Late Tevez goal gives United important draw against Lyon
Tevez came off the bench to score the vital goal
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Wednesday, 20, Feb 2008 10:58
Carlos Tevez scored a precious late equaliser as Manchester United drew 1-1 against Lyon in the first leg of their Champions League tie.
The French side had been heading towards a famous win thanks to Karim Benzema's strike early in the second half but Tevez managed to pounce on a defensive lapse to give Sir Alex Ferguson's men the upper hand heading into the second leg.
United started sluggishly and could not manage to replicate the form they showed when thrashing Arsenal 4-0 in the FA Cup at the weekend.
However the introduction of Tevez just after the hour-mark gave the side the impetus it had lacked.
The Argentinean was able to support Wayne Rooney, who had previously played as a lone striker, and the tactical substitution paid off when the striker slotted home from two yards out.
Lyon showed why they have dominated the French league for the past few years and were not intimidated by United in the opening stages, confidently passing the ball around and denying the English side possession.
In a game of few chances United created the best goal-scoring opportunity of the opening period. Ryan Giggs played Rooney through on goal but Gregory Coupet made an excellent save one-on-one with the 22-year-old.
After a goalless first half the second period began in much the same vein with both sides fighting for midfield supremacy.
However the deadlock was broken after 54 minutes when Benzema unleashed a fearsome drive from the edge of the box that beat Edwin van der Sar at his near post.
The 20-year-old has been linked with a move to the Premiership this summer after a prolific campaign and his 24th goal of the season will have raised his profile further.
Ferguson immediately took off one of his five midfielders and also replaced Giggs with Nani as United went in search of an equaliser.
An unusually quiet Cristiano Ronaldo tested Coupet with a free-kick before Tevez fired home following Fred's mistake.
The away goal could prove to be crucial when the two sides meet again at Old Trafford on March 4th.