Neymar and Mauro Icardi scored but Lionel Messi was still not at his best as PSG eked out a narrow 2-1 win over Olympique Lyon on Sunday.
PSG extended their winning streak in the 2021/22 Ligue 1 when they defeated arch-rivals Olympique Lyon 2-1 at the Parc des Princes courtesy of a late winner from Mauro Icardi. While the visitors started on a bright note, PSG came close early on through superstar Lionel Messi, who had a shot saved and hit the woodwork from a free-kick, as the first half ended goalless.
Ten minutes into the second period, Lyon broke the deadlock through Lucas Paqueta’s fine first-time finish after being played in by Karl Toko Ekambi. PSG turned on the heat after going behind and forced a penalty in the 64th minute. Neymar, who drew the foul from Malo Gusto, converted from the spot to make it 1-1.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men pushed in search of a winner but were frustrated for most parts, until the last minute of stoppage time when a cross from Kylian Mbappe was diverted into the back of the net by Icardi to send the home fans into a tizzy and make it six wins in six for PSG in Ligue 1.
Here are our player ratings for the PSG stars after an important win that strengthens their grip at the top of the Ligue 1 table early into the season.
Gianluigi Donnarumma: 7/10
Made four saves in the first period, although most of them were largely routine. Not asked a lot of questions after the break. Will be disappointed to have let in a goal at his near post, but overall demonstrated good command in his area.
Thilo Kehrer: 5/10
Preferred ahead of Achraf Hakimi at right-back, the German international struggled to get to grips with the lively Karl Toko Ekambi on the flank and was hardly secure at the back. Did not offer much in the way of attacking outlet either.
Wasn’t fazed in the face of some early pressure by the visiting team and kept things in check. Continued to do the same after the break as well, although things got much easier with time.
Presnel Kimpembe: 5.5/10
Like Marquinhos, solid and assured at the beginning when Lyon threatened and used the ball well when in possession. However, was guilty of not tracking Paqueta leading up to the opening goal for the visitors.
Nuno Mendes: 6/10
Handed a start ahead of Abdou Diallo, the Portuguese teenager wasn’t able to make much headway in terms of attacking contributions but was largely solid at the back, and made four interceptions on the night.
Ander Herrera: 7/10
— Ander Herrera (@AnderHerrera) September 20, 2021
Solid if not spectacular. Did the dirty work well enough in the middle of the park making some important interventions to thwart Lyon from building up attacks. Also managed to create a half-chance that led to nothing, showed good energy throughout and used possession intelligently. Made way for Gini Wijnaldum late on.
Idrissa Gueye: 6/10
Reinstated to the starting XI after missing the midweek game due to suspension, the Senegalese international had struggles early in the game when Lyon were in the ascendancy. But grew into the contest and helped shield the defence better in the second half, allowing his team to stage a comeback.
Angel Di Maria: 6.5/10
Back into the starting XI, the Argentine showed good intent and energy, making driving runs at the opposition, linking up nicely with his attacking partners but was lacking that bit of incision in his game to make a real difference. Put in the hard yards off the ball, too.
Lionel Messi: 6.5/10
Messi after being subbed off 🙁 pic.twitter.com/AxIE7EmhC4
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 19, 2021
Making his home debut for PSG, the superstar summer signing looked in his elements early on, making some nice dribbles and executing neat link-ups. Came close to scoring on a couple of occasions, only to be denied by the goalkeeper once and the woodwork the second time. However, faded quite a fair bit after the break and wasn’t able to make a decisive impact, leading to his substitution which did not seem to have pleased him.
The best player on the park for PSG on the night, Neymar looked lively from the onset, linking up nicely with the likes of Messi and Mbappe. Took over the creative mantle after the break, especially after Lyon took the lead. Ran at the defence and posed a threat each time he did, forcing the penalty which he then converted to level things up.
Neymar scores his first PSG goal of the season from the penalty spot 💪 pic.twitter.com/am3Y3YcFh5
— Goal (@goal) September 19, 2021
Kylian Mbappe: 6/10
Made the lineup despite having just about recovered from an injury and it showed as he looked scratchy in the early phases. There were some moments where his movement caused problems but was a non-threat for large parts, until he delivered a perfect cross for Icardi to score the winning goal, which bumps up his rating.
Achraf Hakimi: 6/10
On for Messi in the 75th minute. Created an opportunity which his teammates failed to take.
Mauro Icardi: 7/10
Replaced Di Maria in the 82nd minute. And while players who are on the field for less than fifteen minutes are not given a rating, Icardi delivered when PSG needed it most to clinch the win against one of their title rivals late in the game.
Georginio Wijnaldum: N/A
Late sub for Herrera.