Paris Saint-Germain moved three points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 Conforama table, with a pair of own goals from Olympique Lyonnais (Marcelo 75′, Jérémy Morel 86′) giving the capital club a 2-0 win on Sunday night.
Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Olympique Lyonnais
PSG dominated first-half possession at the Parc des Princes but it was Lyon who had the first chance, with Memphis Depay stinging Alphonse Areola’s gloves with a now-trademark pile-driver after cutting inside from the left (7′). Mariano – OL’s summer signing from Real Madrid – then tried to test the home goalkeeper with a long-range free-kick, but his effort sailed narrowly wide (15′). Paris got a hold of things midway through the half, though, with Areola’s opposite number Anthony Lopes having to deal with a pair of Neymar corners either side of racing off his line to deny Kylian Mbappé, who had burst through on the counter (25′). Edinson Cavani – scorer of 24 goals in his previous 24 games for PSG – saw a header fly the wrong side of the post (43′) before another fine intervention from Lopes on the stroke of half-time, this time denying Neymar on the edge of the box and after the world’s most expensive player had been slipped in by Mbappé (44′).
Swashbuckling second half
The game’s high tempo persisted into the second half, and Nabil Fekir – Les Gones‘ club captain since the departures of Maxime Gonalons and Alexandre Lacazette in pre-season – came agonisingly close to opening the scoring five minute after the restart, but having left Layvin Kurzawa for dust his shot was turned away for a corner by Areola (50′). At the other end Neymar struck a sweet free-kick which dipped up and down over the OL wall, but Lopes punched it away (57′). Lyon remained in the ascendancy until late on, though, with Thiago Silva clearing a Lucas Tousart header off the line before Tanguy Ndombele crashed the rebound against the woodwork (68′). Fekir then whipped a free-kick in for Marcelo who saw his effort saved at the last by Areola (69’). The pendulum swing firmly in PSG’s favour in the last 15 minutes, though. PSG’s second-half substitute Giovani Lo Celso swung the ball into the OL box and Marcelo put past his own ‘keeper under duress from Cavani (75′). Cavani then missed a penalty after Mbappé had been felled in the box (80′), but there was still time for Paris to double there tally, with Morel unfortunate to get the last touch after some late penalty-box pinball (86’).
THE PLAYER: Anthony Lopes
Lopes was desperately unlucky to find himself on the losing side in the French capital, and would have had his third clean sheet of the season if not for the late defensive mishaps in front of him. The 25-year-old was born in France but has represented Portugal since Under 17 level. He has only amassed four caps since his senior debut in 2015, but if he keeps performing like this he’ll have a strong claim to be the European champions’ number one ‘keeper when the FIFA World Cup in Russia rolls around next summer.
THE STAT: 6
PSG have won each of their first six Ligue 1 Conforama games this season, with an aggregate score of 21-3. No team has picked up 18 points from a possible 18 out of the blocks since Olympique de Marseille in the 2012-13 season. OM went on to finish second that year, 12 points behind Paris…