Garcia to comfort Lopes after howler: We don't blame him for Lyon loss

Lyon head coach Rudi Garcia leapt to the defence of Anthony Lopes following his moment of madness against Benfica on Wednesday.

Rudi Garcia insisted Lyon "do not blame" Anthony Lopes for their loss to Benfica after his Champions League howler.

A moment of madness from Lyon goalkeeper Lopes saw Garcia's side lose 2-1 to Benfica in Group G on Wednesday.

The goalkeeper's attempt to start a quick counter backfired when his throw went straight to Pizzi, who gleefully struck a first-time effort into an empty net.

Memphis Depay had cancelled out Rafa Silva's fourth-minute opener in Lisbon, where Lyon were left on four points – level with second-placed Zenit and two adrift of RB Leipzig.

"I have not seen him yet because he is at the anti-doping control, after which I will hasten to see him, to comfort him," head coach Garcia told reporters.

"Everyone can make a mistake. We are with him. It's sure that this goal comes at the wrong time, it's late, and it's complicated to come back and equalise. We were closer to winning the match than losing it. 

"After, we must be objective, we did not make a good first period. However, we have skilled players but we must do better, we must do more sequences in one touch and be faster with the ball. The team nevertheless showed personality. We could have won. We must rely on what is going well."

On Lopes, Garcia added: "It can happen, we do not blame him. He fell victim to wanting to play too fast. He wanted us to score a second goal and he was a little rushed. Nothing can be done against an individual error. I trust him to win us points as he does every season."

After two defeats to start their Champions League campaign, Benfica won for the first time this season.

Pizzi's winner saw Benfica move onto three points, only one point behind Zenit and Lyon heading into matchday four.

"We have mastered the start of the match," Benfica coach Bruno Lage said. "We produced a high-level first half. In the second, it is true that Lyon had more control, but they are not so dangerous as that. 

"I think that, overall, we had more opportunities than our opponent and our victory seems deserved. We are playing a difficult, demanding competition. If the fans are not satisfied with our performance, I do not know what to say."