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Fan violence slows start of Lyon win

The Associated Press

Fans climb the goal as they invade the pitch a few minutes before the Europa League quarterfinal match between Lyon and Besiktas in France, on Thursday.

The Associated PressGENEVA (AP) — On a volatile Thursday in Lyon, fighting French and Turkish fans delayed a Europa League quarterfinal kickoff by 45 minutes.

Hundreds of Lyon fans sought safety on the field when the disorder flared about 20 minutes before the scheduled kickoff in a stadium that will host the final next season.

Trouble was concentrated in a section behind one goal housing Besiktas fans, and followed clashes between rival groups on the streets.

On the field, Lyon trailed until the 84th minute before scoring twice — the second from a bad goalkeeping error — to seize an unlikely 2-1 victory. The return match is next Thursday in Istanbul, which has a reputation as among the most hostile cities in Europe for visiting fans.

Besiktas led at halftime through Ryan Babel’s low shot in the 15th minute. Lyon waited until late to score twice in 2 minutes.

In the 83rd, Matthieu Valbuena’s free kick found Corentin Tolisso to level the match. A minute later, Besiktas goalkeeper Fabri gifted Lyon a winner when he took a backpass close to goal and tried to trick his way past the onrushing Jeremy Morel. The defender was left with an empty net in which to score.

Both clubs will be fined by UEFA, which increased security measures at all Champions League and Europa League matches this week after Borussia Dortmund’s team bus was targeted by a bomb attack on Tuesday.

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