Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) were on hand to see off Olympique Lyon away today (September 18) in Ligue 1 thanks to a lone Lionel Messi goal. The forward took his chance brilliantly early on in the game.
It was a link-up between former Barcelona players Neymar Jr. and Messi who opened the scoring for the Parisians, much to the frustration of the home side.
A lapse in concentration from the Lyon defense saw the duo make a one-two pass that put the Argentine playmaker in space inside the box. The Argentine did not miss the target, driving the ball with a one-time shot into the bottom corner beyond the goalkeeper’s outstretched arms.
Lyon tried to hit back immediately, driving into the opposition area to threaten the visitors with a number of chances at goal. They did come close, with a number of brilliant efforts from Alexander Lacazette and Toko Ekambi forcing Gianluigi Donnarumma into action. However, nothing came of it, and the Parisians regained control of the game and continued to dominate possession.
A number of close shaves came for the Parisians to cement their win in the first half, but they were unable to make those chances turn into goals.
Wingbacks Nuno Mendes and Achraf Hakimi were a major threat to Lyon’s defense, providing the PSG midfield with an outlet on the flanks. However, their threat was nullified as Les Gones held on to 1-0 after Messi’s early goal.
PSG hold on in the second half as Lionel Messi helps them see off Lyon in second half
The second half began with brilliant efforts coming on both sides.
However, the massive chance early in the half came from Messi. His feint took out the onrushing defenders and sent the goalkeeper into an early dive. However, 19-year-old defender Castello Lukeba was quick to think about heading the ball off the line and away from danger.
The Parisians changed up their midfield, with Vitinha leaving the pitch for Fabian Ruiz, while Nordi Mukiele came on for an injured Marco Verratti. However, fresh legs in the middle of the park did little to provide PSG with the vital chance they needed to see off the game.
The momentum swung in favor of OL in notable parts of the game, with the Parisian defense lightly faltering to the strength of the hosts’ attack.
However, Lyon did not take their chances successfully, and neither did PSG in the final third. Both sides increased the intensity of their game, pushing players forward towards both lengths of the pitch.
Eventually, it was Messi’s opening goal that separated the two sides at the full-time whistle.
The Parisians are back on the top of the league table, two points above second-placed Marseille.
Here is how Twitter reacted to PSG’s win against Lyon: