A late goal from Leonardo Bonucci earned Juventus a single goal advantage in the first leg of the Europa League quarter final as they overcame a spirited Lyon side 1-0 at Stade Gerland.
With the scores locked at a stalemate in the latter stages of the game, Bonucci finally broke the deadlock when a short corner caught Lyon defence sleeping. The ball was scrambled around the danger area before falling at the feet of Bonucci, who slipped it into the back of the net.
The Serie A leaders were most certainly not at their best throughout the 90 minutes and it was their French opponents who had the better opportunities.
But it was Carlos Tevez – who hasn’t scored in European competition since a 2-2 draw with Porto when playing for Manchester United back in April 2009 – who had the first chance of the game on five minutes when he headed wide from close distance after some good work from strike partner Dani Osvaldo.
Steed Malbranque almost edged the hosts in front on 26 minutes when he found himself in behind the Juventus defence and forced Gianluigi Buffon into a decent save.
The visitors failed to deal with the subsequent corner and the ball eventually fell to Jimmy Briand who somehow looped the ball over the net.
A close first-half resulted in few chances with the scores level at the break but Lyon came out of the blocks early in the second period and they went closest through Samuel Umtiti whose curled free-kick had Buffon at full stretch to push the ball past the post.
Moments later Tevez turned his man and produced a weak shot at goal, then instantly signalled to the bench that he needed to be replaced, indicating he had picked up an injury.
Mirko Vucinic eventually made his way onto the pitch in place of Tevez, much to the concern of manager Antonio Conte.
Juventus built their way into the match the longer the contest went on and just before the hour-mark Anthony Lopes was forced into a decent save from team-mate Jimmy Briand, who almost headed an Andrea Pirlo free-kick into his own net.
Some decent attacking football from Juventus involving substitute Sebastian Giovinco and Paul Pogba released Giorgio Chiellini behind the Lyon defence but the chance fell to the wrong man as the defender screwed the ball past the post.
The game rather fizzled out, but just as a draw looked inevitable up popped Bonucci who made no mistake from close range, leaving the Lyon defence rueing their weak defending.