Alexandre Lacazette and Elye Wahi both scored four goals but it was the veteran former France international forward who had the final word as he struck in added time to give Lyon a 5-4 win over Montpellier on Sunday. Elsewhere, Strasbourg took a step towards safety with a win over Nantes, who remain deep in trouble.
Lyon needed all three points to keep alive their slender hopes of a top-five finishand securing European football for next season, and the defeats on Saturday of both Lille and Rennes in the places directly ahead of them opened the door a little more to Laurent Blanc’s seventh-placed side.
Montpellier, though, had beaten top-five challengers Rennes and Monaco in recent games, and with Lyon having taken just nine points at their Groupama Stadium in 2023, the visitors surely sensed a successful smash-and-grab raid was possible.
Lacazette, though, remains a player capable of deciding any match, and the former Arsenal forward, who turns 32 later this month, showed it just after the half-hour mark: when Rayan Cherki crossed to the back post, Bradley Barcola touched the ball back to his senior strike partner, and Lacazette chested the ball down before claiming a 21st league goal of the season and the 14th of his career against Montpellier (31′).
Montpellier were without the suspended Téji Savanier, but in Wahi they have another top-class performer, and the young striker wrestled centre stage from Lacazette in spectacular style. First, sent clear by Joris Chotard, he equalised (40′), and barely 60 seconds later he took his season’s tally to 15, stepping away from Johann Lepenant and then holding off Sinaly Diomandé to fire in off a post (41′).
Six minutes into the second half, Wahi — who’d only previously scored more than once in a Ligue 1 Uber Eats game twice in his career, both previous times coming this season — had a first senior hat-trick with a low shot beyond Anthony Lopes (53′). And then somehow, added a fourth when Thiago Mendes lost possession, and Wahi raced clear, rounded Lopes and rolled the ball into the net (55′).
As unlikely as it had been that Wahi would get all four goals — the first Ligue 1 Uber Eats quadruple since Kylian Mbappé struck four times against Lyon in October 2018 — within 15 minutes to put Montpellier three goals ahead, it looked still more unlikely at that stage at Lyon would come back to get anything from the match, never mind win it. And yet…
Lacazette applied the finishing touch to a Barcola cross to reduce the deficit to two (60′), and Montpellier defender Faitout Maouassa then deflected the ball onto his own crossbar (61′) before Dejan Lovren headed beyond Benjamin Lecomte from Maxence Caqueret’s cross (70′) to leave Lyon with 20 minutes to find an equaliser.
They needed just ten. After Barcola had a goal ruled out (78′), Lacazette completed his hat-trick with Barcola and Cherki teaming up in the build-up before the former provided a near-post cross for their captain to squeeze in front of Christopher Jullien and equalise (82′).
The Montpellier defender would then play a crucial role in enabling Lyon to snatch the most dramatic of wins, and the club’s first-ever in a game when they had trailed by three goals. VAR spotted Jullien holding Lacazette back when Cherki played a cross into the box; Lacazette sent the penalty high beyond Lecomte (90+10′) to move to the top of the division’s scoring charts with 24 goals and earn Lyon three precious points that move them to within a win of fifth place with four games remaining.
THE PLAYER: Elye Wahi
Though Lacazette more than matched him, Montpellier’s 20-year-old forward caught the eye as he became the first MHSC player ever to score a quadruple. Only Olivier Giroud — with 21 in the club’s title-winning season of 2011/12 – has ever scored more than Wahi’s tally of 17 in a single top-flight campaign.
THE STAT: 48
Lacazette netted the first quadruple of his senior career. It was Lyon’s first individual four-goal haul since Bernard Lacombe scored four against Bastia on 26 January 1975, more than 48 years ago.
Source: Ligue 1 Uber Eats