A late Mauro Icardi header gave Paris Saint-Germain a dramatic comeback win over Lyon on Sunday night, as Mauricio Pochettino’s side maintained their 100% start to the Ligue 1 season.
The visitors started very brightly, although it was PSG who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half. Unsurprisingly, it was Lionel Messi who was key to the home side’s attacks on his home debut, firstly having a close range effort saved smartly by Anthony Lopes before seeing a stunningly struck free kick hit the corner of the woodwork before the interval.
The hosts were made to rue their missed chances ten minutes into the second half, though. Lucas Paqueta connected brilliantly with Karl Toko Ekambi’s pass to sweep the ball past Gianluigi Donnarumma with a clever first-time finish.
PSG put the pressure on to force their way back into the game and eventually got an opportunity when Neymar’s trickery forced 18-year-old Malo Gusto into a foul within the area on 64 minutes. The Brazilian stepped up to take the spot kick and calmly converted to make it 1-1.
The Parisians did their utmost in the search for a winning goal, and eventually broke Lyon’s resolute defence. It was Kylian Mbappe’s perfectly weighted cross from he left hand side that was met clinically by substitute Icardi, who headed past Lopes to win the game in the last minute of stoppage time.
The 2-1 victory gives Pochettino’s men a sixth win from six to begin the league campaign, while Lyon’s first defeat in four leaves them ninth. Now, let’s see how the PSG players rated.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (GK) – 7/10 – Will be disappointed to be beaten at his near post for the opener, although otherwise demonstrated great assurance and bravery throughout, making four saves.
Thilo Kehrer (RB) – 4/10 – Really struggled against the sharp Ekambi, who gave the full-back the run around. Also very sloppy and clumsy on the ball, looked helpless at times.
Marquinhos (CB) – 6/10 – Not presented with too much work but put in a pretty commanding captain’s showing for the most part.
Presnel Kimpembe (CB) – 6/10 – Stayed composed as Lyon pressed high, distributing the ball calmly while also showing superb pace to cover for his colleagues when ball went over the top. Lost track of Paqueta in the build up to the opener, however.
Nuno Mendes (LB) – 7/10 – Showed some nice touches when venturing upfield and did well defensively, staying tight to Xherdan Shaqiri and making four interceptions.
Idrissa Gana Gueye (CM) – 6/10 – Deep-lying and fairly unspectacular, but important nevertheless. Recycled possession efficiently and covered a lot of ground to screen his back four, making three ball recoveries.
Ander Herrera (CM) – 7/10 – He is visibly loving his football at the moment. Ran up and down the pitch like a happy dog, putting in tough tackles, spinning past his opposition, putting clever balls round the corner and driving his side upfield with insatiable energy.
Lionel Messi (AM) – 8/10 – Central to most of PSG’s attacking build up play before being taken off. Intelligent in his movement, mesmerising in his dribbling and destructive with his silky distribution – making two key passes. Desperately unlucky not to open the scoring with a gorgeous free kick, but that first goal will come.
Angel Di Maria (RW) – 7/10 – Tenaciously pressed his opposition and tracked back to register four tackles, while also threatening the Lyon backline. Very direct in his dribbling and played some lovely balls through to his colleagues.
Kylian Mbappe (ST) – 7/10 – Decent movement in behind and had some nice moments of link-up play with the likes of Messi and Neymar, although it was his late cross that proved the highlight. Perfect delivery to set up Icardi’s winner.
Neymar (LW) – 8/10 – More influential after the break when roaming into central areas, picking up the ball before weaving and floating past challenges. Started to influence proceedings with his flair, eventually winning and converting the equalising penalty.
Achraf Hakimi (RW) – 7/10 – So threatening after his introduction.
Mauro Icardi (ST) – 7/10 – Clinical when needed. Came on as a late substitute and won the game with a calm header.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) – N/A