In under 20 minutes, Les Dogues were dealt a quickfire blow despite Jonathan David and Timothy Weah forcing Italian keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma into superb early back-to-back saves. A brilliant moment of wicked footwork saw Mbappé nutmeg his way through two defenders and execute a poacher’s finish to send the crowd into raptures, before Vitinha laid the ball on a platter for Neymar’s first-time effort – the Brazilian’s sixth goal contribution in two H2Hs this campaign.
Remarkably, Paulo Fonseca’s men halved the hosts’ lead midway through the half, thanks to Bafodé Diakité’s well-guided header, which left a full-stretched Donnarumma helpless. On the back of three successive defeats and risking yet another surprise, the Parisians allowed Lille back into the contest, with Remy Cabella’s warning shot whisking past the right post on the verge of HT.
It turned sour for the hosts thereafter, as back-to-back jolts shook them in surprising fashion. Neymar was stretchered off following a challenge that twisted his ankle, shortly before the visitors won a penalty thanks to a cynical foul by Marco Verratti. Making up for his earlier misses, David tucked the spot-kick into the bottom-right corner with utter ease, re-establishing himself as Ligue 1’s top scorer. It was Jonathan Bamba’s turn next, as he latched onto an exquisite André Gomes delivery and blasted one into the back of the net to pull off a slick comeback.
However, yet another Mbappé-inspired moment saw the hosts regain footing, following an unstoppable finish past Lucas Chevalier to make it 3-3. In a match that had it all, a Messi masterclass was lurking at the finish line, as La Pulga struck a formidable free-kick at the death to leave Lille scratching their heads, handing the visitors a significant blow in their European charge.