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Everton announce lifetime ban for fan involved in altercation with Lyon player

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On a night when UEFA unveiled a new campaign for respect, there wasn’t enough of it shown both on and off the field.

Everton has followed up on UEFA opening up disciplinary proceedings against them by banning a fan from Everton matches after the fan was seen to punch at an Olympique Lyon player in the second half of Lyon’s 2-1 win at Goodison Park.

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“Club Officials have reviewed the footage of an incident that occurred in the 64th minute of the game against Olympique Lyonnais where supporters towards the front of the lower Gwladys Street End became involved in a confrontation between players,” Everton said in a statement. “We have identified one individual whom action will now be taken against. This will include a ban from attending future Everton fixtures and the Club registering a formal complaint with Merseyside Police.”

The video below shows a fan – amazingly, holding onto a small boy in one arm – throwing some punches at Lyon players after a fracas on the field.

The punch and ban is yet another dark moment for Everton, which has just one point from its first three Europa League matches and sits in 16th place in the Premier League with eight points from eight games.

Europa League preview: Arsenal in Serbia, Everton desperate vs. Lyon

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The twelve groups of the UEFA Europa League bring forth soccer on Thursday, with a bevy of matches dotting the continent.

[ MORE: Full Europa schedule ]

Here are the top five matches to keep an eye on.

Everton vs. Lyon — 3:05 p.m. ET

If you would’ve told Ronald Koeman his Toffees would walk into this match with just one point but sit only another behind Lyon, he’d probably tell you to take a hike. But Lyon drew 1-1 at Apollon Limassol and 1-1 at home to Atalanta, opening the door for Everton to finish the day in Group E’s top two slots.

Nabil Fekir and Real Madrid loanee Mariano Diaz have seven goals each for Lyon, while ex-Premier Leaguers Memphis Depay and Bertrand Traore are also key components of the French outfit’s attack.

Red Star Belgrade vs. Arsenal — 1 p.m. ET

Arsenal in Europa has been pretty thrilling, with 3-1 and 4-2 wins under Arsene Wenger‘s belt ahead of the first of two with the 1991 European Cup winners. It’s a nice challenge for Canadian national team backstop Milan Borjan, who should be the man to try to thwart the Gunners in Serbia.

Hoffenheim vs. Istanbul Basaksehir — 3:05 p.m. ET

The favorites to win the group are dead last in the group as they welcome the perceived group underdogs from Turkey. The Super Lig runners-up have some familiar names on the roster with Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy, Eljero Elia, Mevlut Erdinc, Gokhan Inler, Aurelien Chedjou, and Emre Belozoglu.

AC Milan vs. AEK Athens — 3:05 p.m. ET

Milan has been burying goals in Europa play, with five at Austria Wien and three in a home win over Rijeka. Enter Athens, which has scooped up four points in group play and will look for a win to put them ahead of the group-leading Rossoneri.

Nice vs. Lazio — 1 p.m. ET

The only group with a pair of 2-0 teams. Mario Balotelli is plenty familiar with his Roman opposition from his time in Serie A.

Marcelo (not that one) swats ref’s card, goes from yellow to red

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Here’s something you don’t see everyday: Lyon defender Marcelo (also a Brazilian, but with infinitely less endearing hair) appears to have swat a yellow card out of referee Mikael Lesage’s hand, earning himself an upgrade from yellow to red.

[ MORE: Barcelona play inside an empty Camp Nou (photos & video) ]

The 30-year-old center back was originally to be booked for a foul on the edge of Lyon’s 18-yard box, though he clearly took issue with the referee’s decision. As he turns to walk away, Marcelo flings his left hand in the air, as if to say, “Miss me with that nonsense,” at exactly the same time Lesage drops his arm to pencil Marcelo’s name into the book.

It’s practically impossible to adjudge intent in an instance like this, but Marcelo’s shock and dismay appear to be genuine from the moment he realizes what’s just happened, and what’s about to happen.

Lyon held a 3-1 lead at the time of Marcelo’s sending-off, but they would go on to conceded two goals over the course of the next 17 minutes, and ultimately draw the game, 3-3.

Lyon’s Fekir scores amazing goal from halfway line – Video

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It is quite possible the goal of the season has already been scored. Eat your heart out, David Beckham.

[ MORE: Ligue 1 score, schedule

Lyon’s captain Nabil Fekir drilled home a sensational goal to open the scoring at home against Bordeaux on Saturday, in what would turn out to be an enthralling 3-3 in the Ligue 1 clash.

Fekir, 24, picked the ball up 20 yards into his own half and without hesitation sent a rasping, rising effort from inside his own half which flew into the back of the net.

It was also with his weaker right foot…

Take a look at the incredible strike below from the French international attacking midfielder.

Lyon president admits Arsenal $52m bid for Lacazette

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Lyon president Jean-Michael Aulas acknowledged that Arsenal is in the running for star striker Alexandre Lacazette, but says the player is not in London.

French publication Le Progres claimed that Lacazette was in North London for a medical with the Gunners, but not-so-fast: The prolific and powerful 26-year-old striker may want to leave, but Arsenal hasn’t met the valuation.

Aulas says Arsenal’s bid was approximately $52 million, and that’s about $23 million shy of Lyon’s reported valuation.

[ CONFED CUP: Portugal tops Mexico ]

Lacazette scored 37 times last season, including seven in 12 contests in Europe. He was named to the UEFA Europa League Team of the Season.