Memphis Depay gave the type of performance that will have Barcelona fans dreaming of his signature as he led Lyon to a remarkable 3-2 victory over Monaco on Sunday.
It was an all-or-nothing encounter for Depay’s Lyon side, whose defeat to Lille the previous week had ruled them out of the title race. With the Champions League on the line, they went to Monaco and produced a dramatic 3-2 success that hit an impressive 9.3 on Football Critic’s Match Excitement Rating.
Much of that zest was brought by Memphis, who scored one and created another in an encounter that ended with a mass brawl and five red cards.
Out of contract in the summer, Barcelona looks the probable destination for Depay, who has been with Lyon since January 2017 having made a high-profile switch from Manchester United.
He has often been a source of inspiration to Lyon, and that was certainly the case at Stade Louis II, where he instigated an unlikely comeback from 1-0 down.
Depay’s equalising goal was an impressive one. Gathering the ball on the right touchline, he drove inside at the heart of the Monaco defence. After dodging three half-hearted challenges, he sent a deflected shot into the corner of the net.
Lyon had been reduced to 10 men by the time a wonderful cross from the Netherlands star allowed Marcelo to head Lyon’s second.
Monaco hit back through a Wissam Ben Yedder penalty and were knocking for a winner when a quick breakaway saw Rayan Cherki – anointed by many as Depay’s successor at OL – fired his first Ligue 1 goal after a surging run down the right from Mattia De Sciglio.
Depay enjoying a fine 2021
That Lyon are still in contention for the Champions League next season owes much to Depay. He has five goals in his last four Ligue 1 matches, and when he hit a dry spell in March, he still managed to contribute a couple of assists.
|MEMPHIS DEPAY IN 2021|
Indeed, he has responded well after a slow start to the season, which was doubtless impacted by his failed move to Barcelona in October. Going into December, he had five goals to his credit and four assists in 12 games.
Depay has responded in fine style, with his 25 subsequent matches producing 16 goals and six assists – exactly the type of numbers Barcelona will hope for him should he move to Camp Nou in the summer and the reason why Lyon are so desperate to hold onto him.