering a header goalwards which required a great save from Justin Bengui to tip the ball round the post.
Perret had a great chance for his second and his team’s third, but his first-time shot lacked the necessary power to beat Merrick. Perret eventually did get his second, though, and it came in the final moments of the game, a driven shot inside the box finding the bottom corner.
We probed for most of the second period but failed to create the necessary opportunities to keep our opponents under pressure, as the game fizzled out into a 3-1 defeat for our boys.
Chelsea Under-21s play the first game of our Premier League Cup campaign. We welcome Luton Town to Kingsmeadow on Tuesday 19 September, with kick-off scheduled for 7pm.
Chelsea (3-4-1-2): Max Merrick; Josh Brooking, Bily Gee, Ishe Samuels-Smith (Travis Akomeah 65); Dylan Williams (c), Kiano Dyer, Brodi Hughes (Zain Silcott-Duberry 70), Harrison McMahon; Jimmy-Jay Morgan; Leo Castledine, Donnell McNeilly (Sam Rak-Sakyi 71)
Unusedsubs: Eddie Beach, Noah Hay, Tyrique George
Scorer: Morgan 30
Booked: Morgan 63, Rak-Sakyi 90+7
Lyon (4-3-3): Justin Bengui; Yacine Chaib, Philippe Boueye, Mamadou Sarr, Jeremy Mounsese; Islamdine Halifa, Samuel Bossiwa (Moussa Kante 59), Mahamadou Diawara (Mathys De Carvalho 90+1); Ibrahima Fall (Romain Perret 59), Chaim El Djebali (Ali Alamaine Ali 78), Breyton Fougeu (Djehail Dib 90+1)
Unusedsubs: Ahmed Djime, Matteo Pereira
Scorers: Bossiwa 51, Perret 64, 90+5
Booked: Fougeu 54, Sarr 67