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Football

Ligue 1: Neymar and Icardi secure a comeback for PSG against Lyon

PSG V Lyon Featured

Lionel Messi made his home debut for Paris Saint-Germain, as the Ligue 1 leaders cruised to a 2-1 win over Lyon thanks to Neymar’s penalty and a late goal from Mauro Icardi to complete the comeback.

The visitors took the lead nine minutes after the break when Karl Toko Ekambi’s teasing cross was met by a first-time finish from Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta.

PSG got themselves back on level terms in the 66th minute with a penalty, Neymar converting from the spot after he was deemed to have been fouled in the box by Malo Gusto.

PSG Substitute Mauro Icardi then scored in added time at Parc des Princes on Sunday to secure the points for the home side with a brilliant header from Kylian Mbappe’s cross.

In a terrific atmosphere generated by the PSG supporters, the air thick with smoke from pyrotechnics prior to kick-off, Messi’s early touches were roared by the home fans.

The Argentine’s first real chance came with an angled run into the area when unchecked and he was picked out by Ander Herrera, but Jason Denayer was able to get in a vital block to deny him his first open goal for PSG having scored only once from the penalty spot since joining PSG.

PSG needed a goal-line clear header from Herrera moments later to keep out a fierce drive from Gusto as Lyon threatened at the other end.

Messi had his head in his hands just after the half-hour mark when he latched on to a backheel from Neymar inside the box, only for goalkeeper Anthony Lopes to save his clipped effort with his legs.

The former Barcelona man then struck the corner of the crossbar with a curling free-kick shortly afterwards as Lopes stood on his line motionless.

However, it was Lyon who went ahead early in the second half when Paqueta found space between Nuno Mendes and Marquinhos to crisply strike the ball beyond Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Neymar went down after he tussled with Gusto inside the area and then confidently sent Lopes the wrong way from the resulting penalty kick to level the score for Pochettino’s side.

Ligue 1 PSG 2-1 Lyon HIGHLIGHTS: Icardi scores late to win the match for PSG - Sportstar

PSG forward Neymar Jr celebrates after levelling things up for his side against Lyon on Sunday evening in a Ligue 1 fixture. | PHOTO: Courtesy |

Messi saw an angled drive whistle just past the post before being replaced by Achraf Hakimi with 14 minutes left, but it was another sub in Icardi who made the biggest impact, nodding in during the dying moments.

The stellar trio of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe were expected to provide a glut of goals but while Lyon’s defence largely stood firm, the Ligue 1 title favourites still got the job done thanks to Icardi.

PSG now have six wins out of six in Ligue 1 this season and are already five points clear of second-placed Marseille at the top of the table. Mauricio Pochettino’s side may have slipped up with a surprising draw against Club Brugge in the Champions League in midweek, but this was a dramatic return to winning ways.

Icardi

PSG forward Mauro Icardi celebrates after scoring the match-winner against Lyon on Sunday evening in a Ligue 1 tie. | PHOTO: Courtesy |

Mbappe assisted Icardi for the winner and that assist meant the France international has now been involved in 150 goals in Ligue 1 since his first appearance in December 2015 scoring 111 goals and, assisting 39 more. This figure is at least 35 more than any other player over the period.

Neymar’s penalty allowed PSG to get back into the game and it was a clumsy piece of defending from Gusto, who wrestled the Brazilian to the floor. The Lyon full-back, who made one block, gave away five fouls in the match but that was the most decisive.

Both teams will be back to action in the midweek for league action. PSG travels to Metz while Lyon host Troyes at the same time on Wednesday.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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