Seven goals, two players sent off and a penalty after 16 minutes of added time: Olympique Lyonnais beat Brest 4-3 after a crazy match, Sunday April 14, during the 29th day of Ligue 1. Grace with this success snatched in its Groupama Stadium against the runner-up of L1, Lyon moved back to 7th place, an achievement when we remember that the club was fighting to escape the relegation zone just a few weeks ago.

It was therefore a penalty at the end of the night from Ainsley Maitland-Niles which allowed OL to win one of the best matches of the Ligue 1 season and maintain their European dream, coming back to two lengths of Lens (6th).

The end of this meeting, very electric with two red cards, was also marked by the injury exit of striker Alexandre Lacazette after a rough exit from Brest goalkeeper Marco Bizot which caused the penalty awarded by referee Mathieu Vernice after consultation of the VAR (90 16).

Well before this spectacular outcome, the Lyonnais had opened the scoring through Corentin Tolisso after a free kick from Saïd Benrahma poorly negotiated by the Brest defense (18th), the second goal this season for Tolisso in 21 appearances.

But after the break, Stade Brestois, decidedly impressive this season, turned the situation around in a handful of minutes. Steve Mounié tied the two teams by heading a free kick from Romain Del Castillo (1-1, 60th). An aerial specialist, Mounié has scored five of his six headed goals this season and roughly 50% of his career goals this way.

Lacazette determinant

Trained at OL without ever having had a chance as a professional, the former Rennais, Romain Del Castillo then scored a double. In addition to his decisive pass to Mounié, he gave the Bretons the advantage by converting a direct free kick (2-1, 64th) before bringing the score to 3-1 by concluding a great collective action from the Brest camp and which put the Lyon defense out of reach (67th).

It was the Lyon captain, Alexandre Lacazette, who was once again decisive in OL’s comeback. The Rhone striker revived his team thanks to his fifteenth goal this season in L1 after a cross delivered from the right wing by Rayan Cherki barely coming into play. Back at 3-2, the Lyonnais did not give up and it is the Argentinian defender, Nicolas Tagliafico who equalized at 3-3 with a cross shot from the left after another pass from Cherki (79th). The latter had a goal ball at the end of his foot but he sent the ball over despite a very favorable position (84th).

At the end of the game, Tagliafico and Pierre Lees-Melou were sent off after a scuffle (86th) before Lacazette obtained this famous penalty transformed by Maitland-Niles for his first goal in Ligue 1 in 18 appearances.

“We’re being taken for fools.”

“Everything is possible with this team,” said Lyon coach Pierre Sage after the match. “We went through a lot of emotions in a very short time in this match. We had the feeling of experiencing something extraordinary. I will remember this match for a long time, and so will the spectators,” he rejoiced. But OL are now worried about the injury of Lacazette who was evacuated on a stretcher, and the duration of his possible unavailability in view of the final of the Coupe de France against PSG, and the rest of the championship with matches to play in Paris, against Monaco and Lille. “He wasn’t in the locker room when I returned but we will accompany him so that he returns as quickly as possible,” confided Pierre Sage.

On the Brest side, the scenario of the evening and the refereeing decisions are difficult to digest. “We are taken for fools. It’s a difficult evening but we’ve experienced others this season already. We have been battered a few times by unfavorable decisions but that’s football today,” said coach Eric Roy, referring in particular to an uncalled handball in the penalty area from Irishman Jake O’Brien in the 16th minute, or the second yellow card received by Lees-Melou, synonymous with exclusion.

“I nevertheless remember that we played a very good match but that at 3-1, we must be able to close the match. We should have maintained more lucidity and control. My group is generous but it has difficulty managing emotions,” also analyzed Eric Roy, whose team maintains its second place with a lead over Monaco (3rd), who must face Lille on April 24 for the of this 29th day.

The good operation of Nantes and Montpellier for maintaining

Because in a day of Ligue 1 also missing the matches of Paris SG (in Lorient) and Marseille (against Nice), postponed to preserve them for their European confrontations in the coming week, Nantes and Montpellier gave themselves air in the race they are leading to maintain.

Thanks to its victory at Le Havre, obtained in added time after a goal scored by Kader Bamba (1-0, 90 2), Nantes with 31 points is three lengths ahead of Le Havre (15th) and five ahead of Lorient ( 16th), virtual barrage.

Montpellier (13th with 33 points) also had an interesting operation, obtaining a draw on the lawn of the red lantern Clermont (1-1) after being led 1-0. The Auvergnats, who can still mathematically maintain their position, are in an unfortunate position. With 22 points, they are once again behind Metz (17th, 26 points), victorious over Lens on Friday (2-1).