PSG Stunned by Lyon in First Defeat of Ligue 1 Season
They’ve done it, they’ve finally done it…that’s right, Stade de Reims scored four goals in a game for the first time since the end of August. Oh! You thought I meant Paris Saint-Germain finally losing to Lyon – ok, that was better.
Let’s start at the Stade des Lumières. Lyon, with a whole host of players missing through injury and suspension, limped into the game against the runaway champions-elect with very little hope being given for a home result.
All the credit must go to Bruno Genesio’s team and the coach’s tactics. They pressed and pushed PSG back into their own box. They bamboozled the Parisian defence, forced them into mistakes and had just enough quality to make it count.
Maxwel Cornet showed great skill and composure, turning Gregory van der Wiel inside out before curling his shot into the far corner. Twice Thiago Silva was left scrambling to recover, both times Lyon scored – shock as L’Equipe managed to finally delete the No.7 from after his name, dropping him down to a 3.
PSG were limp, they lacked ideas and a bit of desire. Briefly, when Javier Pastore came off the bench, there was a five-minute spell when they took the game to Lyon. Surprise, surprise, they scored. Then that urgency disappeared – along with their unbeaten record.
Playing Thiago Motta, Benjamin Stambouli and Adrien Rabiot in the midfield took away creativity from Blanc’s team – shock – that is the type of game where you expect Rabiot to step up and show why he deserves a place on that team. He failed.
Hats off to the Lyon defence though. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Lucas Moura were all on the pitch, but they were stumped by Jeremy Morel at centre-back, partnered by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Even at the death, the barely-used Rafael was replaced by Olivier Kemen for his professional debut, but the midfielder was asked to play at right-back.
Sunday was a great example of what you can do if you are well-organised and believe in your ability. They took the game to PSG – imagine how different the season could be if more teams took that chance. Yeah, you might get thumped 4-0 now and again, but that can happen even when you sit back.
Put pressure on them, and if PSG are not in the mood, as so often looks the case, they are not invincible. Let’s hope more clubs watched that and were taking notes.
Elsewhere, Lille conceded three goals for just the second time this season, losing 3-0 to Montpellier in what was an uncharacteristically shambolic defensive display. MHSC look like a new team under Frederic Hantz. The win helps them leapfrog LOSC and puts the northerners in a lot of trouble.
Gazelec in 18th are just four points off Les Dogues, and due to their fixture with Marseille being postponed due to weather – they have a game in hand.
Speaking of the relegation battle, it’s the hope that kills you. Toulouse, taking on Rennes on Saturday, were on their feet when Wissam Ben Yedder smashed a low shot past Benoit Costil with just 12 minutes to go – what a massive three points that would be…
Then, an awful mistake from Uros Spajic let Ousmane Dembele sneak in and curl an equaliser beyond Alban Lafont. The youngster then set up Kamil Grosicki for a late, late winner. Possibly the biggest five minutes in Toulouse’s season.
Le Téfécé are now six points from Gazelec in 18th and 10 points from Stade de Reims in 17th. Dominique Arribage later resigned as coach – leaving someone else to have to rebuild this team, most likely in Ligue 2.
Forget the non-title race, there is still so much to play for this season. One more team will (possibly) go down, but at the top, from third to maybe 12th, 10 different clubs have a genuine shot at finishing in the last Champions League place.
Caen have won two in a row after a bad spell, and finish the weekend in fourth. Even Bastia, after winning three straight, are only five points off Lyon in third – with a game in hand. Can you imagine the Corsicans travelling around Europe? Gianni Infantino or anyone at FIFA or UEFA wouldn’t know what hit them.