Friday, August 23, 2019

Lyon 2 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Fekir penalty ends PSG´s unbeaten run

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 3 Feb 2019

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Paris Saint-Germain’s unbeaten start to the Ligue 1 season is over after the league leaders suffered a 2-1 defeat to Lyon on Sunday.

The defending champions, who were without star man Neymar due to injury, had won 18 games and drawn two prior to their visit to the Groupama Stadium, but they were handed their first loss thanks to goals from Moussa Dembele and Nabil Fekir.

When Angel Di Maria opened the scoring early it looked like a familiar story, however Lyon were writing their own script and dominated the opening period.

They got their reward through Dembele just after the half hour, and Fekir’s penalty secured the three points – Lyon defending resolutely to cling on to a memorable victory.

It took PSG seven minutes to open the scoring, although they were grateful to some sloppy play from Houssem Aouar 30 yards from his own goal.

Aouar was caught in possession by the lively Draxler, the German racing towards the Lyon penalty area before laying it on a plate for Di Maria to score his fifth of the campaign.

Lyon quickly found some composure but Alphonse Areola was in fine form, the PSG keeper pulling off a string of fine saves to deny Bertrand Traore, Fekir and Memphis Depay.

For all his good work, it was an Areola mistake that enabled Lyon to restore parity, Dembele able to beat the goalkeeper to Leo Dubois’ right-wing cross and head home from close range.

Di Maria saw a late chance cleared off the line by Jason Denayer – earning him a hug from Anthony Lopes – and it proved decisive as Lyon took the lead soon after the restart.

Three minutes into the second half Fekir was gifted a chance from 12 yards after Dembele had been fouled by Thiago Silva, the forward making no mistake with the penalty as he sent Areola the wrong way.

The goal sparked PSG into life and they laid siege on the Lyon goal but Lopes proved a formidable opponent, making key three sharp saves to deny Kylian Mbappe as the hosts hung on.

 

What does it mean? Lyon give everyone hope

It seemed inevitable that PSG would coast to the title after such a strong first half of the season, and even though their lead is still 10 points, Lyon’s win may give others hope. And maybe, just maybe, there could be a title race.

No way past Lopes

Try as PSG might they could not find a way to beat Lyon’s goalkeeper in the second 45, Lopes making a string of stops to ensure the league leaders fell to their first defeat of the campaign – and fourth against Lyon since their Qatari owners came in.

PSG missing Neymar’s spark

Losing the world’s most expensive player to another metatarsal injury looked to be something PSG could cope with after Di Maria’s early strike, but after that they lacked quality in the final third with Edinson Cavani, Draxler and Mbappe all unable to convert good openings.

What’s next?

PSG visit third-tier Villefranche in the Coupe de France on Wednesday before Bordeaux travel to the capital next weekend. Lyon are also in cup action – against Guingamp – ahead of a trip to Nice in seven days’ time.

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