‘I have never played in a game like this before’ – Lyon’s match-winner Ainsley Maitland-Niles reacts to seven-goal thriller

Ainsley Maitland-Niles was the man who decided a chaotic seven-goal thriller. It was his penalty, in the 106th minute, that gave Olympique Lyonnais the 4-3 victory over Stade Brestois, which lifts the club to 7th in Ligue and provisionally sees them penetrate the European places for the first time this season. 

Corentin Tolisso gave Lyon the lead in the 18th minute before Brest fought back. Within eight minutes in the second half, Les Ty Zéfs netted three goals, two of them courtesy of former Lyon forward Romain Del Castillo, to turn the game on its head. However, just seconds after Brest’s third, Alexandre Lacazette halved the deficit before Nicolás Tagliafico then levelled the scores once again at 3-3. 

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The drama didn’t stop there. Tagliafico and Pierre Lees-Melou were then both sent off for an altercation, initiated by the former. Post-match, Eric Roy described the decision to send Lees-Melou off as a “scandal”. It was a decision that had a consequence with Lyon earning a penalty in the dying seconds. 

Lacazette was thundered into by Marco Bizot and after a lengthy VAR check, the penalty was awarded. However, Lacazette, forced off on a stretcher, was unable to take the spot-kick. It was therefore Maitland-Niles who stepped up, sent Bizot the wrong way and secured a huge three points for Lyon. 

Maitland-Niles’ tribute to Lacazette

“I have never witnessed or played in a game like this before,” began Maitland-Niles in a post-match interview with Prime Video Sport. “The atmosphere was absolutely phenomenal. To be able to score the winner in a game like this is just fantastic,” said the former Arsenal man, whose last-minute penalty was a form of tribute to Lacazette, who went off injured.

“It was sad to see him stretchered off tonight and so knew I had to score that penalty, especially for him. It was his goal that brought us back to life,” said the Englishman.

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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