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Parisians’ Player Ratings as Lionel Messi’s early goal is enough to seal victory

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 how their players fared.

PSG Player Ratings

Gianluigi Donnarumma – 7.5/10

Donnarumma was tested a few times by Lyon in the first period and did well to prevent them from scoring. He made three key saves and distributed the ball with 86% accuracy.

Sergio Ramos – 7.5/10

Ramos was strong in the tackle and positioned himself well to thwart Lyon’s offense. He won seven of his nine duels, making three tackles and three clearances along the way.

Marquinhos 7.5/10

Marquinhos was the anchor in PSG’s defense and did well to organize the width and depth of their line. He won his only duel and made one clearance and two blocks. He also played three accurate long balls.

Danilo Pereira – 7.5/10

Pereira has done really well to adjust to the centre-back position and make it his own. He won four of his seven duels, making two tackles and one interception. Pereira also played two accurate long balls.

Achraf Hakimi – 6.5/10

Hakimi was lively on the right flank but failed to get adequately involved in their build-up play.

Fabian Ruiz – 7/10

Ruiz was handed a start as Galtier looked to rotate his squad ahead of the international break. He passed the ball with 93% accuracy, including one key pass and two long balls. He also won two of his five duels and saw his only shot blocked.

Marco Verratti – 7/10

Verratti looked composed on the ball but got himself booked in typical fashion by arguing with the referee. He has completed 88 passes with 96% accuracy, including one long ball. He also won three of his five duels.

Nuno Mendes – 7/10

Mendes took up advanced positions high up the pitch but failed to make a significant impact in the first half. He had a decent game overall.

Lionel Messi – 8.5/10

Messi looked hungry to score as he gave PSG the lead inside five minutes. He nearly scored another minutes later but saw his shot saved by Anthony Lopes. He attempted a whopping seven shots, with five on target and the other two blocked. He also played two key passes.

Neymar – 8/10

Neymar continued in his rich vein of form as he created yet another goal for PSG, setting up Messi in the fifth minute. Neymar attempted three shots, with two of them on target. He also won seven of his 14 duels and played three key passes.

Kylian Mbappe – 7/10

Mbappe looked sharp and eager to make runs behind Lyon’s defense. He attempted three shots but just one was on target. He played one key pass and won 10 of his 15 duels.

Substitutes

Vitinha – 6.5/10

Vitinha came on after 57 minutes to replace Fabian Ruiz and put in a decent performance.

Nordi Mukiele – 6.5/10

Mukiele replaced the injured Marco Verratti and had a good game.

Carlos Soler – N/A

He replaced Neymar for the dying embers of the game and did not play enough minutes to warrant a rating.

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