If Manchester City wants to finally win a first Champions League title, they will have to start taking the competition a bit more seriously — on and off the field.
Surrounded by swathes of empty seats in the Etihad Stadium, City's players were humbled 2-1 by Lyon in a sloppy and apathetic display at the start of their European campaign today.
Banned from the touchline and unable to communicate with the bench, City manager Pep Guardiola did fill one seat in the stands and he saw his Premier League champions easily picked apart by the French visitors.
"We felt under threat every time we lost the ball and sometimes that brings the confidence a little bit lower," said City assistant manager Mikel Arteta, who was in charge on the bench in Guardiola's absence.
Errors by midfielder Fernandinho led to both Lyon goals, typifying how careless City was against a team that finished third in the French league last season and was even held to a draw at the weekend by 10-man Caen.
When a pass by the Brazilian midfielder was intercepted around the halfway line, Lyon charged forward.
Nabil Fekir sent in a cross from the left that evaded Fabian Delph's swinging legs, allowing Maxwel Cornet to slot it home in the 26th minute.
Delph held his head in his hands as the consequences of his mistake became clear.
City's troubles deepened when Fernandinho was caught in possession again. Memphis Depay set Fekir on a run and the forward doubled Lyon's lead in the 43rd by striking through the legs of John Stones.
"It was a difficult game," said Depay, who struggled to make an impact at Manchester United before leaving after two seasons in 2017.
"But when we had the ball we tried to play and when we won the ball we tried to counterattack."
Perhaps the only reason for City to feel aggrieved in the first half was Gabriel Jesus being denied a penalty when he was tripped by former Manchester United defender Rafael da Silva just before Depay scored.
"To concede two goals like we did is very frustrating," Stones said.
"We came in at halftime a bit deflated I think. But we picked ourselves up and we came out second half fighting and played a better second half."
But the improvement wasn't sufficient.
City pulled one back in the 67th when Bernardo Silva scored from substitute Leroy Sane's cutback.
But the attacking threat was too patchy from a City side that won the Premier League with a record 100 points only four months ago, and are widely seen as one of the big favorites in this season's Champions League.
"I suffered as I was scared they'd score a second goal," Lyon coach Bruno Genesio said.
"We would have taken 2-2 before the match but given the way the game went we'd have been disappointed not to leave with the three points."
Game-winning displays like Paul Pogba's in a 3-0 victory for Manchester United over Young Boys should help to improve his relations with coach Jose Mourinho.
Pogba scored twice late in the first half today to get United off to a smooth start in the Champions League against the group-stage newcomer.
A curling shot in the 35th minute and an assured penalty in the 44th — after a trademark slow-trot approach — showed Pogba at his most elegant.
Pogba's form cheered Mourinho on the touchline after an uneasy early season between them since the team's signature player returned from winning the World Cup with France.
United went three goals up in the 66th when Pogba surged through the midfield and teed up Anthony Martial, who also had tense pre-season exchanges with Mourinho. Martial's shot took a deflection off defender Mohamed Ali Camara.
Camara's eventful evening included testing David De Gea with an early long-range strike, hitting a post with a second-half shot from a corner, and being beaten by Pogba's quick feet that created space to score the opening goal.
The penalty was awarded for a handball awarded against Young Boys defender Kevin Mbabu for blocking Luke Shaw's cross.
The result dispelled Mourinho's doubts expressed to UEFA this month about playing Champions League games on artificial turf.
Still, Mourinho said the surface should not be an excuse for his players who did have uneasy moments before Pogba stepped up.
Making his United debut, 19-year-old right-back Diogo Dalot slipped on the plastic pitch to give winger Christian Fassnacht a shooting chance that was blocked.
A loser on its two previous Champions League games in Switzerland, both at Basel, United next welcomes Valencia to Old Trafford on October 2.
Also in Group H, Pogba's former team Juventus won 2-0 at Valencia despite a first-half red card for Cristiano Ronaldo, the former United star.
In 2008 Finland made a significant change to their homeless policy, making it the only country in Europe where the number of homeless people has declined.
They achieved this by shutting down emergency shelters and temporary housing and instead began renovating these dwellings into apartments.
This was on top of permanent social housing they were building throughout the country under their Housing First programme.
It wasn’t an overnight success, it was a model Finland had been working on since the 1980s with charities, NGOs and volunteers.
It was the launch of a fully funded national programme a decade ago which saw the tide turn on homelessness.
