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Football

Di Maria shines as PSG come back to defeat Lille 2-1 in Ligue 1

Di Maria leads the celebration after scoring PSG's second goal against Lille on Friday, 29 October 2021. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Angel Di Maria helped Paris Saint-Germain’s to a 2-1 comeback win against Lille in a game that saw Lionel Messi controversially substituted at half-time.

Messi was a fitness doubt ahead of Friday’s match at the Parc des Princes after missing training on the eve of the contest, and he was taken off with PSG a goal behind, his Ligue 1 goal drought continuing, as he is yet to find the net in the league since moving from Barcelona.

Jonathan David’s 31st-minute strike had the reigning Ligue 1 champions Lille on course for a third successive win over the current league leaders, but Marquinhos equalized 16 minutes from time and Di Maria fired in a late winner to seal all the three points for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Canadian Jonathan David

Lille forward Jonathan David celebrates after scoring the opener against PSG on Friday, 29 October. His striker was however canceled out by Marquinho and Di Maria sealed the winner. | PHOTO: Bleacher Report |

Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG side has now won all eight home matches this season, scoring at least twice in each of those, and are 10 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 having played a game more than second-placed Lens.

Lille almost took the lead much earlier than transpired, with Gianluigi Donnarumma making a good stop to push aside Burak Yilmaz’s shot following a swift counter with only 56 seconds on the clock.

PSG could not get into the game and they were behind just after the half-hour mark when Yilmaz raced past Thilo Kehrer and teed up David to side-foot past Donnarumma.

Di Maria curled wide from a tight angle from PSG’s only real opportunity of note in the first half, and Pochettino took action at half-time by taking off a half-fit Messi who struggled in the match.

Messi’s replacement, fellow Argentine Mauro Icardi provided the hosts with more of a focal point but Lille continued to look dangerous, with Yilmaz nearly beating Donnarumma via an improvised shot.

PSG steadily built some momentum, though, and an unmarked Marquinhos thumped a shot into the roof of the net when picked out by Di Maria to get the home side back on level terms.

Icardi missed a glorious chance soon after, but Di Maria linked up with Neymar in the 88th minute and coolly slotted low past Ivo Grbic to get PSG back to winning ways following last week’s stalemate with Marseille.

Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Lille: Marquinhos and Di Maria rescue leaders after Messi substitution

PSG forward Angel Di Maria celebrates after scoring the winner against Lille on Friday, 29 October. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

History appeared to be repeating itself with Lille a goal to the good thanks to a David strike, the Canada international having also scored the only goal the last time PSG failed to win a home league match, in April.

Lille followed up that surprise 1-0 league win at the tail end of 2020-21 with a victory by the same scoreline in August’s Trophee des Champions, but unlike on those previous two occasions, they could not hold on this time.

PSG was far from their best once again and Pochettino’s decision to take off Messi – fully fit or not – will raise plenty of questions, though the leaders deserve credit for digging deep and stretching their impressive winning run on home soil.

Messi’s Argentina team-mate Di Maria proved to be the late match-winner for PSG with a well-taken strike, adding to his earlier assist for Marquinhos’ equalizer to take the man of the match award.

The 33-year-old was on a one-man mission to turn the game around, with his six shots at least four more than any other PSG player, while his total of five chances created was matched only by Neymar.

Both teams will be in action in the middle of next week. PSG travels to Germany to face RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday, a day after Lille travels to Sevilla also in the Champions League.

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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