Lacazette’s successful return home helps secure Lyon win against Ajaccio

Lyon defeated promoted Ajaccio 2-1 in Friday’s Ligue 1 opener.

Alexandre Lacazette scored on his return to Lyon, helping the hosts defeat promoted Ajaccio 2-1 in a hard-fought Ligue 1 opener on Friday.

Lacazette, a former France international, has returned on a free transfer five years after joining Arsenal for a club record fee of £46.5 million ($58 million).

After 21 minutes, the 31-year-old striker scored from the penalty spot after signing a three-year contract with the club where he made his name after coming through the youth system.

Lacazette also contributed to the opening goal, directing a cross from Johann Lepenant for Brazilian Tete to score after 11 minutes.

Tete, a former Shakhtar Donetsk striker who joined Lyon following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, then won the penalty after a foul by Cedric Avinel.

Ten minutes later, Lacazette made it 2-0 with his 101st goal for Lyon.

Lyon struggled in defense, with goalkeeper Anthony Lopes sent off at the half-hour mark for a foul on Mounaim El Idrissy in the penalty area.

For the visitors, Thomas Mangani equalized by firing the resulting penalty past substitute goalkeeper Remy Riou.

“We needed to win the first game at home,” Lyon coach Peter Bosz said.

“We could see Alexandre Lacazette’s importance, the respect of the opponent for him, and the support of the fans, but he can do better.”

“We were up 2-0 after twenty minutes of solid play.” The departure after thirty minutes altered many things. Fortunately, they also received a red card, which aided us.”

Romain Hamouma of Ajaccio was sent off shortly before halftime after receiving a second yellow card for a hand in the face of Lucas Paqueta.

Both teams had chances in the second half, with Riou denying Riad Nouri after an hour and midfielder Corentin Tolisso, who had returned to Lyon after five years in Bayern Munich, drawing a blank when he came off the bench with a quarter hour to go.

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