Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Lyon in Ligue 1 on Saturday, September 18.
Lyon entered this contest having earned 13 points from their first seven games. They won four, drew one and lost two of those games, scoring 16 goals in the process. Peter Bosz and his men were eager to put on a strong showing against the defending champions on their own patch.
The Parisians, on the other hand, won six and drew one of their opening seven matches. They scored a whopping 26 goals in the process and conceded a mere four. Christophe Galtier was keen to continue his side’s winning run and fielded a strong lineup to achieve that.
PSG looked like the stronger team right from the start of the match. They looked sharp and created their first major chance of the game and scored from it. Lionel Messi and Neymar exchanged a couple of passes outside Lyon’s box. Neymar then cut the ball back to Messi on the edge of the box. The Argentine met it with a first-time effort that curled into the bottom corner to make it 1-0 after five minutes.
The goal seemed to have woken the hosts up. They played some of their most threatening football of the first period immediately after conceding. Alexandre Lacazette had a couple of attempts saved after doing well to create space for the shot. Lyon attempted eight shots in the first half, with three on target.
PSG, on the other hand, kept 70% possession of the ball and attempted nine shots, with just four on target. Kylian Mbappe did well to find space in behind a nearly set Messi up for a second, but the Argentine’s shot was saved. They racked up 442 passes in the first half but failed to add to their lead.
PSG led Lyon 1-0 going into the half-time break.
Bosz made one change as he took Corentin Tolisso off and brought Johann Lepenant into the game for the second half. PSG began the second half on the front foot and created a couple of early chances. However, Lyon’s defense looked solid and up for the task.
Despite dominating possession and territory, PSG struggled to convert their moves into shots on goal. On the off chance they managed that, their finishes were not clinical enough. Neymar had a glorious chance to double their lead just after 70 minutes but saw his shot saved by Lopes from eight yards out.
Maxence Caqueret and Nicolas Tagliafico did well to advance the ball for Lyon but their forwards were unable to finish their chances off. PSG’s defense did a good job of staying narrow and making life difficult for the hosts. They did well to fend off a late onslaught as the visitors secured a well-deserved win.
That said, let’s take a look at the five hits and flops from the game.
#5. Hit – Neymar
Neymar made an encouraging start to the game and looked eager to make an impact with the ball at his feet. He made his 19th goal contribution in just his 10th game this season with his assist for Messi.
He attempted three shots, with two on target and the other one blocked. He passed the ball with 88% accuracy, including three key passes and two long balls. Neymar won seven of his 14 duels and drew four fouls. He was subbed off after 86 minutes.
#4. Flops – Lyon’s wingers
Both Karl Toko Ekambi and Tete had poor outings as they failed to impact the game whatsoever.
Toko Ekambi played for 87 minutes. He attempted three shots, of which just one was on target. He passed the ball well, including one key pass, but failed to create a clear goalscoring opportunity. He won just one of his nine duels and failed to complete a single successful dribble.
Tete, too, had a poor game. He played for 75 minutes but failed to deliver a single cross or long ball. He won three of his eight duels and attempted one shot that was blocked
#3. Hit – PSG’s defending
PSG’s defensive unit had a wonderful game defensively as they thwarted Lyon’s advances with great effect.
Donnarumma led them with three key saves throughout the game. He also punched the ball clear twice and made two high claims.