Alexandre Lacazette: lethal, in demand and hungry to prove worth for France | Sachin Nakrani

The prolific Lyon striker is wanted by a host of Europe’s top clubs yet has had to be patient on the international stage and is desperate to show he is the real deal

It is early March and time is running out for Lyon in their Europa League last?16 first leg with Roma at Stade des Lumières. The hosts lead 3-2 but are desperate to extend their advantage before the return in Italy. They drive forward and, two minutes into stoppage time, Mathieu Valbuena plays a sideways pass to Alexandre Lacazette who, lurking in a central position just outside the visitors’ area, takes a touch before hitting a swerving drive into the top corner of the net.

Nothing unusual there – the goal was Lacazette’s 27th of the season – but his celebration raised eyebrows. The striker stood still, steely faced, and waited for his team-mates to come to him. Asked afterwards if what he did had been a tribute to Eric Cantona’s famous celebration after he scored for Manchester United against Sunderland in 1996, Lacazette replied that it had not. Instead, he was too exhausted to do anything else.

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