Zenit forward Sardar Azmoun scores first goal of Champions League season (VIDEO)
Azmoun handed his team the lead at Lyon in the 41st minute of their Group G clash, playing a lovely one-two with strike partner Artem Dzyuba on the edge of the box before slotting past Anthony Lopes with the outside of his boot.
The goal from the 24-year-old Iranian international meant Russian champions Zenit headed in 1-0 to the good at half-time at Parc Olympique Lyonnais.
The second half started badly for Zenit and Azmoun, however, as he was forced off injured shortly after the break.
His replacement Magomed Ozdoev then fouled Lyon winger Memphis Depay to concede a penalty just three minutes after coming on, with the Dutchman converting the spot-kick to level the scores.
But Zenit weathered some late Lyon pressure to earn a creditable draw, in what was their first game back in Europe’s premier club competition after a three-year break.
Their next Champions League meeting is with Portuguese side Benfica at home before traveling to Germany to play RB Leipzig.