A 100th competitive meeting between France’s two most successful sides of the 21st century, sharing 15 of the last 22 Ligue 1 titles, featured one-way traffic in the opening exchanges as Les Parisiens dominated. It took less than five minutes for the visitors to break the deadlock, as Lionel Messi and Neymar linked up to devastating effect. The Argentinian played a give-and-go with his former Barcelona teammate, receiving the ball inside the box and unleashing a ruthless first-time finish, stroking the ball home at the near post.
Lyon were hanging on as PSG pushed for a second, but stood firm in the face of Messi and Kylian Mbappé, with the latter forcing a save from Anthony Lopes. Having weathered the worst of the first half storm, Les Gones went on the offensive, with the defending champions vulnerable to a high press once more. Corentin Tolisso’s cross found Alexandre Lacazette at the back post, but the forward missed a gilt-edged header wide of the target. The former Arsenal man had further openings, but along with Karl Toko Ekambi, neither were able to beat Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Christophe Galtier’s men rediscovered their dominance after the break and were a matter of inches away from a two-goal lead. Nuno Mendes’ cross picked out Messi, who brilliantly jinked away from one defender before chipping towards goal, but his effort was headed off the line. A brilliantly crafted move really ought to have handed PSG the second they were craving, but it was Neymar’s turn to be wasteful, failing to properly connect with Mendes’ cross and giving Lopes a comfortable save. The Portuguese shot-stopper’s heroics extended to stoppage time, defying gravity to somehow deny Messi’s near-perfect free-kick.
Lyon were applying pressure and their main source of joy was the indecision of Donnarumma, but the champions had enough resolve to fend off attacks and secure a fourth win from the last five trips to the Groupama Stadium. Peter Bosz now finds himself under serious scrutiny for his position, with Les Gones losing a third consecutive game.