'Wink' raises fix fears after Lyon's amazing Euro win

Dec 9, 2011

Picture appears to show Dynamo Zagreb defender winking at opponent after a goal

LYON'S 7-1 thrashing of Dinamo Zagreb in an extraordinary Champions League encounter on Wednesday has come under fresh scrutiny after the publication of an intriguing photo, which appears to show Zagreb defender Domagoj Vida giving a wink and a thumbs up to Lyon striker Bafetimi Gomis as the Frenchman celebrates his side's fifth goal.

Prior to Wednesday's match in Croatia Lyon's chances of qualifying for the Last 16 of the Champions League were remote. The French club needed victory over Zagreb while Group D rivals Ajax had to lose at home to Real Madrid. That still wouldn't have been enough for Lyon, however, without a seven goal swing in goal difference.

But against all odds, Lyon – who'd managed just two goals in their previous five group games – ran riot in the Croatian capital, racking up one of the biggest scores in Champions League history despite going a goal down on 40 minutes.

During a 20 minute period in the second half Gomis scored four times as the visitors romped to a 7-1 victory against the Croatian champions. With Ajax going down 3-0 to Madrid the results guaranteed Lyon's passage to the knockout phase of the competition.

Zagreb fired their coach Krunoslav Jurcic an hour after the humiliation but suspicions were already being raised about the astounding result.

As yet Uefa have refused to launch an investigation, saying in a statement: "We are waiting for reports from the referee, the referee observer and match delegate to see if, in their opinion, something suspicious might have happened."

The referee in question is Englishman Mark Clattenburg. Once he has compiled his report Uefa will decide on its next course of action, though an initial analysis of betting patterns on the game has revealed "no particular anomaly". Similarly Arjel, the French online betting authority, detected no irregularity “concerning the total amount of stakes or the number of bets".

Zagreb, who were humiliated enough by the result, are furious that the name of their club is being linked with a  possible scandal. "It's outrageous and malicious to claim the match is suspicious," ran a statement on their official website. "This is a painful and absolutely unexpected defeat."

One man who remains unconvinced that Lyon's win was just down to French flair is Ajax coach Frank de Boer. "On this stage a 7-1 away win is an exception," said the former Dutchg international. "Maybe I'm naive when I think it normally doesn't work like this, but if Zagreb gave the match away they should be punished."

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