Liverpool have lost four consecutive games for the first time since 1987 after two late goals saw Lyon come from a goal down to beat the Reds 2-1 at Anfield.
Rafa Benitez was forced to start without Fernando Torres who failed to recover from his muscle injury, whilst Glen Johnson was also absent through injury.
A first team start to youngster Martin Kelly was given and although he had a solid game, alongside David N’Gog and Lucas Leiva, Liverpool’s teamsheet left a lot to be desired.
Lacking quality, momentum and passion, the Reds never looked like creating many chances in front of goal except for a brief period in the first half in which Yossi Benayoun gave the hosts the lead.
Benayoun slotted home after sloppy Lyon defending had let a low Fabio Aurelio go through everyone. The Israeli international kept his cool and finished confidently in front of the Kop.
Liverpool had earlier lost captain Steven Gerrard who felt a reoccurrence of his groin injury that kept him out of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Sunderland.
The Reds looked inexperienced and poor in the second half and although held out Lyon well, the visitor’s equaliser on 71 minutes when Maxime Gonalons headed in after a succession of calamity defensive mistakes.
But more was to come and there was a feeling inside Anfield that the crowd knew what was coming – it’s coming inevitable. This was summed perfectly in the substitution of Andiry Voronin for Benayoun. Cue groans around the stadium.
With just a couple of minutes left Cesar Delgado finished a good Lyon move to give the French side the three points in the Champions League and leaving the Reds’ hopes of qualifying for the second round hanging by a thread.
Team Line-ups and Substitutions
Liverpool: Reina, Kelly (Skrtel 73), Agger, Carragher, Insua, Mascherano, Lucas, Gerrard (Aurelio 24), Kuyt, Benayoun (Voronin 83), Ngog.
Subs not used: Cavalieri, Babel, Spearing, Plessis.
Lyon: Lloris, Reveillere, Cris (Gonalons 41), Toulalon, Cissokho, Pjanic, Makoun, Kallstrom, Govou, Lopez (Delgado 85), Ederson (Gomis 60)
Subs not used : Vercoutre, Clerc, Michel Bastos, Belfodil.
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco