Memphis Depay claims Lyon players were spat on by their own fans after taking offence to a donkey banner aimed at Brazilian defender Marcelo.
Despite the French club coming from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw against RB Leipzig which secured their spot in the Champions League knockout stages, some Lyon fans still weren’t happy at full-time.
A banner bearing a donkey and the message “Marcelo leave the club” saw Depay confront the fan holding it on the pitch at the end of the match, with the Netherlands international less than impressed by their actions.
“I’m upset, angry. We didn’t play our best but we’re through. We gave everything,” Depay told RMC Sport.
“When someone on the team’s not supported by the fans, what do you expect from the players?
“Who has time to make a banner like that? People have kids, they go to work. Who has time to paint a donkey? If you have time for that, you really need to have something better to do with your life.
“They spat on us. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Depay has proven key for the club in Europe this season with five goals to his name, while he’s netted nine times across just 12 league appearances.
Lyon manager Rudi Garcia hailed the actions of Depay after the match, stressing the former Manchester United man showed real signs of leadership by standing up for Marcelo.
“Memphis Depay is a real captain: he acted and spoke as a captain,” Garcia said. “It shows all the cohesion, solidarity and character of this group.”
Garcia is hopeful Lyon can now push on in the next round of the Champions League and also paid respect to former manager Sylvinho for the club’s progress.
“Tonight I am happy for the club, for President [Jean-Michel] Aulas, now we must be capable of being ambitious, even if we get drawn against a big fish in the next round,” he said.
“This is also Sylvinho’s qualification, who was responsible for half of the points we obtained in this Champions League group stage.”
Lyon are currently seventh in Ligue 1 but are just three points shy of third-placed Lille ahead of their next league game against Rennes.