“For us it means it’s always permanent housing that’s supposed to be proved for homeless persons – always permanent instead of temporary solutions,” Finland’s Housing First CEO Juha Kaakinen told 1 NEWS.
Mr Kaakinen says emergency shelters and hostels were failing to keep up with demand and were becoming an “obstacle” to solving homelessness.
“Well it’s obvious that when you are on the street or you are living in temporary accommodation to take care of things like employment issues, health and social issues it’s almost impossible,” he says.
“But a permanent home gives you a safe place where you don’t have to be afraid about what’s going to happen tomorrow, and you know if you can take care of the rent.”
In 2008, Helsinki alone had 500 bed places in emergency shelters, now 10 years later there is only one shelter with 52 beds.
Finland’s Housing First social housing stock for those who are on low incomes or in need of urgent housing makes up 13 per cent of their total housing stock.
Under their housing policy, every new housing area must be 20 per cent social housing.
“It’s quite a simple thing in a way, it makes common sense that you have to have a home like everyone else.”
Not only is permanent housing supplied to those who can’t afford a roof over their head but wrap around support such as financial and debt counselling.
The number of homeless in Finland has dropped from 18,000 to 6500 people with 80 per cent living with friends and relatives while they wait for a home.
This means there is practically no street or rough sleepers in Finland, which has a total population of 5.4 million people.
The Housing First programme in New Zealand is funded by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) across many regions including Auckland.
However, this programme is just one of a myriad of programmes that include charities and community groups.
MSD’s Deputy Chief Executive for Housing Scott Gallacher acknowledges that more housing needs to be built to address the current crisis here.
“Our optimal outcome is to have far more supply of public housing, so people can have long-term stability. The stark reality is the context in which we find ourselves in that we just cannot bring on the degree of supply of long-term housing in the time required.
“The scale of what we’ve got of transitional housing at the moment will probably reduce over time and once we have a far stronger supply of long-term homes for people that is really the optimal outcome that we’re all trying to achieve,” says Mr Gallacher told 1 NEWS.
MSD also acknowledges it needs to provide greater support for those who are homeless to end chronic homelessness.
“It’s not just about the bricks and mortar, it’s not just about the house, it’s about what sort of support are we providing families and individuals to stabilise their lives and actually be able to sustain long-term homes.”
Mr Kaakinen says there is no other way around ending homelessness but to have government involvement.
Cristiano Ronaldo was supposed to be the missing piece in Juventus' bid to win the Champions League.
But his first match in the competition for his new club lasted less than half an hour today as he was sent off after appearing to pull at an opponent's hair.
Juventus still went on to win 2-0 at Valencia, thanks to two penalties.
It was Ronaldo's first red card in 154 Champions League games, and the decision means he could miss a return to Old Trafford when Juventus plays Manchester United next month if gets at least a two-match ban.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri insisted it shouldn't have been a red card, and lamented the fact that video technology has yet to be introduced into the Champions League, as it has been in Serie A. VAR was also used at the World Cup in Russia this year.
"I'll only say that in this sort of occasion VAR would help," Allegri said.
"It's disappointing because now we'll lose him for a few games and instead if there had been VAR it would have been seen that it wasn't a sending-off offence."
Ronaldo was dismissed in the 29th minute after tangling with Jeison Murillo.
After Murillo went down inside the area, the Portugal forward gestured for his opponent to get up, then put his hand on the Valencia defender's head and appeared to tug his hair.
Referee Felix Brych showed Ronaldo a straight red card after discussing with his assistant behind the goal.
Ronaldo looked baffled and kept professing his innocence and was clearly distraught as he left the pitch in tears, still shaking his head.
"He was upset and he needs time to calm down," Allegri said.
"He needs to rise above it and focus on Sunday, even if these things leave a bitter taste in the mouth."
Even Valencia coach Marcelino Garcia attempted to comfort Ronaldo as he walked off the pitch.
"I didn't see the contact, I was affected by his tears. He was saying he didn't do anything," Marcelino said. "I spoke with him but I won't say what I told him."
Juventus has won Europe's premier club competition twice but the last time was in 1996.
It has lost five finals since then and hoped that signing Ronaldo, who has won the competition five times, it could go one step further.
The Bianconeri have won the Serie A title for the last seven seasons — and the league and Italian Cup double for the past four — but have struggled to transfer that domestic supremacy to the European stage, although they have reached the final twice in the past four editions.
Despite playing more than an hour with 10 men at Valencia, Juventus eased to victory.