Faltering PSG suffer fifth league loss of the season at the hands of Lyon

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Faltering PSG suffer fifth league loss of the season at the hands of Lyon
Lyon celebrate their goal
Lyon celebrate their goal
AFP
Lyon claimed a superb 1-0 win over title-chasing Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes to go five Ligue 1 matches unbeaten in some style and pile further pressure onto under-fire manager Christophe Galtier (56).

This result consigned PSG to consecutive league defeats for the first time since September 2020, adding to the sombre atmosphere surrounding a side that has failed to deliver in the UEFA Champions League once again and are labouring towards what would be a record-breaking 11th Ligue 1 title.

Galtier’s men headed into this encounter with four league defeats this calendar year - already more than in the entirety of 2022 - and needed a morale boost after a sobering 2-0 defeat to Rennes before the international break.

It looked like the air of gloom could be lifted, with two early chances in quick succession through Vitinha and Kylian Mbappe - the latter firing wide after Lionel Messi’s audacious back-heeled pass.

Lyon looked lively on the counter-attack though, and Thiago Mendes should have done much better after firing his close-range attempt wide of the post. That sinking feeling closed in once again when Laurent Blanc’s side were awarded a penalty.

Gianluigi Donnarumma brought down Alexandre Lacazette in the box, but the skipper could not accept the gift and hammered his spot-kick against the post. PSG then had a penalty appeal turned down themselves when a Nuno Mendes ball across the box appeared to strike Dejan Lovren’s hand shortly before the break.

PSG failed to improve after the break, and you could hear a pin drop inside the ground when Bradley Barcola slid the ball home at the far post from Sael Kumbedi’s excellent ball across the box to give Lyon a deserved lead.

To add insult to injury, Marco Verratti was then forced off with an apparent hamstring injury as Les Parisiens clung on for dear life. Barcola was in the mood for another goal and forced Donnarumma into a fine save with an impressive long-range effort, with Lyon perhaps smelling the blood of the wounded champions.

Messi attempted to roll back the years with his trademark close control in the box but was brilliantly thwarted by Castello Lukeba. There was nothing that he or Mbappe could do to restore parity though in a lacklustre evening for Galtier’s side, who now sit only six points clear of Lens and Marseille.

Meanwhile, this win gives Lyon a glimmer of hope in their push for European qualification and move up to ninth - eight points adrift of Lille in the Europa Conference League position.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Castello Lukeba (Lyon)

See all the match stats here.

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