But the expected onslaught from City didn’t materialise and instead Lyon struck two late goals – the first after a hugely contentious VAR decision – and then again after a mistake by Ederson
City had a great chance to take an early lead when Joao Cancelo played a superb ball into Raheem Sterling’s run but his attempt to cut the keeper out with a square pass to the unmarked Gabriel Jesus lacked power and the danger was cleared.
Lyon looked comfortable and solid and it was the French side who had the first shot on goal, with Ederson collecting Marcal’s low drive from 20 yards.
And as the Ligue 1 side settled into the game, City’s high line was caught out as a long ball from the left saw Toko Ekambi break through and despite a valiant effort by Eric Garcia, Maxwel Cornet – scorer of three goals against City last season – was on hand to curl a low shot around the stranded Ederson to make it 1-0.
A frustrating first 45 minutes overall, but with the talent waiting on the bench, there was plenty of time to change the course of the game.
Two free-kicks on the edge of the box from De Bruyne came to nothing and though the pressure on Lyon was increasing, City just couldn’t find a way past the wall of defenders in and around the French side’s box.
Then, with 20 minutes remaining, finally. City found a way through as Sterling chased a ball down the right into the box, checked inside, and then played a low pass into the path of De Bruyne who coolly side-footed past the keeper and into the bottom right of the net.
Then a huge moment of controversy – and City’s wretched luck with VAR in the Champions League struck again as Dembele clipped Aymeric Laporte’s heels before racing through to hit a low shot through Ederson’s legs.
VAR reviewed the contact on Laporte and deemed the goal legal - though it looked anything but.
City dragged themselves back off the floor and on 85 minutes, there seemed a certain equaliser as Gabriel Jesus crossed low across the box and Sterling arrived - but fired over the crossbar with the goal gaping.
Just 59 seconds later, Dembele prodded home from close range after Ederson spilled a cross and a minute with destiny had swung dramatically in favour of Lyon.
Heartache again for City and, sadly, a killer goal with just a couple of minutes remaining.
What it means…
City’s season, which began more than a year ago, is finally over, though not in the manner anyone would have wanted it.
It also means David Silva’s time with City is at and end after 10 glorious years.
City will return to action in just under a month as the Premier League returns.
Lyon: Lopes, Denayer, Marcelo, Marcal, Dubois (Tete 74), Cornet, Caqueret, Guimaraes (Mendes Ribeiro 70), Aouar, Toko Ekambi (Reine-Adélaïdeat 87) , Depay (Dembele 75)