Lyon victorious over Paris Saint-Germain at home, reviving Ligue 1 title hopes

    Paris Saint-Germain suffered their second home loss in a row as Lyon won 1-0 at the Parc des Princes to breathe life into the Ligue 1 title race.

    Christophe Galtier’s team lost 2-0 at home to Rennes ahead of the international break and were once again disappointed as they suffered consecutive league defeats for the first time since September 2020.

    The history of the first half revolved around two penalties: one was shot into the post by Alexandre Lacazette and the other was not given to PSG due to clear handball.

    However, Lyon were unfazed by Lacazette’s miss, scoring only their second league win with PSG since 2007 thanks to Bradley Barcol.

    PSG should have established the lead in the fourth minute, but Vitinha inexplicably pulled away from close range after being discovered by a disguised pass from Kylian Mbappé.

    Mbappe was just as wasteful moments later, smashing through the net after a great one-two with Lionel Messi.

    However, PSG were lucky not to concede in the 39th minute – Lacazette hit the post from the spot after Gianluigi Donnarumma knocked him down.

    Perhaps Lyon also got lucky at half-time, as Dejan Lovren escaped punishment for playing in the box.

    At the beginning of the second half, they took advantage of this advantage.

    Sael Kumbedi went through the box from six yards and Barcola, who came on as a first-half substitute, converted the ball wide of Donnarumma, who overdid it desperately by diving towards his near post.

    Barcola nearly got a second, forcing Donnarumma to save after just an hour, but it didn’t matter much as PSG couldn’t save the draw and there were cheers from the stands after the final whistle.

    What does it mean? PSG cut lead

    PSG started the weekend with a nine-point lead at the top – they start the new week six points back and have a tough series ahead of them.

    On Saturday they will travel to Nice, and a week later they will meet with Lens, who is now in second place. While you expect PSG to end up with too much for everyone, both in the context of one game and over the course of the season, that was also the expectation from this match.

    Even with some amazing talent, PSG were mediocre and uninspired, neither Mbappe nor Messi were particularly good, especially in the second half.

    Shine bright like Diomand

    Sinali Diomande may not have played a decisive role in the attack, but his contribution to the defense was significant.

    He made at least four tackles (five), clearances (four) and interceptions (four) – which no other player on the field has managed – as he played a vital role in holding back PSG.

    Vitinya endures a day to forget

    The Portuguese midfielder is very disappointing. There was no excuse for his early disappearance, and he never managed to make amends.

    His decision-making was questionable and he lacked presence in midfield, winning just 28.6% of his seven duels.

    Key facts about Opta

    – PSG have lost to Lyon for the sixth time in Ligue 1 since the 2011-2012 season under Qatar (W14 D4), and have only worse losses against Rennes during this period (7).
    – Galtier’s team have lost eight out of 18 games in 2023 in all competitions (W9 D1), their highest loss after 18 games in a calendar year since 2001 (9).
    – Lyon have only lost one of their last 13 games in all competitions (W7 D5) after losing eight of their previous 15 games (W4 D3).
    – PSG have lost two home games in a row without even scoring in Ligue 1 for the first time since the 2011-2012 season.
    – Lacazette missed his first Ligue 1 penalty since 2 April 2017, exactly six years ago (against Rennes).
    – At 20 years and 212 days, Barcola is the youngest player in the top 5 European leagues to score 10 goals in all competitions in 2023 (six goals, four assists). He has been directly involved in five of Lyon’s last six Ligue 1 goals (three goals, two assists).

    What’s next?

    PSG will travel south to face Galtier’s former club Nice, while Lyon will take on Nantes on Wednesday in the Coupe de France semi-final.

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